The end of the year is a time of celebration, family, and parties, but for business owners, it’s much more than that – year-end planning is here. The experts at Guyton-Forge suggest following their 11-point checklist, which is a strategic and systematic way to ensure that you’ve properly wrapped everything up at year’s end, and you’re ready to maximize successes in the coming year:
Reconcile Your Accounts
Make sure your accounts are reconciled, and be certain that everything has been accounted for, recorded, purchased, and paid.
Review Your Financial Reports
Once you’re confident the books are clean and the data is accurate, you can dig into your financial and management reports for the end of the year. This will help you make data-driven decisions to set and reach your 2024 goals by finding ways to maximize revenue, minimize costs, grow your profit margins, and accelerate your successes.
Analyze Your Cash Flow Statements
This effort will help identify any patterns that can inform your cash flow forecasting and strategic planning for the upcoming year.
Develop Your Year-End Tax Planning and Strategy
Think carefully about tax planning and where you want to consider splitting income or taking advantage of maximum depreciation claims, expedite expenses and make any necessary purchases during this financial year rather than waiting until after January 1.
Reflect on the Business and Review Last Year’s Goals
Take the time to reflect on your financials and compare how your year turned out with respect to your budget and your actual numbers. This will help you dig deeper and plan more effectively for the new year. Think about how you stayed on track, where you were successful, and where you got off-track and why.
Identify Shortcomings and Solutions
Every business owner knows that things are always changing, it’s important to look at what has worked well and what hasn’t. Looking at any shortfalls helps you see limiting factors inside your business and what may be holding you back from attaining the levels of success you envision. It’s OK to admit something didn’t work well and to adjust your approach accordingly.
Think About Year-End Incentives and any Future Staffing Needs
Once you see your company’s growth rate, you can set new goals for the growth you’d like to see in the next year and beyond. Look at your current staff and decide which positions you’ll want to fill and how your staff might need to grow to support the business.
Set Goals, Strategize, and Write It All Down
It’s so common for small business owners to get pulled into the daily demands of their businesses and not take time to renew and refresh their vision for their company. This is the perfect time to imagine your ideal future and long-term goals and then work backwards to achieve them.
Create A Budget
You can’t future-plan, set goals, and reach them without budgeting for your business’s future.
Evaluate and Improve Your Leadership
In addition to reflecting on the year, your numbers, and your goals, take some time to think about your own leadership and your management team. What kinds of improvements can be made there? It can be helpful to work with a coach, finding new ways to improve your skills and knowledge.
Celebrate Your Successes
The end of the year is a time to pat yourself on the back and acknowledge your team for all they’ve contributed over the past year. Think about what you’re proud of and what your biggest wins were this year and get ready to crush it next year.