Success in business requires meticulous planning, and today is the best time to start planning for the new year. You must plan ahead of the new year in order to start off on an inspiring note in 2017. Include these key items in your business to-do lists, and start your new year with a bang.Set Your Business ResolutionsDecember is the perfect time to set your business resolutions for the new year. Set some SMART goals for your small business and lay out your strategies to achieve them. Here are few quick important goals for every small business that is willing to succeed in 2017.Manage Cashflow More EffectivelyImprove Digital Presence of Your BusinessBoost Social Media Presence of Your BusinessReduce Business CostsWork on Leadership SkillsRevisit Your Business PlanA strategic business plan is the cornerstone of every successful SMB. However, many businesses lose sight of their long-term goals in the pursuit of short-term gains, letting their business plan take a backseat. December is an ideal time to take a pause and revisit your goals to see if they are still aligned with your business. If not, you may think of redefining your business goals and make necessary amendments. Sound too complicated? Here’s a tool that lets you write a customized business plan and forecast the success of your business as well.Build a Promotional CalendarAs a small businesses owner, you must spend your marketing budget wisely in order to keep your business costs down. This requires you to know exactly how to spend your slim marketing budget. For example, there are several annual events and holidays in a year, and it’s important that you choose the ones that are more aligned to your business. A promotional calendar helps you visualize your marketing strategy, lay out plans well in advance, and allocate your budget accordingly. What’s more, a business promotional calendar can help you:Incorporate Seasonality into Your OfferingsTweak Strategies based on Past PerformanceCreate a Schedule for PromotionsMonitor PerformanceTrack ResultsThere are many smart tools to build a promotional calendar for your business. If you’re looking for a free tool to start off quickly, check out the Simple Marketing Calendar Template.Consider Your Hiring NeedsAre you running your business with a skeleton crew? Then it’s time you thought about your hire strategies for the new year. There are many effective ways to hire employees for your business, but if your budget is too tight for hiring full-time professionals, consider alternatives such as temps, freelancers, and virtual assistants.It’s the perfect time to set a goal on how to expand staff and go about your hiring endeavors. If you’re looking for effective tips to hire employees on a limited budget, here are some great tips.Invest in TechnologyAccording to Ian Altman, technology is going to be more crucial in driving success for small businesses in 2017, be it a mobile-friendly website, content marketing, social media, or email marketing, technology is going to take the center stage of in the day-to-day affairs of small businesses. It is, therefore, the most appropriate time to plan on how to incorporate technology and entice tech-savvy consumers to your business.A small investment in technology can potentially make a huge difference to your business. For example, many businesses that started using Bento’s business prepaid cards improved their cash flow and witnessed a major boost in their operational efficiency and employee productivity.Create a Conference PlanConferences and trade shows are indispensable tools for small businesses to sharpen their professional skills and grow their business network. No matter which industry you belong to, you can always find a host of trade shows and conferences you can join and benefit from.We have compiled an exhaustive list of popular conferences, company events and trade shows for moving companies as well as pest control businesses across the United States and Canada.It’s the Right TimeIf you want to expand your business in 2017, now is the right time to start planning. From planning marketing strategies to hiring manpower, to taking integrating a new employee expense solution, you can set the right tone for your business by chalking out strategies and planning in advance.What are your tips for small businesses to succeed in the new year? Please, let us know in the comments below.About Bento for BusinessBento for Business offers a new generation of technology-driven SMART employee expense cards for SMBs, 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.