With the end of yet another great year it’s time to prep ourselves for the next. Small business owners take this time to evaluate their accomplishments and set the course for what’s ahead.
Every small business has a slightly different end of year checklist. That said there is definitely a common thread that runs throughout. Some of these items may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many are overlooked. While small they’re still very important and they can make all the difference for accomplishing your goals in 2018.
Here are four small things you can do to prepare your small business for the new year.
1. Organize your books
First and foremost you need to get the logistics out of the way. At the top of your list should be your books. Hopefully you’ve been setting enough money aside each month to pay your taxes. If not, then you’re in trouble. Either way you need to get everything prepared for the good old Uncle Sam.
Make sure you take the time to carefully examine all your financial reports and really take this time to evaluate your progress. If you had trouble getting your books in order then you may make it a goal of yours to keep better track of your finances next year.
One pro tip I can give you is that you may want to consider using an online payments solution with invoicing and expense management functionality. That way you can automate your bookkeeping and focus more on growing your business.
2. Reflect with your team
The end of the year should really be a time for reflection. If you’re like most small business owners the majority of your day is spent in your own head grinding on making your business thrive. Often times this results in the owners missing out on valuable feedback and time spent with their staff.
As things wind down for the holidays make sure you take the time to reflect with your team. Setup one on one chats as well as a group discussion to gather feedback. Make sure every single person has a chance to provide input. This will make for a stronger more engaged team in the long run.
3. Prepare for growth
Growth is typically on the top of the list for every small business owner. However many of them don’t actually take the necessary steps to make that happen. As the year comes to an end this is the time to really set the stage for growth.
Think about where your business is lacking and what efforts produce the biggest return on investment. This also may be the time when you decide to cut a few employees loose. It’s never easy but if you want to be able to move the company forward you need to do what’s necessary.
4. Upgrade your technology
For better or for worse we’re living in the time of constant innovation. Good news is there’s a ton of new technology every single year that can benefit your business. Bad news is that it means you have to replace your old systems with new ones.
If you have the time you should run a quick check to see if you’re up to speed on the latest technologies available. Here are a few tools you may want to checkout before going into the new year:
Slack provides seamless and affordable team communication. I highly recommend this to any startup or team.
Dropbox is great for file-sharing and recently released Dropbox papers which provides a Google Drive style collaboration tool.
Buffer is great for social media marketing as it lets you schedule posts from your social accounts.
Calendar is a fantastic tool for scheduling and managing your time.
Out with the old in with the new. With 2018 here it’s time to check those last few items off the list so you can start the new year with a bang. If your a small business owner make sure to do these four small things before wrapping up the year!
(By Renzo Costarella)