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4 ways an entrepreneur can prepare for the best year ever

by Guest Author | January 20/2014 | business-budget

5 ways an entrepreneur can make this the best year ever

Want this year to be your best one ever? Here are four actions you can start today to help make that happen:

1. Create a business budget

I’m sure you already know the importance of having a personal budget for your finances, but don’t forget about one for your business, too. The ultimate goal of any business is to be successful and continue to grow, and that’s exactly what having a budget will help you achieve.

For example, once I created a budget for my business, I broke my revenue goals down into specific targets that needed to be hit each week. This took the stress out of “hopefully” being able to pay my bills each month, and gave me something concrete to strive toward.

A business budget is like a roadmap for your company that ensures you reach your destination. To get started, check out the vast array of templates from Microsoft or download this simple worksheet from Better Budgeting and customize it to fit your needs.

2. Effectively invest in your business

I always tell my clients that investing in yourself is one of the best things you can do for your business (and your sanity). But it’s also vital to understand when you can DIY or when you really should hire a professional.

This is especially important when it comes to bookkeeping and taxes for your business. It’s less stressful and beneficial to your business to hire a tax expert because they can find tax deductions you may not even realize you qualify for.

Case in point, during a recent tax season I was able to help a client get an extra $2,000 in tax savings because she qualified for some additional business deductions. This is all because I specialize in small businesses and have a pulse on tax updates.

Likewise, if your finances are simple and you don’t have a lot going on within your business, you could take an online class to become familiar with the ins-and-outs of bookkeeping and taxes.

3. Read at least one personal finance or business book

At the beginning of last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to read one finance or business book per month. And now my life and business has drastically changed because of it.

Many of my best ideas, contacts and revelations have come out of reading. Once you start reading, your creative juices can’t help but flow.

A few of my favorites include:

4. Have coffee with an inspiring entrepreneur

To accomplish your goals, it’s important to surround yourself with positive influences. A business mentor can help inspire and offer invaluable advice from their past experiences.

They can be a sounding board for your ideas, a support system, and even become an accountability partner. When I was going through a tough divorce and trying to pay off all my debt, I really needed someone to help me get through the rough patches. We all do.

I reached out to a mentor who not only helped me achieve my financial goals, but my personal ones as well. Because of her support, I was able to quit my job, start my own business and even find happiness in love again.

Take time out of your busy schedule this week to meet up with an entrepreneur who can help inspire you to make this year the best ever for you and your business.

What’s one thing you can do today to make this year the best one yet?

About the author: Carrie Smith is a solopreneur, community builder and the writer behind Careful Cents. She is on a mission to help small businesses and freelancers achieve their own version of freedom. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Yahoo! Finance and several other business websites. Find her on Twitter @carefulcents.

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