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!
SETTING FINANCIAL GOALS WITH THE 12-WEEK YEAR METHOD:
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.
ADVICE FROM AN ASCENDUS LOAN CONSULTANT:
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.