by Theresa B. – Get free updates of new post here.
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. ~ Paul J. Meyer
Christmas is a joyous holiday. Filled with mouthfuls of cookies, yummy food, and much more. It’s usually a time when businesses opt to take some time off. For those who have their financial year end in the 12th month of the year, there are aches upon returning from holidays. If you haven’t been up keeping the organization of your business, it will probably be crunch time. It is better to get started on it now to position your business for greater success in the new year.
In the last few months, I’ve been meeting many entrepreneurs and small business owners. A common theme surfaces in every conversation. In the initial workflow assessment conversations that I have with potential clients, it is astounding to hear that they don’t know what their actual numbers are month after month. They outsource their numbers to a bookkeeper, but unfortunately, don’t know what their profit and loss are until tax season. If you’re in a similar boat, it might be time to have a heart to heart with your bookkeeper to see if they can deliver this report back to you in a timely fashion.
If you’re one to not really, or, care about your numbers, you may be hindering your own business growth. Without keeping track of your numbers, how do you REALLY know if you’re profitable? You may be keeping tabs on your revenue, but what about expenses? It is critical to understand where you are to efficiently plan for the new year, as well as budget and forecast growth for your business.
There’s another benefit when you know your numbers month after month. When your year-end has arrived, you won’t be rushing to get it all in order, or stressing out if you’re in the positive or negative. By providing your expenses on a monthly basis to your bookkeeper (or having a member of your team capture it in the accounting software), you’ll be closer to your profit number. It’s important to take some steps to position your business to be in great shape for the upcoming year. Here’s a simple business year-end checklist that can help any business, no matter the size, to have a better New Year.
Table of Contents
Preparing For Business Year End
1. Take Inventory and Update Your Accounts
TASK: Whether you’re updating your own accounts or someone else does, this is still an activity you should practice in your business. List all sales made before the year end, but again, have outstanding payments. Record the amount, invoice number, invoice date, and if they are not paid before the end of the year, write a brief explanation.
If you sell products, conduct an inventory assessment and compare it to your last inventory report. It’s important to account for how much capital you have tied up in your current inventory.
If you don’t sell products, it’s a good idea to take inventory of your office equipment, electronics, office supplies, etc. If new repairs or refreshments are needed, you can forecast that into your next year’s budget. If you’re leasing or have contracts for some of this equipment, review the arrangements to ensure the terms apply to your current business.
BENEFIT: You’re miles ahead now with your gathered documentation before tax season. You’ll have more time now to:
- Consider things like making contributions.
- Update business equipment and supplies.
- Plan your expenses and vendor payables.
- Create marketing campaigns for current product inventory.
By having more time, you can also begin planning with your accountant on how to increase deductions for the current tax season.
2. Get Organized
TASK: Take some time to declutter and clean your office. This means getting rid of papers collecting dust on your desk or converting them into electronic documents stored in Cloud systems, or tools such as Evernote. Take the time to review your digital files, including your desktop and clean out items that are no longer relevant. Take a review of your electronic document management.
- Do the file names make sense? Consider using the following naming structure: [YYYY]-[MM]-[DD] [Document Name] [Client] [Rev#] This will allow for easier searching in the operating system.
- Search for duplicates and remove them.
- Things that should be filed include customer invoices, receipts, statements, contracts, proposals, vendor invoices, payroll, etc.
- Archive files and folders that are no longer active but still require records.
BENEFIT: This will bring on the feeling of being ready to take on more for the New Year.
- You’ll feel like you have more room to handle more business and growth.
- You’ll feel refreshed now that your document management and the office is organized.
3. Update, Protect, and Save
TASK: Does your current technology need an upgrade? There are plenty of great deals available for gift-giving. Take a look at business software applications. Compare your current subscriptions and see if there’s room for negotiations. Review to see if you need ALL of those subscriptions and whether you can downgrade or need to upgrade. If I see a massive deal for new customers within my subscription, I would reach out to my service provider and ask if there’s an opportunity to save. They’ll be able to do something for you. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you do not read consistently. Review all your current plans, and see where you can cut back on. An example would be office supplies and cost. If you don’t ask, you won’t know! Also, be sure that your business is well protected. This includes your business data and customer data.
- Are your current subscriptions working for you? Get connected with your service providers!
- Review all of your subscriptions, free or paid.
- Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you are not interested in, or do not further your business or personal life.
- Are you data well protected?
- Is your customer’s data well protected?
BENEFIT: There are always massive deals that you can capitalize on, not only with equipment, smartphones, but also with your hosting services, subscriptions, and other cloud services.
- You’ll find savings where you’ve never thought of before.
- Your inbox will be lightened and not overloaded with unused subscriptions.
- You can feel safe and trustworthy that your customers’ faith in you, and your business, will not be compromised.
4. Create A Budget For The New Year
TASK: Even if you don’t have all of your statements for the current year, don’t let it stop you from planning for the upcoming year. By reviewing all of your current accounts, revenue, expenses, and subscriptions, you likely already have seen a pattern of the things you need to budget and forecast for the next year. Here are some examples of expenses you’d want to include in your budget:
- Annual license fees
- Training Fees
- Annual Subscriptions
- Insurance fees
- Membership fees
BENEFIT: You’ll have a better overview on where to focus your efforts.
- You can budget higher revenue for specific months with higher costs.
- You’ll have a high-level overview of your profits for the year.
5. Reward Your Team
TASK: Whether or not you have employees, team members, business partners or even as a solopreneur, business is never done alone. Come up with a list of those who have impacted your business this year, and who contributed to your business growth. Take a moment to reach out to them and send them a thank you gift. If you’re on a tight budget, even a card with a swag or a $25 gift card is more than enough.
- Make a list of your business builders.
- Send a Social Media shout out to them.
- Send them a card with a small token of appreciation.
BENEFIT: Success is together. By elevating others, you raise yourself and strengthen trust, faith, and loyalty from them.
- They’ll be more inclined to work harder with you in the new year.
- They’ll become active ambassadors for your brand willingly and authentically.
- They know you give back and appreciate all the efforts whether big or small.
Preparing For A Successful New Year
Sometimes the new year comes and goes, and we can’t tell the difference. By beginning your business year end process, it sets your mind forward to welcoming a new year with a new plan and targets. If you’re taking some time off, hopefully, you’ll have a refreshing, relaxing, and rejuvenating break without work distractions (Find out how with my post about a Distraction-Free Christmas).
If you haven’t downloaded a copy of the business year end checklist, don’t miss out on this chance!
P.S. Overwhelmed and overloaded? I can help. I’ll sort through all the latest operations and systems info, find the best resources, and put it in short daily emails that keep you in the loop, so you can easily make informed assessments without spending more time researching it.
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