New Year’s Resolutions aren’t only confined to our personal lives. They can be extended to our work life as well. If you’re a small business owner, you can benefit greatly from setting SMART business goals for 2017. What is a SMART Goal? A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. The SMART approach to setting goals is more effective than conventional goal settings. When you run your business resolutions through a SMART list, you can figure out if they are actually feasible and sustainable. Without a SMART approach, you may be chasing an impossible goal and wasting your energy in the process. So, are you ready to embark on a journey of SMART resolutions in the new year? Here are some goals you should set for your business in 2017. Manage My Cash Flow More Effectively Cash flow is the lifeblood of every small business. Many businesses go broke without being able to manage their cash flow wisely. Make a resolution to learn the cash flow best practices for small businesses in the new year, and stick to them. Here is some quick advice on how you should get started. Invoice Promptly Tighten employee spending controls with new technology Give a Reward for Quick Payment Go After Receivables Pay Bills Only When They’re Due Need more tips on cash flow best practices? Head over to this article. Improve My Digital Presence Having a decent digital presence is a must for small business success. With an increasing number of people turning to Google Search for local business information, you could be missing out on potential business opportunities if you don’t have a website. If you already have a website but it hasn’t been updated in a year or longer, make a resolution to update it and boost your online presence. From building a mobile-friendly website to starting a content marketing campaign, there is a wide range of best practices for small business websites you could follow in the new year. Build a Social Media Presence for My Business Apart from updating your website, improving your presence on social networks is equally imperative. If you’re still in doubt whether it’s worth creating a Facebook Page or Google My Business profile, you’re potentially behind the competitive curve. With a whopping 78% of US population frequenting social media networks (source: statista), investing in social media marketing is a crucial step to your success in 2017. Not sure how to get started? Take a look at this guide for some basic understanding of social media marketing for small businesses. Reduce Costs in My Business Poor expense management skills are one of the most common reasons why small businesses struggle to improve their revenues. Whether you’re a seasoned business or a small start-up, reducing costs is incredibly important in order to boost your bottom line. How about starting your new year with the following goals! I’ll eliminate unnecessary expenses whenever possible I’ll build a strong rapport with suppliers I’ll buy in bulk I’ll improve efficiency with automation I’ll go green – reduce, reuse and recycle materials Need more tips? Read our guide on smart ways to for your business to reduce costs. Work on My Leadership Skills Leadership is a key component of small business owners. Whether you have a small team or fairly large number of people on your staff, your inter-personal skills are extremely vital to boost their morale, happiness and productivity. The new year is a good time to revisit the employee manual and making necessary improvements to make sure your staff is happy. From improving your listening skills to smart decision making, to hiring the right guy for your team, you could take many small steps to bring a big positive change in your leadership profile. The Bottom Line The success of every small business depends on their ability to make quick decisions and stick to them. Regardless of the current status of your business, it pays to revise your strategies and renew your business goals in order to grow your business and lead a happier life. Have you ever had any new year resolutions for your small business? Share with us some of your goals for the coming year. About Bento for Business Bento for Business offers a new generation of technology-driven SMART employee expense cards for SMBs, startups, nonprofits, organizations and associations in the form of a business prepaid MasterCard. You can set monthly spend limits and allow only certain purchase categories (e.g. Bob the project manager can only spend $500/week and the card only works to purchase gas, hotels and at the hardware store). Turn cards on/off in real-time and receive SMS text message or email alerts for every purchase or decline. Enjoy unmatched visibility into cash flow, eliminate expense reports, and save time & money. Use this link to learn more and start your FREE 60-day trial of Bento’s business prepaid cards.