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Resolve to Get Your Finances Organized at the Start of the New Year

It’s the start of the new year, and many of us are trying to get organized as we kick off 2024. Business owners need to get our ducks in a row, setting ourselves up to maximize our financial and business successes in 2024!

Here are some tips to accomplish your financial goals this year:

Map out your growth plan. Early in the year, it’s smart for business owners to start mapping out their growth plans. For instance, what are your business targets and goals? Do you want to expand your business? Do you want to buy out a competitor? Do you want to hire more employees? Determining your growth plan is a good starting point.

Review your benefits suite. Determine whether you’re being competitive enough as you try to attract new talent. Also, have a solid plan in place to retain key employees because that’s an important component, too. Look at the rewards you’re offering to be sure they’re aligning with employees’ and prospects’ interests, in terms of stock plans, bonuses, and other incentives. Also, don’t overlook the importance of “soft benefits.” Some companies are opting to offer their employees a year of paid college tuition for their children after being with the company for a period of time, which is a huge, attractive benefit. Consider other frills, like wellness seminars and similar offerings, to attract and keep employees in this highly competitive environment.

Invest in your business. Many business owners struggle to determine how much money they can invest into their business and determine their investment priorities. This is the perfect time of year to pull together all of your year-end books so you can make these type of decisions. Look at how much capital you’ll need to execute your business plans for the new year. You’ll want to put money into your retirement plans, and after earmarking those funds, it may leave you skinny on funds for the other plans that you want to accomplish. If you don’t have much excess money, you’ll need to prioritize what to do with the money that’s available. Talking to a financial advisor can help you determine how and where to invest in your business. It’s always good to have an objective “second set of eyes” to look at your books.

Review your investments. The start of a new year is a good time to review your investments – not just your stocks and bonds, but across your entire portfolio. Look at all of your assets, including your business ownership, liquidity, tax treatments, tax deferred money, etc. Ensure your portfolio is balanced, robust, and well-rounded. Again, it’s wise to work with a financial expert who can provide an objective eye and educated counsel when it comes to your personal and business finances – we need to review our plans not just through traditional lenses.

Invest in marketing. This is the perfect time to review your business’s marketing plan. After all, you can’t grow your business if people don’t know about it, right? So, take the time to thoughtfully consider your marketing strategy, target demographics, key messages, marketing materials, delivery channels, and how you’re driving specific actions. If you don’t have staff members dedicated to marketing efforts, consider hiring a marketing firm. Allocate resources to marketing. Your campaign should engage priority demographics, attract new customers, retain existing customers, go deeper into niche markets, and help you successfully grow your business.

Work with a financial expert. Engaging with a professional can help business owners look out for blind spots. A financial expert helps you think of things that you wouldn’t necessarily think of on your own. It could be something as simple as looking for higher yields for cash accounts or evaluating incentives for upgrading your retirement plan. This could come in the form of higher contribution limits for you and your key employees or in the form of tax credits simply by setting up something like automatic enrollment. So, it is increasingly important to work with someone who is keeping up with the ever-changing environment so you can use it to your advantage.

Here’s to a happy – and financially healthy! – new year! The Guyton Forge team is here to help you achieve – and exceed! – your financial goals in 2024 and beyond. Please contact us with questions and for any financial needs.

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