While most of us are busy getting holiday gifts and planning dishes for Christmas gatherings, company owners have masses of obligations to fulfil at the end of the year. This is the time of year when your small business needs the most care, from examining bookkeeping to monitoring inventory and calculating spending.
Looking back on how your company fared is vital as a small business owner so that you can start the new year off well. It’s critical to review everything that transpired, whether you’ve accomplished your annual targets or are still a few steps away from achieving your objectives. Business planning that is on point permits you to analyze the many parts of your trade and aids in correct goal setting for the future year.
Take a look at these year-end business planning recommendations to help your firm get off to a strong start in 2020.
So, where do you stand right now?
You won’t be able to tell how well your company is doing at the end of the year unless you verify its present position and status. You must assess your company’s entire performance and determine whether or not you have fulfilled your objectives. From finances to staff performance, it’s critical to evaluate every part of your business. This helps you to assess what went wrong, places where you need to improve, and things you could have done differently to achieve success.
Small business owners frequently evaluate three major areas to establish the current condition of their company: finances, objectives, and taxes; however, this will vary depending on your company’s needs. You can include operational goals, administrative issues, system upgrades, and much more in your plan. Essentially, you’ll want to:
- Make a detailed record of your accomplishments over the year.
- Examine your employees’ performance to ascertain if their objectives were reached.
- Examine your annual expenses and make a note of any residual funds.
- Revisit your financial objectives.
If there’s one part of your business that has to be thoroughly examined, it’s your financial goals; after all, you started a business to make money. Focusing on the financial aspect of your business can help you shape and direct it toward good monetary resource allocation, where to put money, and when not to invest dollars. Consider how you handled earlier debts, how they affected your operations, and how they would impact your company’s future.
Don’t forget to examine your price strategy as well. Keep in mind that you need a long-term company plan that can be tweaked to get better outcomes. Examine how you charge clients and see if you’re overcharging or undercharging them.
- Make sure your pricing reflects the amount of time, money, and effort you’ve invested.
- Your balance sheet should show your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity.
- Make a cash flow statement to see where the money went; inflow vs. outflow.
- Examine your financial objectives.
Don’t forget to plan your taxes!
Without effective tax management, your year-end company planning would be incomplete. No business owner, large or small, wants to pay taxes that are more than what has been estimated. It’s a good idea to go through all of your taxes and make any required revisions while there’s still time. To prevent erroneous calculations and uncertain tactics, utilize accounting software or meet with an accountant to review your options for managing your company’s taxes.
Find a legal and efficient approach to reduce your tax return after reviewing your records. Some insurance premiums are deductible, so putting business insurance in place can help you reduce your tax bill. However, avoid techniques like the zero-out strategy, which may do more harm than benefit to your organization. Other ways to save money on taxes include:
- Divvying up your earnings and optimizing your depreciation claims
- Changing business partnerships and sole proprietorships
- Changing the present business structure to a corporation
Make sure your social media outlets and data are up to date
This is also an excellent opportunity to review your social media profiles and make any required modifications to your company’s image. To boost your company’s image, start by removing redundant sections from your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts and replacing them with fresh, intriguing areas. Make sure your avatar, profile image, “about us” section, cover photo, and contact information are all current.
Ensure your IT is being managed well
Check the integrity of your software, systems, and digital data as well. Even if you operate a tiny business, having a competent IT department, or at the very least hiring a certified IT specialist to supervise your trade’s digital demands, is critical. It will be simpler to operate your firm in 2020 if you have a well-organized, secure, and transparent database. Other information technology-based actions you should consider include:
- Back up your data to a secure location like the cloud or an external hard drive.
- Keep a digital backup of key papers and information, such as contracts and agreements.
- Use a clear, easy-to-navigate file structure.
Set next year’ objectives
It’s time to take things to the next level by defining objectives for your firm once you’ve completed your year-end business planning. Visualize where you want your company to be in 12 months’ time. Do you want to emphasize expansion, improve sales and profit, open a new branch, focus on marketing and advertising, reach the worldwide market, or join e-commerce trade, for example?
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Remember to keep your objectives SMART: precise, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and time-bound. Don’t allow setbacks from previous years to prevent you from meeting your present goals. 2022 is about to begin, which means you have 365 days to accomplish all of your goals. To do so, follow these steps:
- Set new goals for your company in the direction you want it to go.
- Create an action plan or a collection of methods to help you achieve your goals.
- Start working and make the most of every minute to make your dreams a reality.