A businesswoman looks at a white board that contains plans and figures.
One tip to retain your energy and focus as an entrepreneur throughout 2024 is to take regular breaks away from work. — Getty Images/Tom Werner

The start of the year is a good time to take stock and plan your next business moves. Whether you’re starting a new venture, reaching the next stage of growth, or simply looking for an investment opportunity, these tips can help you make 2024 your best year yet.

Keep tabs on new business trends

If you’re looking to start a new business in 2024, begin by researching the types of products and services that will be in demand. Explore the consumer trends that will impact buying behavior over the next year and try to match your skill set or business model to these preferences.

For instance, early reports suggest that consumers will care more about value than price, sustainability will be in, and relationships will drive sales. How can your venture meet these consumer desires?

Seek out community

Entrepreneurs often work longer hours than traditional employees and can burn out if they’re not careful. Plus, entrepreneurship is often a solo pursuit. “Entrepreneurship alone can be isolating, and this isolation creates blind spots,” said Elizabeth Taylor, a trainer and consultant. “Actively seek out other solopreneurs or join local business groups.”

Joining an industry group, signing up for a networking event, or finding a business partner can help avert isolation and further your business idea. One of the biggest themes in 2024 is human connection: Consumers and businesses alike are focusing on building relationships to combat the intense prevalence of tech in our everyday lives. Try to meet people offline — not just on social media sites.

Getting a new venture off the ground is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to take breaks to avoid burning out.

Improve your financial management skills

At some point in your entrepreneurial career, you may need to apply for a loan or pitch your idea to investors. One of the biggest factors influencing whether your pitch is successful is the financial model you include in your plan.

Traditional lenders may also examine your personal credit to determine whether to extend business credit. The bottom line: It’s important to learn how to manage finances if you plan to start and run a company.

“You can start by keeping track of your spending, making a budget, being realistic with your spending and savings, paying your bills on time, and start making small investments,” wrote Entrepreneur Beginnings. “Through these small steps, you can learn to master your money which will help you on the path of entrepreneurship where you have to handle finances for a business.”

There are dozens of online courses that can help you learn more about financial management. Alternatively, you can always outsource this expertise to a trained financial planner.

[Read more: The 9 Business Resources for Young Entrepreneurs]

Work on your speaking skills

Networking gives you access to the right partners, investors, and potential customers. Financial management will help you back up your idea with the right data. But it’s speaking skills that will really make your business idea stand out.

“The importance of speaking confidently as an aspiring entrepreneur can’t be overstated. Whether pitching to investors, communicating with clients, or making conversation at an event, the way you talk about your business and its potential can influence how others see it, too,” wrote Harvard Business School.

Even veterans of public speaking sometimes need practice. Toastmasters, Ignite, and PechaKucha offer opportunities to get in front of an audience and deliver your idea with confidence. Or you can work with a mentor who can give you direct feedback on your speaking skills.

Protect your energy

Many people believe entrepreneurship is all about hustle: The harder you work, and the more energy you give, the more successful you will be. Starting and running a business takes a lot of time and dedication. But getting a new venture off the ground is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to take breaks to avoid burning out.

“Something as small as a quick snack break during the workday or something larger like a vacation can make a massive difference in your productivity,” wrote Indeed.

Make time for work-life balance throughout the year. Finding time to step away from your idea can help refresh your energy and focus to make 2024 a great year.

[Read more: Feeling Burnt Out? 5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Do to Reenergize]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.