Small business owners have overcome some of the most legendary challenges to face the sector throughout the past several years, and enjoyed a variety of economic improvements in the process. All signs point to a highly advantageous financial situation in the United States next year, as small business lending, household spending, consumer confidence and a variety of other economic indicators have shown new signs of life.

Entrepreneurs can get a jump on the new year by committing to a variety of resolutions, including those related financial management, marketing, data security and other matters that hindered growth in the past 12 months. 

Kiplinger's analysis
Business forecaster Kiplinger recently released its latest economic outlook report for 2014, asserting that the new year has the makings to be a very positive time for businesses of all kinds. According to the firm, business spending is expected to increase between 4.5 percent and 5 percent next year, while short-term interest rates on commercial loans and other lines of credit are predicted to remain at historic lows.

What's more, the organization projects gross domestic product to expand by 2.6 percent next year, which is substantially higher than the estimated 1.8 percent recorded this year. Additionally, Kiplinger expects the unemployment rate to finally begin dropping lower, possibly reaching as low as 6.5 percent by the end of 2014. 

The firm noted that retail sales are expected to grow between 5.2 percent and 5.7 percent, while the trade deficit will likely narrow by roughly 5 percent amid declining oil imports. 

Set up for success
Small business owners should consider committing to these resolutions to become more competitive in the new year:

  • Leverage technology: From accounting software to cloud computing, small businesses stand to gain significant advantages by deploying new technology to modernize operational processes. 
  • Thorough loan research: While it might be nice to get approved on the first application sent out to a lender in the new year, it might not be smart to accept the loan. Entrepreneurs who conduct adequate research of all their small business lending options will often get more competitive deals on the credit.
  • IT security: Data breaches ravaged the small business community in 2013. By creating more comprehensive policies and deploying advanced security software, entrepreneurs can avoid the headaches of breach. 

Entrepreneurs in need of commercial loans to get new practices and investments in place for 2014 should consider applying with Ocean Capital. This regional lender has specialized in small business lending for decades, and wishes all entrepreneurs a very happy new year!