business goals.

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

As we head into the last quarter of 2017, are you beginning to think of where you want your business to be in 2018? And what goals you want to achieve? Having a clear idea of where you want your business to head will help you be well prepared.

Here are some aspects of your business you should be thinking about that can propel your business to the next level.

Hire a super-team.

Often it takes a person with a completely different skillset from our own to push growth in profits or other business goals. If you have been feeling stuck in a certain area that is not your strong point, you might benefit from additional help. Naturally, hiring your first employee can be nerve-racking. Not only is it a large financial investment, but it calls for an investment of time as you help onboard your new hire. There are also legalities you will want to verse yourself in, contracts to draft, etc.

And once an employee has signed on the dotted line? Keeping an employee fulfilled and committed to your business is another challenge. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, people are concerned about health coverage. You can differentiate yourself as an employer by providing coverage to employees. According to Josiah Allis, president and founder of Design Health, a leading provider of employer-based insurance coverage, employer coverage will remain stable in the coming year.

Get superstars on your team. People with skillsets that will cause your business to grow in the direction you desire.

Highlight your specialty.

What makes your business different from other businesses that are competing in the same market? What do you offer that can’t be had anywhere else? Or maybe it is not only what you offer, but the process of how you offer it? Take a hard look at your business and hone in on what makes you different.

If you can’t think of something that clearly defines you from the rest, then it’s time that you did. This could be key to achieving your business goals in the year to come. Need some help figuring out how to stand out? Here’s one way to determine your unique selling point:

Think about what your clients regularly say about your service, business, or product. What is the common thread in their response? Perhaps you are the only eco-conscious provider of a certain service in the city. Or that you offer guarantees that can’t be beat. Find out what your clients love about you, and then spotlight it.

Use technology.

It’s easier than ever for a business to run on a small budget because of the low-cost tools, advertising, and free apps available to business owners. The more you know about these low-cost services that can help your business succeed, the greater your chances of success. Using the right technology will save your business money that can then be spent on avenues that will spur business growth.

For example, the decision to go paperless will save your business from spending on paper, ink, and a printing machine. Along with keeping your office free from clutter and paper overload. This decision is possible through using Dropbox or Google Drive as a place to store files. Other applications that successful businesses have used to their advantage include…

  • Evernote – for capturing information
  • Basecamp or Trello – for collaborative work
  • Skype – for cheap calls and internal communications
  • Square or PayPal – for invoicing and payments
  • Quickbooks or Freshbooks – for accounting purposes
  • InfusionSoft or Hubspot – for email marketing
  • Hootsuite or Agorapulse – for social media scheduling

The list goes on.

Get your business finances in order.

Having a good handle on your business’s finances is key to keeping your company in the black. If finances have been a weak area for you, then it could be what has been sabotaging your profits. No matter how much your business is making, mishandling of your budget can cause your business to go in the red.

Some first steps that anyone can do to get their business’s finances in order?

  • Track everything your business spends.
  • Set up two drawing accounts, one for your business and one for your personal use.
  • Based on your expenses of the last couple of months, create a budget for the next month.
  • Observe how much you spend against what you have budgeted.
  • Find out when everything is due.
  • Know your tax responsibilities.

Feeling overwhelmed? Hire help and then start with a clean slate to institute smart financial habits.