2020

Is 2020 the Year You Go Into Business?

Was your New Year’s Resolution to start your own business? January has come and gone and February is drawing to an end, too. Have you started your business yet? Statistically it’s likely that you haven’t, but why? Research has shown that Resolutions fail not because we’re all quitters but because of the way we design our resolutions. We make broad goals that feel too large and end up quitting.

So what should we do? Rather than tackle a large goal, like say “start a business,” make a smaller, more specific goal. If you’re in the 80% of Americans who have already abandoned your New Year’s Resolution don’t give up just focus on that first step. A good first step on the path to starting your own business is coming up with a business plan.

Don’t know anything about business plans? Don’t worry there are many good resources available for people who need help crafting their business plan. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a helpful tutorial on writing a business plan on their website. The Denver Public Library allows all cardholders access to their Business Plans Handbook, which consists of a collection of business plans that will provide you with an example on how to write yours.

You can also participate in the SBDC’s many low-cost classes designed to help business owners in all stages of starting and running a business. Several of these classes focus specifically on getting started! You can find a list of all “getting started” classes on the Colorado SBDC website.

End of the Year Checklist

As we say goodbye to 2019 our thoughts turn to the promise of a new year. And while the start of a new year is a good time to reflect on the work done the previous year, it’s not a time to rest on one’s laurels–there’s still work to be done. So as we turn the calendar page what should business owners be doing? A search online for “small business end of year checklist” yields a mountain of results. Here are a few items that consistently show up on multiple end-of-the-year checklists for business:

1. Adjust your strategies to get where you’d like to go. Taking stock of the last year can inspire you to do better (or continue doing well) it can also help you modify your business goals.

2. Organize. Besides taking a high-level look at your business, all the experts tend to agree that now is the perfect time to organize your business–the files you use and the space on your desk.

3. Inventory. Doing a physical inventory is a great idea and can allow you to evaluate what is (and isn’t) selling.

4. Take a look at your company website–when was the last time you did an audit of your website? An out-of-date website can turn off potential customers and make your business seem less professional. Take a moment to look at your online presence and make sure that it’s 100% accurate.

5. Electronic file back-up. Backing up your computer/cell phones as well as any other crucial files is always a good idea, one that we’re all guilty of neglecting to some degree. Use this time to get everything backed-up so nothing is accidentally lost.

For more end-of-year checklists check out the Small Business Administration’s website.

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