A Year-End Check List for your Small Business

What comes to mind when you think of your business's year-end? Is it gathering all those receipts accumulated throughout the year or the completion of taxes? Is it business planning? Perhaps it's simply the thought of when you'll find the time to get everything done. Thankfully, with a little planning and organization, you can approach year-end with confidence. This month, I'm excited to share some tips on how to prepare your business for its year-end, so you can transition into the new year with ease.

Review your current results: Before you plan for the future, it's important to know where you currently stand and how you got there. This means reviewing your current Business Plan. With specific and measurable goals, the Plan provides a benchmark for tracking your results for the year. From there, your Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow Statement can be used to review your financial performance and to develop the Plan for next year. Understanding key ratios such as current ratio, debt to equity, profit margin, inventory turnover and age of accounts receivable will also highlight how your business performed, and where there's room for improvement next year. If you are unfamiliar with one or more of these terms, or what they mean for your business, you can learn more here. It may seem like an endless cycle, but the preparation pays off! 

Prepare your tax paperwork: By following a well-structured Business Plan, this task will be much less tedious. I recommend utilizing the services of a tax professional to help make the process even easier. By doing so, you can ensure your tax return is accurate, and whether or not you qualify for any other deductions. 

Employee feedback: Your employees are critical to the success of your business. Towards the end of the year, take some time to provide employee evaluations so that each team member knows where they stand and what you expect of them. Keeping good records of each employee can help you stay organized in assessing performance and productivity of your team members.  If you’re a sole proprietor looking to expand and hire, consider these tips on how to hire the right people for your organization.

Customer review: Like your employees, your customers are essential for your business. Year-end is a perfect time to look at where your sales have come from and where there is potential to grow from within or outside of your existing customer base. Creating touch points, such as e-Newsletters, social media posts, personal outreach, and customer surveys, can also help maintain strong customer loyalty and retention throughout the year. 

Set goals for the new year: The end of the year is a natural time to reflect on your business's success over the past year. Did your business accomplish what it set out to do this year? Why or why not? As you reflect, set goals for the year ahead to help keep you motivated as your business grows, and consider reviewing them regularly to stay on track.

With some planning and organization, you can approach year-end with confidence. Do you have any tips for preparing for your business for year-end? Contact us 902.492.6500.

Revised Jul. 4, 2021

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