As we welcome the new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the financial health of your business and set the stage for success in the months ahead.

In our kickoff newsletter for 2024, you’ll learn the 12-Week Year method for setting and achieving financial goals. Plus, gain valuable insights from one of our very own Ascendus Loan Consultants on budgeting and navigating the loan application process!


The 12-Week Year is a popular planning method based on the concept of setting quarterly rather than yearly goals. Here’s how you can use this strategy throughout 2024 for your financial goals:

  • Define Clear Objectives: Kickstart your financial journey by applying SMART criteria—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. Whether it’s revenue growth, cost reduction, or product line expansion, clarity is key.
  • Break It Down: Take your larger yearly goals and assess how you can break them down into smaller pieces or steps. To achieve a certain goal at the end of the year, where would you have to be at the end of Q3, Q2, or Q1?
  • Focus on Quarters: Concentrating efforts within a 12-week period rather than a 48-week year results in increased productivity. By assessing and planning on a quarterly basis, you can better prepare and plan for promotions, sales, larger spending periods, tax deadlines, and other events that may impact your finances.
  • Quarterly Performance Reviews: Utilize quarterly reviews to assess progress towards your goals. These reviews are an excellent opportunity to review, pivot, and change your goals for the following quarters as needed. They can also give you greater insight into your business’s financial health over the course of a year – including fluctuations around holidays, slow seasons, and the success of sales and promotions.


We asked Juan Guzman, a loan consultant here at Ascendus, for some advice when it comes to budgeting and applying for an Ascendus loan.

“When it comes to budgeting for small business owners, it goes beyond numbers; it’s about the vision, growth discipline, and guiding small business owners’ aspirations. With that said, here are my tips for small business owners:

  • Maintain distinct bank accounts and credit cards for personal and business transactions. This separation ensures clarity in tracking business expenses and profits, making budgeting more straightforward.
  • Define your business objectives, both short-term and long-term. With clear goals, you can prioritize spending and allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that every budget decision aligns with your business vision.
  • As a small business owner especially in the early stages or years in the industry, every dollar counts. Be conscious of unnecessary expenses and prioritize what’s needed to contribute to business growth.
  • Set aside time, whether monthly or quarterly, to review your budget.
  • Lastly, take advantage of all free resources for small businesses i.e. attending workshops, free online courses on budgeting, etc.”

Thank you, Juan!
Stay tuned for additional advice in next month’s newsletter.


Edwing Dangelo

“The loan was extremely helpful. Because of it, I was able to continue working, create more clothing, and reopen my store.”

Click to watch, and learn more about the incredible small businesses that are focusing on providing an impact, making a difference in their communities, and the journey up.

berri clear

Berri-Clear Skin, inspired by seeking a product to help with hyperpigmentation on black and brown skin, is a woman-owned, plant-based beauty brand inspired by old-school Trinidadian culture where ingredients for homemade remedies were grown fresh and picked from backyards.

omo sade

Omo Sade offers skincare and makeup made from natural ingredients created by Sade Tyler. Sade is originally from Nigeria and is passionate about creating quality products inspired by old Yoruba traditions to empower women of all colors to embrace and love their skin.

live like you green it

Live Like You Green It is natural and effective plant-based skincare on a mission. Danielle Silverman, CEO & Founder, is a self-taught chemist, soap maker, and herbalist. After suffering from skin conditions like body acne and eczema, she created natural skincare products free of chemicals.

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Need a loan, line of credit, or just some personal finance coaching to help your business grow? Check out these products and resources designed for your needs.

Understanding Business Financials

Register for this webinar, led by our SVP of Lending Fabiana Estrada, and learn how to understand the financials of your small business. Wednesday, January 31 from 1-2PM EST.

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Business Term Loan

For small business owners who need money to grow their business, Ascendus offers loans from $500 – $50,000. Qualified businesses will be located nationwide, except Vermont.

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New Jersey Capital Access Fund

Borrow up to $150,000 at a fixed, competitive interest rate for the life of your loan. Available only to small businesses located in the state of New Jersey.

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CT Small Business Boost Fund

Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, this fund links Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits to financial support.

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Childcare Business Development

Qualified Businesses nationwide, excluding Vermont. If you have been in business for more than three years, you can access up to $25,000 in fast-track financing within 48 hours. No paperwork is needed to apply.

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Rideshare Business Term Loan

Loans up to $15,000 in financing for rideshare businesses are offered at 13.99%.

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Business Line of Credit

Access a line of credit up to $25,000 in fast track financing at a 13.99% interest rate.

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New York Forward Loan Fund 2.0

Up to $150,000 with a fixed interest rate for the lifetime of the loan. Eligible to New York small businesses only.

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Entrepreneurs of Color Fund

Loans up to $250,000. Eligible to small business owners in any state, excluding Vermont. Must be 51% or more owned by an entrepreneur of color.

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“Get Ready” Business Line of Credit

No FICO minimum! This line of credit product is designed for African American small business owners ready to improve their credit and invest in their business. $5,000 offered at 13.99%.

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Ascendus Credit Coaching

Free tailored credit coaching. Training sessions will include credit building, debt management tailored to long- and short-term goals, prioritizing debt repayment, budget assessment, and assessment for current credit-building programs.

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