Whether you run a side hustle or work freelance, now is a good time to make sure you're equipped to successfully manage your business. Here are four areas to focus onto keep on track:

  1. Business Structure. If you're just starting out, get professional advice to determine the business structure that works you. Whether you choose to form a sole proprietorship or corporation, it's a critical step on your path to long-term growth and helping you establish an identity for your business.

  2. Finances. Don't miss collecting on any invoices by signing up for accounting and invoicing software. Create a profit and loss statement for your current and previous fiscal year to track how well your business has done after expenses. If cash flow kept you from taking advantage of business opportunities last year, consider getting a loan or line of credit.

  3. Business planning. Take advantage of slow periods to make or review plans for the year ahead. A good business plan will help you run your business intentionally, rather than reactively. Break down your goals by month and be specific. For example, aim to cut expenses by 5 per cent, enter a new sales territory or increase revenue by 25 per cent. You can't effectively do what you don't plan for. Finally, create a yearly calendar to mark promotions, marketing initiatives and critical dates using tools.

  4. Performance evaluation. Use your financial statements and client feedback to review how your business did last year, then strategize how you can adjust your tactics this year to get better results. Consider a business coach or mentor to help you identify problem areas and troubleshoot ways to achieve your goals. Ask friends for recommendations or join business networking events to meet potential mentors.

By making a plan and monitoring your progress throughout the year, you'll have a better chance of reaching your goals. Find more tips online at ownr.co.

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