Last month, Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) published an article, New Year’s Resolutions Every Small Business Should Make, to help small business owners with their strategic planning to improve operations and profitability in 2017.
In this article, several EGF clients who committed to at least one of the resolutions share their tips for meeting financial management goals and improving brand recognition.
See what they’re doing and learn from them how you can optimize your small business performance in 2017.
Strengthen my balance sheet
“In 2016, I was pressured into taking a loan with bad terms that did a lot of harm to the business because I didn’t give myself enough time to explore all the viable options. Luckily, I was able to refinance this predatory loan with EGF. Prospect Cleaners was awarded its first municipal contract and I am poised for a successful 2017. My resolution is to stay one step ahead of my funding needs as I grow the business.”
“My floral design business is flourishing after years of hard work. For 2017, I resolved to make sure the financial side of the business is equally strong. Taking the advice of my financial advisors, I obtained a line of credit and small business loan. I now have the working capital to take advantage of new growth opportunities as they come along.”
Looking to strengthen your balence sheet? Our article on 10 Common QuickBooks errors can help.
Set financial management goals
“For 2017, I set an aggressive financial goal in terms of increasing profitability that requires landing one major new client and adding at least one additional consultant. I am taking tangible steps to realize that goal, including getting MWBE [Minority- and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprise]-certified and taking classes in entrepreneurship to strengthen certain areas of my business growth plan. With resources provided by EGF, I am excited about developing my company brand and identifying target markets for potential clients!"
“I am fortunate to own two restaurants in New York City where people love to gather and share a quick bite to eat. Yet I am always looking towards the future. For 2017, my goal is to open a third restaurant with a brand-new theme. Part of that planning process will be strengthening my relationship with my bankers to make sure I have the funding to make this dream a reality. “
Get our tips for analyzing your financial performance to ensure realistic goals.
Build brand recognition
“We embarked upon a marketing strategy at the end of 2016 that as a process allowed us to reflect on what we are all about. We want to be more than just another gift store; we want to connect people within the Harlem community. Our branding and marketing consultant at Experience Harlem gave us the straight talk needed convey our brand the right way as we head into 2017.”
“My consulting company has a great reputation among its existing clients, which has spread organically by word of mouth. For 2017, my goal is to expand my client reach to the corporate sector. My resolution is to create a formal branding strategy that captures the essence of my organization’s power and purpose. Lindley Consulting works with organizations and individuals to reach their financial goals through training, workshops and coaching.”
Need help? Here are some tips on marketing your small business.
Learn from each other
These small business owners used the New Year as an opportunity to reflect on the past year’s performance and create a plan for 2017 – and so can you. It simply means identifying what your business does well and doing more of it, while also taking a hard look at where there is room for improvement.
To get started, ask questions and seek feedback from people who know your business, from customers and vendors to colleagues and competitors. Then, get help in areas that are not your strength or in which you want help to grow your business. There are tremendous resources available to help you, from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s network of business development centers and small business lenders to accountants, marketing professionals and brand consultants.
It’s never too late to help your business thrive, so resolve to do one thing today.
About Excelsior Growth Fund
At Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), our mission is to help New York businesses grow by providing small business loans and advisory services. As a nonprofit organization and a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we’re a responsible lender you can trust. Our loan products are affordable and flexible, and our advisory services can help you reach your business goals.