‘New Year, New Me’ is something you hear a lot during December. As we over-indulge on festive food, drinks at the office Christmas party, treats with friends and family and maybe spend a little longer than usual down the pub, it’s no surprise that many of us vow to make a change as soon as January hits.

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep, but if realistic goals are set, you could find that making changes both in your personal and professional life are much easier to do than you might think.

As a business owner, a new year is filled with new opportunities, whether that be the chance to take on new clients, learn new skills or expand on the foundations you built in 2022.

It’s the perfect time to reflect on the year you’ve just had, plan activities and set goals that you’d like to achieve. Taking a step back and assessing your profits, growth and partnerships are a great foundation for a prosperous year to come.

No matter what industry you work within, there are always things that you can change or develop to ensure you have a prosperous 2023.

Read on to see what you should be doing, ready to hit the ground running this January.

Look back at 2022 and fix what hasn’t worked

Fixing issues that have arisen over the years is key to making sure nothing is holding back your business progression in 2023. Resolving any hiccups within your business processes and making sure everything can run as smoothly as possible is something that should take high priority as you enter the New Year.

Encourage your staff to identify things that may be hindering efficiency within their day-to-day jobs. Getting information from those that are working day in, day out on the area that needs addressing will give you a much better insight into what you can do to make a positive change.

Better control of your business finance

Good financial management is critical when it comes to projecting how well business will be. Work with your accountant to look at your incomings and outgoings, ensuring your books are balanced. Tracking your cashflow to make sure expenses are covered and your goals are achievable will make for a profitable new year.

Once you have a projection in place, you can make adjustments monthly to make sure your business continues to thrive, in what may be difficult circumstances.

Use FreeAgent to track your receipts and expenses

As contractor accountants, we partner with FreeAgent to make sure come tax season, you’re not digging through drawers full of receipts and invoices to complete your self-assessment tax return to send to HMRC.

Making Tax Digital has been well received by so many, purely for this reason. It takes away the option of disorganisation, leading to less stress and less mistakes, which often leads to bigger issues.

FreeAgent bookkeeping software comes as standard when you are a client of Gorilla Accounting. It helps you, and your accountant, stay on top of everything that you need regarding your finances. Thousands of small business owners, contractors, locums, and sole traders use it as it gives real-time access, helping you and your accountant quickly make informed decisions on the go, as it can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

FreeAgent is designed to keep your receipts, invoices, transactions and expenses organised and easy to retrieve, so doing your self-assessment or submitting your corporation tax is easy.

Review the technology you use within your business

Alongside FreeAgent are so many other business softwares that can help boost your business. These could help your staff with productivity, or could help staff save precious time by making certain processes automated instead of being manually done by you and your staff.

Identifying areas that can be improved will help you decide if a certain software is needed, and whether it would be cost effective to invest.

Schedule regular meetings with partners, including your accountant

The more your accountant knows you and your business, the better informed they will be to help you when it comes to your finances. Building good relationships with suppliers and partners in general is crucial to your business. They can help you develop ideas and guide you down the correct routes. Making sure you speak regularly, either over the phone or via Zoom if you can’t see each other face to face, is very important.

Your accountant will help you understand any parts of your finances that are hard to grasp, and provide information and insightful knowledge when you need it. This can help your business growth and sustainability,

Find, and accept, more contracts

Expanding your portfolio throughout 2023 could well be another resolution that you feel you should make, whether that be as a contractor or as a small business. Acquiring new business means you are receiving multiple sources of income, giving you that extra security in case a client leaves you. It helps you to expand your portfolio too, which is never a bad idea. Just make sure you have the resources to fulfil your promises!

But how do you go about acquiring new business, especially if your sector is saturated with competitors. This leads us onto the next resolution…

Make sure you have a strong brand, and a strong online presence

This may be easier said than done, especially if your knowledge is limited in this area. But it is increasingly more important to have a platform online that customers and clients can find you on.

If you do not already have a website, it could be time to invest. Ensuring you’re visible across social media platforms is also increasingly more important than ever.

In terms of acquiring new business, invest in online marketing help if you really want to become more visible online. They will be able to advise the correct steps for your business, whether that’s focusing on organic search and improving your SEO, setting up PPC advertising on Google, or investing in some social media advertising.

Invest in training yourself and your staff

Sometimes, as someone who is self-employed, it can feel like you don’t have enough minutes in the day to complete everything you need to do anyway, both at work and in your home life. However, it is so important to invest some time and money in yourself for development, both personally and professionally.

When you’ve been in the trade for so many years, you know the ins and outs of your skillset and it can all too often feel a little stagnant. It’s always good to keep on top of new legislations, develop new skills and offer new services. Development means you could even charge more for your services than you have been. On top of that, it helps to give you greater job satisfaction, helping you enjoy your work even more during 2023.

If you don’t have one, get a business account

If you’re operating as a limited company, a separate business account is required. This is completely separate to accounts owned by directors or shareholders, and is the place where all incomings and outgoings will come from. These include receiving payments from clients, paying out salaries and paying tax and National Insurance.

Differentiating between business and personal finances is very important for business success and protects you should anything happen.

At Gorilla Accounting, we have partnered with Mettle, which is a free business account for small businesses, sole traders, limited company owners and locums. Customers can apply for an account and connect it to FreeAgent, which Gorilla also partner with. You can learn more about Mettle on our website, here.

Improve your work-life balance

Being self-employed often means you work more hours than the standard 9-5. Especially if you’re building the foundations of your business, it can be hard to differentiate between work and life. However, it is much harder to run your own business if you’re pouring from an empty cup.

Burnout is something that a lot of business owners contend with. Making sure you set aside time within your day to eat well, exercise, socialise and sleep will help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your productivity when you are working.

Give back when you can

It goes without saying that many people, both personally and in business, are struggling up and down the country. With a recession in full force, rising energy and food costs and an all time high in interest rates, people can’t afford to support small local charities and non for profit organisations like they have done previously.

If you’re in a position to give back to the community, you can make a big difference. Why not look into sponsoring a charity, organise an event, make a donation or provide a discounted service to help them out?

New Year, New Possibilities

As the new year begins, the possibilities are endless in what you can achieve as a self employed business owner or contractor. Making sure you have a plan, and people around you that you trust to guide you into making the correct decisions, is so important.

At Gorilla Accounting, we pride ourselves on offering a personal, expert service, and we’re looking forward to supporting you throughout a prosperous 2023.

If you don’t already use Gorilla for your accounting, now is the perfect time to switch. We guarantee you won’t regret it. Switching is so easy – fill in our online form here, or learn more about switching to Gorilla by visiting our website.