Note: This post was first published on December 21, 2013, but this information is always timely, so we refreshed some dates and links in the post on November 28, 2015.
The holidays are nearly here, and you’re probably busy making plans for holiday parties and delicious meals. But it’s important to make plans for your year-end. It won’t be long until we’re ringing in the new year – what shape will your small business be in?
Here are some simple things you can do to get everything in order for your year-end.
7 ways to prepare your business for year-end
Winter can be a slow time for many businesses, especially at the end of the year. But, by taking this downtime to prepare your business for what lies ahead, you’ll start the new year refreshed, prepared and ready for anything.
1. Update your payroll records, report all current-year paycheques on T4 slips, and make sure all your other deductions are in order – when you see your accountant or bookkeeper in January, they’ll appreciate how much easier their job will be.
2. Organize your accounting files, records and receipts to get ready for income tax season. This includes completing inventory records and putting expense receipts into categories by month.
3. Review your next-year business goals. What worked well and what didn’t? What lessons did you learn? What did your competition do? (Check out our free competitive matrix to see how you measured up to the competition.) Next year, do more of what worked, and less of what didn’t. Simple.
4. Develop a strategic plan – a roadmap for getting from point A to point B. If you don’t have one, we’ve got a free one-page business plan template at our website to get you on the right track.
5. Scrutinize your marketing, human resources management, financing and operations. There’s always room for improvement, so brainstorm some ideas to become more effective.
6. Bone up on how social media can help promote your business. Read some business blogs (such as this one) or follow some of your business idols on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Learn from the pros – and from the social media gaffes.
7. Delete old or duplicate files, get rid of email spam, back up your business records onto a memory stick or in the cloud. You can also hire a company to do this for you on a regular basis.
There you have it – seven ways to prepare for your small business’ year-end that can easily fit in around your holiday activities. Have fun with it, and pat yourself on the back for your year in entrepreneurship!