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Business management

New year resolutions for your business

The end of the year could be a good time to take stock of your goals and usher in 2023 with a new year resolution or two to boost your business.

While some economic factors, like the war in Ukraine, rising inflation and high energy costs might be out of our control, company owners can still take steps to mitigate their effects, and ensure their businesses thrive in the coming year.

Here are some new year resolutions that you might consider for your business:

Start using a cash flow forecasting tool

In unpredictable times, it’s even more important to keep very tight control of cash flow. Read our article with practical advice on ways you can keep on track:

How to help manage your cash flow in uncertain times

Revisit your business plan

As businesses evolve, so must their business plans, and what better time to take stock of your progress and reassess goals than the beginning of a new year? Your current plan may have been written before the events that took place in 2022, like the war in Ukraine, increased interest rates, and higher energy prices, so it’s a good idea to take these factors into account and revise your business plan accordingly.

Be realistic when you’re editing your plan, using all of the information that you have on hand about your industry and the wider economy. And don’t hesitate to share your business plan with your financial adviser, accountant or bank. They will be honest with you about how achievable your goals are and will help steer your business in the right direction.

Giving to local causes solidifies businesses within their communities and can raise the profile of the business within the community

Cut back on energy consumption

Gas and electricity are one of the biggest overheads for most businesses and the price rises seen in 2022 have made it vital that energy costs are kept under tight control. It’s a good idea to remind your staff that energy usage can affect profitability, and encourage them to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Everyone should follow some simple steps to help keep your company’s energy bill in check:

  • always turn off lights when not in use
  • power down computers at night
  •  turn heating and air conditioning down when possible
  • charge appliances and electric vehicles (EVs) at night when energy is cheaper
  • work from home to save on office bills
  • consider installing solar panels and heat pumps

Motivate staff regularly

People are the most important element of many businesses, so taking the time to communicate with your staff is time well spent. Inform them of the business’s goals for 2023 and encourage them to focus on achieving or exceeding them. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to re-evaluate your objectives, so meet with your workforce to outline the challenges ahead – as well as the positive implications of the business hitting its targets. Managers could also ask each member of staff to suggest one idea to help improve the business in 2023 and offer prizes for the best suggestions.

Give to charity

Businesses can become a force for good when they make time for charitable work, especially during an uncertain economy. Besides the financial help companies can offer the most vulnerable, charity work brings staff members together and creates a sense of belonging amongst colleagues. Giving to local causes solidifies businesses within their communities and can raise the profile of the business within the community. Charitable efforts can take many different forms, such as fun runs, cricket matches and sponsored bike trips, and digital tools on social media now make it easy to find sponsors and secure donations.

Review your business premises

Many firms are finding that they have more space than they need now as more employees become hybrid workers or work from home. The start of the year might be a good time to assess whether your premises are still fit for purpose and investigate whether some or all of your space could be sublet to another company or be redesigned to accommodate a different business process. Remember, unused space eats into your bottom line and the sooner any surplus is addressed, the better.

Make a commitment to the environment

With so many other events taking place in the economy, it’s easy to forget how urgent the climate crisis is, but it’s a problem that every business must address. The new year is a great opportunity to make plans to lower your business’s carbon footprint and set out goals to achieve net zero. Start by looking for easy gains like switching to LED lighting and reducing unnecessary business trips. Then, you might want to look into more substantial measures, like improving insulation and replacing petrol and diesel vehicles in your fleet with EVs

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the NatWest Group Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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