What do you want your 2020 to look like?
Obviously, you want this to be the best year ever for your business. You likely want to take a few steps forward to losing the “small” part in your small business and really grow.
However, growth can take a lot of different forms. What would it look like for you? Would that mean adding new equipment, or adding a second location? Would it mean more sales, or possibly more sales staff?
It’s all about setting smart and attainable goals, so you have a clear line-of-sight into what success actually looks like.
To make 2020 your best year ever, here are some New Year’s Resolutions that can help almost any entrepreneur.
1. Find the “Hidden Funding” to Expand
Make 2020 the year you really scale your business. Depending on what type of business you’re in, this could mean anything from adding another truck on the road, or snapping up that commercial unit right next to you to expand next door.
This can bring in a whole new level of revenue. However, this often begs the question, “Where do I find the money to make this money?” You may start by calling the bank for a loan or looking into some line of credit options for small businesses to fund this expansion.
However, both of those options can lead to disappointment. If you’re considering applying through a major bank, you should know that they’re currently only approving about 15-20% of small business loan applications. This is the most difficult form of funding/lending to get, as the process is essentially just an automated formula based on your income, credit, and financials. And about 80% of small businesses’ numbers don’t add up well enough to get approved.
If major banks aren’t an option for you, you may have heard that SBA Loans are easier to get than a bank loan. This is true. The SBA loan program matches you with a private lender that is more flexible than a major bank, when it comes to their loan criteria. However, about half of these SBA loan applications are still being rejected.
So where does that leave you? It seems like a bit of a catch-22: You need money to grow your business, but you can’t get money because your business is too small. In cases like this, you might want to look into Payvant Capital for alternative funding options. For example, the merchant cash advance is perfect and tailor-made for small businesses like yours.
Your business isn’t going to be measured against typical loan criteria, because merchant cash funding isn’t classified as lending. It’s classified as funding. This means they are more willing to look at your business’ potential, versus your past. Your odds of being approved are considerably higher.
Basically, an MCA would see your business being forwarded a cash advance and you would pay that amount back through a small percentage of your future transactions. Your monthly fees are based on that percentage of your income. So, if you’re having a low sales month, you will be remitting a smaller amount. Whereas a bank loan or SBA loan would require you to make the same payment every month, regardless of your income or sales.
The other main benefit is the speed and easy nature of the application process. Applying for a bank loan or SBA loan is time-consuming and intrusive. It can take weeks or months, as you have to provide a pile of documents and financial records.
The MCA application process can be done completely online in a matter of minutes, and you can have your answer within 24 hours.
If you’re looking to take things to the next level in 2020, this could be the best place to start.
2. Help Your Website Lose Weight
Have you found that your website has slowed down over the last year?
When this happens, too many small business owners assume their site is outdated and they need to invest in a new one. This could be the case, but it’s very likely that you can boost your site’s performance and speed for free with some strategic content pruning.
Everything you add to your website takes up memory on the back-end, which can slow the load speeds on the front-end. Every blog, image, video, or podcast you upload takes up space. If you haven’t looked at the back-end in 2 years, you have two years worth of content slowing you down. It’s time to purge.
There are lots of guides on how to prune your content, but they all basically involve you getting rid of:
- WordPress plugins you’re not using
- Outdated blogs, videos or podcasts
- Product/ service pages you don’t need
- Landing pages for promos and campaigns you’re no longer running
It would be good to make this a yearly habit as a way of setting yourself up for success for the next 12 months.
3. Clean Up Your Link Profile
This is another way to boost your SEO in the New Year, for almost no money. It really only costs you a little bit of time and the money you would probably spend on a venti latte.
Not enough small business owners are aware of the impact of the links pointing to their website as a major part of their off-page SEO. Your links are actually one of the top 3 factors in your SEO rankings. Even if your on-page optimization is completely dialed in, you could be held back by your off-page and your links.
Taking control of this is remarkably easy and affordable. Start by getting a trial account for ahrefs for about $7.00. This should give you a week of access. Once you get into the weeds with this tool and see what it’s capable of, you might want to keep it and subscribe. However, the trial package should be good enough to clean up your links.
Use this guide to learn how to clean up your link profile. You can also perform this audit/ cleanup using other tools like SEMRush, and the process with be essentially the same. It’s all about finding and eliminating any spammy or less-desirable links.
