Small Business Resolutions for Working Smarter in 2016

By on December 23, 2015

 

nav pic - december post

Photo Courtesy of ThinkStock.com

Earlier this month I hosted the #navSMBchat with nav, a company dedicated to helping business owners leverage their business credit data for financing and other business relationships. In our tweetchat, @navSMB (on Twitter) and I discussed the importance of small business owners resolving to work smarter in 2016. In particular, we reviewed what business owners can specifically do to run more efficient companies & increase workforce productivity. Below is a summary of our conversation.

Brian Moran: In 2015, did small business owners work smarter?

nav: Many small business owners did. They got their finances in order and addressed cash flow issues. They also embraced social media more as a business tool in 2015. However, there are still too many business owners working harder but not smarter.

Brian: Is technology enabling small business owners to work smarter?

nav: Technology is the single biggest tool to help small business owners increase workforce productivity. Technology also allows owners to better address the needs and wants of their customers. Lastly, it gives them access to financial tools that can take work off their plate (e.g. www.nav.com).

Brian: What can small business owners expect from technology in 2016?

nav: Technology can better connect business owners with their mobile and remote employees and customers. Tech will help business owners better manage everything: finances, inventory, payroll, credit…the list goes on and on. In 2016, technology will help small businesses do a better job of securing data in the cloud in 2016; better protection means less stress for you and your business.

Brian: Can social media help small businesses work smarter in 2016?

nav: Absolutely! Next year small business owners will learn how to better use social media as a business tool. Customers are demanding that companies engage with them online. Otherwise, they will take their business elsewhere. Social media will also provide a tremendous platform to do market research as well as spy on your competition.

Brian: How can small business owners be smarter about their financials next year?

nav: They should stay current on their financials and review them regularly in 2016. A good bookkeeper and accountant are essential. Know your small business credit scores; strong credit scores make it easier to access capital when you need it. In addition, always have a backup plan for times when cash flow is slow. For these reasons, monitoring your business credit will be a true lifesaver next year; you can get better financial terms as well as deferred payments.

Brian: Let’s talk about cash flow. Is it possible to avoid cash flow crunches in 2016?

nav: Dips in cash flow are inevitable with the majority of small businesses.  Have a cash flow plan for slower times: cut back on expenses, and/or get a line of credit. Separately, business credit cards can help smooth out the bumps, and help protect personal credit while providing some strong rewards!

Ask your vendors for extended terms. You are more likely to get better terms if your business credit is strong. Expect the unexpected—an emergency fund can help smooth out unexpected bumps in the road. Keeping up-to-date cash flow statements is key to budget planning in the New Year.

Brian: How can business owners be smarter about time management next year?

nav: Time management is a top challenge for many entrepreneurs. Our economy is going through a radical digital transformation; businesses must take time to learn about it. Small businesses must prioritize their work hours; don’t get distracted by trivial tasks

Brian: Are there any other “smart” ways to increase workforce productivity in 2016 for business owners?

A8: The companies that put together a solid plan and then follow it will increase workforce productivity next year. Focus on the projects that lead you to your goals; don’t go on wild goose chases. Take time to review your progress. Are you getting the most out of your employees each month?

Brian: Are there any tips that we didn’t cover for working smarter in 2016?

nav: Stay focused. The main reason businesses fail is because they lose focus. Have a backup plan. Things change during the year—and so will your original plan. Have fun. It’s tough to work smarter if you’re stressed all the time.

Brian: Great advice! Thank you to everyone at nav for making it a little easier for small business owners to navigate the twists and turns of entrepreneurship. You offered a number of excellent takeaways for entrepreneurs getting ready to make the most of 2016 opportunities. I look forward to continuing the conversation in January. Happy Holidays!

Earlier this month I hosted the #navSMBchat with nav, a company dedicated to helping business owners leverage their business credit data for financing and other business relationships. In our tweetchat, @navSMB (on Twitter) and I discussed the importance of small business owners resolving to work smarter in 2016. In particular, we reviewed what business owners can specifically do to run more efficient companies & increase workforce productivity. Below is a summary of our conversation.

Brian Moran: In 2015, did small business owners work smarter?

nav: Many small business owners did. They got their finances in order and addressed cash flow issues. They also embraced social media more as a business tool in 2015. However, there are still too many business owners working harder but not smarter.

Brian: Is technology enabling small business owners to work smarter?

nav: Technology is the single biggest tool to help small business owners increase workforce productivity. Technology also allows owners to better address the needs and wants of their customers. Lastly, it gives them access to financial tools that can take work off their plate (e.g. www.nav.com).

Brian: What can small business owners expect from technology in 2016?

nav: Technology can better connect business owners with their mobile and remote employees and customers. Tech will help business owners better manage everything: finances, inventory, payroll, credit…the list goes on and on. In 2016, technology will help small businesses do a better job of securing data in the cloud in 2016; better protection means less stress for you and your business.

Brian: Can social media help small businesses work smarter in 2016?

nav: Absolutely! Next year small business owners will learn how to better use social media as a business tool. Customers are demanding that companies engage with them online. Otherwise, they will take their business elsewhere. Social media will also provide a tremendous platform to do market research as well as spy on your competition.

Brian: How can small business owners be smarter about their financials next year?

nav: They should stay current on their financials and review them regularly in 2016. A good bookkeeper and accountant are essential. Know your small business credit scores; strong credit scores make it easier to access capital when you need it. In addition, always have a backup plan for times when cash flow is slow. For these reasons, monitoring your business credit will be a true lifesaver next year; you can get better financial terms as well as deferred payments.

Brian: Let’s talk about cash flow. Is it possible to avoid cash flow crunches in 2016?

nav: Dips in cash flow are inevitable with the majority of small businesses.  Have a cash flow plan for slower times: cut back on expenses, and/or get a line of credit. Separately, business credit cards can help smooth out the bumps, and help protect personal credit while providing some strong rewards!

Ask your vendors for extended terms. You are more likely to get better terms if your business credit is strong. Expect the unexpected—an emergency fund can help smooth out unexpected bumps in the road. Keeping up-to-date cash flow statements is key to budget planning in the New Year.

Brian: How can business owners be smarter about time management next year?

nav: Time management is a top challenge for many entrepreneurs. Our economy is going through a radical digital transformation; businesses must take time to learn about it. Small businesses must prioritize their work hours; don’t get distracted by trivial tasks

Brian: Are there any other “smart” ways to increase workforce productivity in 2016 for business owners?

A8: The companies that put together a solid plan and then follow it will increase workforce productivity next year. Focus on the projects that lead you to your goals; don’t go on wild goose chases. Take time to review your progress. Are you getting the most out of your employees each month?

Brian: Are there any tips that we didn’t cover for working smarter in 2016?

nav: Stay focused. The main reason businesses fail is because they lose focus. Have a backup plan. Things change during the year—and so will your original plan. Have fun. It’s tough to work smarter if you’re stressed all the time.

Brian: Great advice! Thank you to everyone at nav for making it a little easier for small business owners to navigate the twists and turns of entrepreneurship. You offered a number of excellent takeaways for entrepreneurs getting ready to make the most of 2016 opportunities. I look forward to continuing the conversation in January. Happy Holidays!

About Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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