As small business owners and entrepreneurs the end of the year marks an important milestone: we made it another year. We’re beating the odds! But before we celebrate too much it’s important to make sure our business is in tip-top shape for the coming year. Here are 7 things we need to do now to get ready to make next year even better!
- Clean house: A new calendar is a great reason to purge the junk off of your desk. Go through your files and e-mails; archive what you no longer need immediately at hand, deal with the things that need attention, and get rid of the rest. This tip makes the following six tips much easier.
- Review your year: Look at your numbers (revenue, profit margins, and other KPIs), trends, and lessons learned. Document everything. Avoid having to re-learn the lessons by tracking evidence of what works, what doesn’t, and why. An impeccable record of your history is the best way to prepare for your future.
- Review your customers: Who did you love, who did you want to strangle, and who did you actually fire? Review revenue and profit margins by client and update your target market profile as necessary
- Get your taxes records in order: Regardless of your tax schedule, every person you employ or contract needs their paperwork. By law, that paperwork must be postmarked by January 31st, contact your accountant or bookkeeper now to make sure you’re prepared when April 15 rolls around! (It’s right around the corner).
- Get informed: New laws for small businesses take effect on January 1, is anything new going to impact your business? Avoid the penalties, and be compliant before you have to be. Contact your HR attorney, CPA, and your business attorney to get informed of any changes that will affect your business.
- Review your goals: Now that you have dotted your Is and crossed your Ts, start the fun stuff. What do you want your business to achieve next year? Be SMART, set goals rather than make resolutions. Especially in business, there is a difference between a goal and a resolution. Resolutions are things you keep, goals are things you attain. You resolve to increase charitable giving. Your goal is to donate $10,000 to the local job training center by the end of next year. Nearly all successful business owners use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based) goals to achieve their goals.
- Build your strategy with your team and mentors: Once you have goals for your business, it’s crucial to get your team on board. Schedule a planning and strategy meeting with your employees, colleagues, and support system to create the plans you need to reach those goals.
We’re close to saying goodbye to another year. Was it all that you hoped it would be? Did you achieve your goals? Are you living the entrepreneurial dream yet? If not, NOW is the time to change that for the New Year! What are some of your tips or tricks for planning for the New Year? Do you have any routines or practices you’d like to share? Please let our small business owner community know, we’d love to learn from you!
Good luck and happy holidays!