Setting business goals for 2016

Many Illinois entrepreneurs see the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to make positive changes in their personal and business lives. While personal goals such as losing weight, getting into shape or quitting smoking are usually easy to identify, business objectives are sometimes more difficult to pin down. Business owners hoping for a prosperous 2016 should avoid vague goals such as increasing sales or spending more time on marketing and instead set specific and clearly defined targets to aim for.

A prudent first step for owners who wish to grow their companies is studying the books to identify the activities that bring in the most profit. Spending more time doing productive work is the foundation of success, but business owners often find themselves bogged down with unproductive tasks that could be delegated to others. They should also explore ways to develop recurring income streams.

Reducing overhead is another popular New Year's resolution for businesses, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs may achieve this goal by going beyond standard cost-cutting practices. The Internet is becoming more and more important for small and medium sized businesses, and a little work can lead to a significant improvement in search engine rankings. Drawing more customers from the Internet for free may allow business owners to trim their marketing budgets significantly or put the money they spend to more productive use.

January is also a time when many people decide to take action and start commercial ventures that they have been planning for some time. While they are often eager to get started before their enthusiasm begins to wane, they should be aware that some of their most important business decisions will be made during these early days. An attorney with experience in business formations could explain to prospective new business owners the various types of business entity that they can select from and the liability and tax implications of partnerships, corporations and LLCs.

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