The end of the year is a very busy time, we have a couple of things to contend with, holiday plans, visiting family and friends, lots and lots of feasting and shopping. But this period is even more challenging for business owners as they have to wrap up properly for the year.
This is very important as wrapping up properly doesn’t just help you close out on a high note, it also gets you prepared for the year to come. To aid this process, here is a checklist of what you need to do for your small business before the end of the year.
1) Get Your Financial Books in Order
Yes, we’re starting with our books, for some small businesses, this is a piece of cake and for some others, well, not so much as it can get really overwhelming. If you fall into the latter category, it’s okay, you can get the help you need and get over with it. You can schedule an appointment with an accountant or bookkeeper.
Meeting with a financial expert can help you review financial statements, and ask those pressing financial questions you’ve wanted to ask but keep forgetting.
2) Back-Up necessary information
As you wrap off for the year, it is important to back up and secure all of your business files and contact information. Do you work with a team? Ensure they do the same. Some ways to effectively back up your data include storing it on the cloud (e.g. Google Drive and Dropbox) or by saving it on an external hard drive.
3) Take an inventory of stock
If you’re a merchant, it’s high time you took stock of what you sold and what you didn’t this year. Also, take an inventory of what you have in and out of stock. If you notice any discrepancy, then this may also be a good time to investigate.
If you offer services instead, check-in with the work you’ve done this year. Going through this process ensures you can close out for the year properly.
4) Examine Your Staffing Needs for the Coming Year
Your stocks are not the only things to take inventory of in this season, why don’t you take an inventory of your current staff, and determine if you’ll need to hire more employees next year?
Still in doubt? Perhaps a year-end review will help you put things in perspective. Having this session can help you discuss the performance of your team over the year, and chat more about their future in the company. You can also encourage them to provide you with feedback about the business.
5) Revisit your business plan
Remember the business plan you made? Why don’t you take the time to revisit it? How are you doing? Are you hitting all the short- and long-term goals and objectives you had for your business? Are your financial projections still in sync? If changes have occurred, then you can edit your business plan to reflect them.
6) Examine Your Goals, and Make New Ones
Remember the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? Well, this applies to businesses too. With insights gained from your customers’ feedback, your financial statement, and your end of the year reviews you can assess how you did for the year. These learnings can also help you set S.M.A.R.T business goals for the coming year.
Closing out at the end of the year can be a challenging task, but it is manageable if you keep and follow a checklist. Not to mention, the rewards for performing this exercise are countless for the growth and success of your business.