The bad news is the Google Penguin update has made bad links more harmful than ever. The good news is this update is part of Google’s core algorithm. Any work you do to improve your link profile will pay off very quickly.
Taking care of this now can give you a big SEO boost for the New Year.
4. Delegate More
You have so much invested emotionally and financially in your small business that you might have a hard time letting go of certain tasks. Learning to delegate doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. However, once you start to master it, your entire business will prosper.
In a lot of cases, doing things yourself can be seen as a cost-saving measure. However, it’s important to remember the value of your time as the business owner. Doing too much yourself can actually be costing you a lot more than you think.
It’s great to have a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude and feel like you’re not above doing any single tasks. But remember, some jobs are below your pay grade, so to speak. If something can be done by an employee or freelancer, let them do it. You can actually calculate the ROI of delegating by clicking here.
This does two things. First, it frees up your time for higher-level tasks and higher-value activities. Second of all, you’re fostering more trust in your employees if you’re taking something directly off of your plate and showing them you trust them enough to handle it.
5. Find a Mentor or Be a Mentor
Mentorship is perhaps the most underrated factor in entrepreneurship success. However, it is actually one of the most predictive. Statistically speaking, the average small business has about a 50% chance of surviving for 5 years. However, small businesses with a mentor have a 70% chance of lasting for 5 years or more.
The best-case scenario is always getting advice and insights from someone in your industry, as they advise you on how to navigate troubled waters before you even get there. It’s hard to put a true value on learning from mistakes that someone has already made for you. Their darkest hours and highest highs can be your cautionary tales and playbook for success.
Don’t forget about the benefits of actually being a mentor for someone else. Of course, they’re gaining access to your insights and experiences, which boosts their odds of success in the world of entrepreneurship. However, it can also help you quite a bit.
First of all, you’re expanding your network and opening yourself up to be highly regarded and highly recommended by your protégé. That simply never hurts. At the same time, you’re probably spending most of your day thinking about high-level things in your industry. Mentoring someone (particularly someone younger) can give you insight into more ground-level or frontline trends that you might otherwise not know about.
So, look for people in your network who could act as your mentor, or leave yourself open to mentoring someone else. It can be incredibly rewarding, both personally and professionally.
Discover Work-Life Balance
A lot of the world’s busiest entrepreneurs may scoff at the notion of work-life balance. They are so wrapped up in the day-to-day stress and minutiae of their business, they’re afraid that the entire business will collapse if they step away for a little bit. It won’t.
We’ve already explored how valuable you are as the face, brain, heart, and soul of your business. Instead of letting that thought overwhelm you into working 90 hours a week, let it empower you to protect your business’ most valuable asset. Because, that’s exactly what you are.
You probably prioritize regular maintenance on your company’s computers, vehicles or equipment. Your mind and body are more valuable and business-critical than all of those things combined, so make self-care a priority.
Small business founders are more than four times more likely to suffer depression than the average person, and 50% of entrepreneurs surveyed said they have reached burnout. This means going into business for yourself needs to come with a promise to take care of yourself.
The most dangerous part of burnout is you might not know you’re suffering from it until it’s already too late. Now, you’re faced with having to step away to recover for a few weeks (or even months) to recover, when taking a few days off here and there to recharge your battery could have prevented the burnout from happening.
There are countless things you can do, including all of the classic suggestions such as yoga and meditation, exercising, or simply spending time with your family and friends. Remember, only you truly know what self-care means for you. A yoga retreat isn’t going to help you if your true happy place is racing down a ski hill or working on a classic car. There is no wrong answer as long as it feels right to you.
Also, remember why you got into this business in the first place. It could have been a love or passion for your trade. Let’s say you became a chef because you love cooking. Running a restaurant can take you out of the kitchen and stick you in an office to run the actual business. So, rediscover your love and make it a priority to get back in the kitchen.
Make 2020 the year you invest in yourself.
We Can Help You Make 2020 YOUR Year
Either an opportunity or a crisis can arrive without notice. We’re here if you need a bit of financial help to make any of your goals for the New Year a reality!
Our application process is simple, fast, and non-intrusive. You can get approved in 24 hours or less.
You can start right now by calling 1-888-550-3162, or by entering the amount of funding you need into the pop-up screen on any of our webpages.