End Of Year Checklist

As year-end approaches, most small businesses are busy with the holiday season, so time is precious.  Nevertheless, it is critical for small business owners and managers to set aside time to handle year-end activities.  Like prior years, we are putting forth a checklist of tasks to take care of so your business finishes the year well and is set-up for a good start in 2023.

Revenue – Check to see how you are doing against your 2022 target.  If you are ahead, excellent; keep going to finish strong.  If you are behind, now is the time to plan a year-end push: plan a promotion, holiday(s) sales, or another effort to generate additional sales.

Marketing – Review your brand.  Does your website reflect what your business does/sells?  Update its information, images, headlines, and content to keep customers informed and engaged.  Also, tweak your inbound (highlighted in last month’s blog) and outbound marketing materials to maximize their effectiveness.

Financial Reports – While you have to wait until all the figures are in, you can pull your records together and do a pre-close (P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow) with 10 months of data plus an estimate to see where your business may end up.  Then make adjustments to your spending and other financial activities to help reach your business goals.  Speak with your financial advisor or accountant about any questions you might have.  Plus, with having done a pre-close, finalizing the financial reports in early January should be a snap.

Employees – Review your employees: do you have the right people in the right positions?  Do evaluations.  Also, verify their information for contact (telephone number, email, mailing address), payroll, benefits, compliance, etc.  Consider their access to physical assets, computer systems, financial information, and other proprietary assets.  Make necessary hirings or layoffs for the holidays and next year; consider temporary and part-time help as well.

Inventory and Assets – Now is a good time to check your inventory; physically count it.  Do you have what is needed to make your business grow?  Note missing things and include them in financials, and institute loss prevention.  Note and make adjustments for what products are selling and which are not.  For the latter, contact your suppliers and see if they are willing to exchange slow-moving for something you can sell faster or put the older inventory on sale to raise cash and make room for a new product.

Suppliers – Do a refresh, not only on their contact information but also on payment terms, and enhance the relationships.  Consider expanding business with those who are supporting you and replacing those who are not.

Technology – Being up-to-date, protected, and compliant can be advantageous for your business and minimize risks.  Make the time to back-up systems (computers and mobile devices); this is critical, and lost information is hard or impossible to replace.  Plus, information is sensitive, whether it be your business’ and/or customers’ information.  Protecting customer information is essential; consider who has access to it and how to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands.  There are laws protecting information, and you want your business to be compliant.

Achievements – Create a list of your business accomplishments.  Reflect on all the good that has happened, and learn from any shortfalls.

2023 – As you want to start the year off positively, plan ahead.  Set goals.  Make a budget.  Plan employee training and development.  Expand your partnerships.

Here is to your success in finishing 2022, as well as beginning afresh and being well-prepared for 2023.

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