Owning a business can be exciting but also stressful. The end of the year brings a lot of extra expenses such as bonuses, raises, and holiday gifts. In addition, clients tend to pay slower during the fourth quarter making things extra challenging.
Tips for a Smooth Business Year-End
With some strategic planning, the end of the year doesn't have to be stressful. Some tips to make the end of your business year smoother and more efficient are:
Get Your Finances in Order
A task that is sure to give you peace of mind is getting your finances in order. Prepare your year-end balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statements as early as possible. If you have a retirement plan and make contributions for employees, that should be a factor in year end bonuses. Reviewing a snapshot of where you stand now will help you plan for the future. You can also make informed decisions about bonuses and raises based on your financial situation. Seeing where you stand financially will also help dictate areas where you may need to cut expenses, make strategic decisions about vendors/suppliers, or that it's time to expand things.
Tax season is just around the corner, and it's never too early to start planning for tax prep. Gather all your documentation now that you or your accountant will need to prepare your taxes. That will make things easy when it comes time to file. If you had a good year, accelerate the payment of some services for the next year which allows you to take the deduction for the current year and lowers your overhead for the next year. Taking extra time now to plan could help you find additional deductions that lower your tax payments. Be sure to hire a reputable professional so you can benefit from all the tax breaks available to you.
Goals for Next Year
Now is also the perfect time to assess your goals for the new year. It's also important to look back to see if you met or exceeded this year's goals. If you didn't achieve what you wanted to, look at the big picture to find out why? What challenges did you face, and how did you handle them?
If you find that you far exceeded your goals in some areas, let this become the blueprint for even more success next year. Even in areas where you succeeded, be certain to be forward looking and aware of the ever changing environment to stay ahead of your game. Conversely, in areas where you fell short, you can make adjustments now to avoid those pitfalls next year.
You may need to look at pricing, expenses, staff efficiency, hiring practices, responsibilities, and other business operations to see the whole picture. Some things to consider are expansion, focusing more on marketing and advertising, or paring down. Experts suggest you keep your goals for next year SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
If you need help with your year-end planning, contact Merited Wealth.