It’s always good to mark the end of your year by reflecting on it and reviewing your business. Look at where it’s gone and the goals you want to set for next year. We’ve created a year-end checklist that helps your business wrap up this year. It allows you to learn to set goals and create a plan for the year to come. The list doesn’t need to be carried out in full. You can choose which are the most important for your business right now.
It’s important to set goals on generating sales and one of the best ways to do that is through really good marketing. Review your business plan, make sure it’s up to date and reflect your goals for the new year. Business plans should change as the world changes. Review how you spend marketing dollars and see what worked and what didn’t. Think about getting rid of expenses that haven’t given you a positive ROI.
We’re not suggesting you cut off supporting your community. It’s more about the money you spend on marketing strategies that haven’t worked. Look at your budget and how much you can spend on new strategies and new markets. You may want to look at exporting as well. There could be an international market out there that needs your goods or services.
Year-end accounting can help you make important decisions about where to spend money when it comes to your business. Make sure your bookkeeping is up to date at the end of the year so you’re not scrambling during tax time. If you’re currently behind, you may want to hire a bookkeeper. Figure out if you want to use the same accounting software.
Take a look at your financial statements. If you can’t seem to figure out what any of it means, we’d suggest getting an accounting professional to help you out with balancing your books. You can always run reports like account receivable ageing to see what you need to do to get people to pay what they owe you. You could add incentives like discounts for those who pay early and penalties for slow payments. Run an account payable report as well to see if your business is paying what it owes on time. You can hurt your business credit if you have late repayments. Again, if all of this seems overwhelming, talk with a CPA or a tax preparer. They can review your financial reports, save you money on income tax, and help you improve your finances. It’s better to do this at the end of the year instead of waiting for tax time.
We know that you’d probably rather be doing anything else than financial tasks. You have expertise in your business field and it’s probably not fussing with finances all the time. It’s important that you pay attention to your finances so that you know if you’re wasting money or not. You should review credit cards you use for your business and see if you should shop around for a better deal. Also, review your pricing strategy and consider raising your prices and rates.
Take a good look at your bank statements as though you were a lender. Take a look at average monthly revenues, days when your balance was low, and whatever else could impact your ability to qualify for business financing. Look at the fees and benefits your current bank account is offering. Make sure it’s right for you. If you have been using a personal account for business, upgrade to a business bank account.
Look at your business expenses and see what costs you can get rid of. Get a line of credit if you don’t have one. This is in the event of a crisis or if an opportunity comes up and you need fast cash. This is good short-term financing you can use in an emergency. Review any of the business loans your currently have and see if you can save money by refinancing business debt consolidation.
Review contracts you have with your vendors and suppliers. Think about negotiating payment terms to improve your cash flow. Check business and personal credit reports as well. This can play a major factor in decisions you make in the future.
You’ve seen the crisis of the pandemic and how it reshaped our world. There were natural disasters and more cyber ransom attacks than ever before. No business was left unaffected. For these reasons, it’s important to consider what you want out of business insurance. Review what your current coverage is and make sure it’s still meeting the needs of your changing business.
You may want to shop around for insurance to save in costs and discuss coverage with an insurance agent to make sure you’re always covered. Get some insurance that helps your business survive the worst like cyber-attacks and data breaches.
Lastly, take a moment to reflect on all the successes you’ve had this past year. Look at the positive rewards and the things you’ve learned. Get excited for the following year and how much more you can grow. By using this checklist and planning ahead, you might just have the most successful year yet.