Business owners, it’s that time of the year again! No, not the time when you rush out on Christmas Eve to buy a gift for that extra guest that made it to your party (whose cousin is that again?). We’re talking about going over your end of the year business checklist. Here are the top 5 areas you should look at and take care of to end the year with a bang!
Area # 1: Your Team
Evaluate your team
Now is the time to go through your team and offer feedback to anyone not performing to expectations. We know what some of you are thinking: “What? But it’s the holidays!” Yes, but it’s your business. It is also important to reward your superstars and top performers. They’ll feel good. You’ll feel good. And that’s what the holidays are about.
Feeling the Santa spirit? Check these tips to make your employees feel it’s Christmas all year round.
Tie-up your Payroll and Benefits
Before the end of the year, make sure you address any changes and adjustments needed in payroll and benefits. This includes things you may be overlooking. Bonuses and gifts, for example, or getting your contractor’s’ information upfront.
Area # 2: Your Numbers
Organize your records and run some useful reports
When the year comes to an end, we take the time to evaluate our achievements and our mistakes, our wins and our losses. Your small business is no different. This is the perfect time to reach for all your records. Use them to create a complete financial report. This should have 3 components. First, a profit and loss report (a list of gain and losses throughout the year). This is the best way to foresee what to expect next year. Second, a cash flow report (an easy way to see how you spent your money). Last but not least, a balance sheet (a good way to know what to expect for next year).
Plan ahead: create a budget
“What?! Already planning and thinking about next year?” Yes, we are serious about this. It’s important for you to consider: what did you learn from your performance this year? Based on this experience, how can you grow next year? Now you can take that knowledge and get to the drawing board so you can start setting goals and targets. In other words, you have to start creating your budget for next year. At this point, it’s vital that you give a thought to securing the resources you’ll need to meet your goals for the next year. It is very important that you don’t lose focus if you realize you don’t have enough resources to hit your goals. Keep pushing as best you can!
Need an extra Santa helper? Consider using some software to make your budget for next year.
Count your inventory
Before counting the 12 clock struck on New Year’s Eve, do yourself a favor and conduct an inventory count in your warehouse. Adjust your records if necessary. If you notice any discrepancies between the stock product and your records, consider conducting an investigation. Somebody may have been naughty after all…
Area # 3: Your vendors and clients
Update your vendor information
Go to the file where you keep your vendors and suppliers information and make necessary adjustments. Is their contact info still the same? Are there any vendors you’re not using anymore? Do you think you should find new ones for a specific product?
Contact those “naughty” clients
Yep, the end of the year is also the time to take care of those pending issues where you have been procrastinating. Outstanding bills, unpaid invoices, and clients that owe you money should be number one on your list of priorities. Collecting this money before the end of the year will help you create a clean and well-deserved slate.
Area # 4: Your taxes. Even if you don’t want to.
And we will remind you again: your taxes
Now’s the time to make sure that everything is in order to report your taxes (everyone’s favorite subject, right?). If you don’t, you will be delaying any financing opportunities you may want to consider to achieve your goals. Also, secure all your tax savings while making sure your books are in proper order to get debt financing. And one last thing to keep in mind: if you’re underreporting, it’s going to hurt your chances of getting a loan and growing your business.
Area # 5: Your computer
Check and update your website
Do yourself a favor and set apart some time to sit in front of the computer. Go thoroughly through your business’ website. Make sure all the tabs, links, videos, etc. are working properly. Don’t forget to check your “Contact us” form! Something as simple as that may be one of the main reasons you are in business!
Backup your files
And this means all your files. Just in case the Christmas Grinch hacks your computer. This includes your accounting files, client files, creative briefs, important emails, lists of contacts… you name it. It may sound daunting, but think now of all those poor elves sorting millions of letters! Now, you can sleep sound knowing everything is backed up.
Now you have closed out for the end of the year (and hopefully, using this tasks list), you had the chance to evaluate how 2017 went, and you have learned a few things from your previous year’s achievements or mistakes. Now it’s time to make new goals, and go for them!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!