December 20, 2021
Business planning is a wonderful way to spend the end-of-year downtime that many firms have. Use these seven pointers to get your company ready for the new year.
While preparing your business may not seem like a fun way to spend your time over the holidays, if you run a seasonal business, it may be the greatest way to spend your time.
Although it may be enticing to relax, unwind, and let things slide during your slow season, astute business owners and consultants know better. They take advantage of the slowdown towards the end of the year to reflect on the previous 12 months and set preparations for the next 12.
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If your company has had a slump, or even if there has been a sudden spike in sales, business planning is extremely critical at this time of year. In either instance, you must examine patterns to see whether they will persist and, if so, how your organization may need to adapt.
Here are some of the most crucial business planning activities to complete now if you want your business to be ready for the New Year, from getting your finances in order to shape up your staffing:
As one year ends and another begins, it’s a good opportunity to think about your long-term goals. In addition to the financial data mentioned above, small business owners should consider things like customer testimonials, staff feedback, and how well the company followed its goal statement. Examine your successes this year with a critical eye. If your financial and personal goals aren’t being met, it’s time to rethink your company tactics. For instance, you should assess your products and services to see what modifications, if any, are required. Consider what’s working well for your competitors and see if there’s anything you can learn from them.
Financial reporting isn’t likely to be your favorite activity unless you enjoy working with a calculator and a spreadsheet open in front of you. The end-of-year slump, on the other hand, is an excellent time to complete some of the necessary but uninteresting activities on your to-do list. You can have a better picture of how your firm is functioning financially by running the following reports:
Profit-and-loss statement: Also known as an income statement, a profit-and-loss statement (P&L) summarizes all of a company’s sales, expenses, and costs during a given time period.
A balance sheet depicts a company’s assets and liabilities, as well as any existing debts to investors.
A cash flow statement shows how a company manages its funds and includes information on how changes in the balance sheet affect cash and cash equivalents.
Don’t overlook your website while you assess the parts of your organization that require development. Small businesses now have their own websites in 70 percent of cases, and if yours isn’t up to par, you could be missing out on significant opportunities to develop your business. Check phone numbers and email addresses, and make sure your contact forms work properly, in addition to browsing links to ensure they’re all functional. A site with dead links and slow-loading images is unlikely to keep visitors for long.
It’s the most dreaded time of the year for everyone. Even yet, it’s crucial to file taxes on time, if only because the IRS charges a late filing fee of 5% of the additional taxes payable for each month. If you have any spare time in December, think about getting your tax records in order. Examine your documents to ensure that nothing is missing. You should also consult a tax professional to ensure you aren’t missing out on any potentially lucrative deductions. If you use independent contractors, keep in mind that you must file a 1099-MISC information form with the IRS by January 31 and provide a copy to the contractors by the same day.
Workers are a small business’s lifeblood. That does not, however, imply that working relationships are always easy. Schedule some one-on-one time with your team members as the current year draws to a close. Along with advising them about areas where they can improve, tell them what they’re doing right and encourage them to keep it up in the New Year. Do you want to stay away from HR troubles in the future? Take a look at your employee handbook to see if it’s up to date.
While getting your company ready for the New Year is important, as a business owner, you need also to make time for yourself. Plan a few days away from it all to rest and replenish your batteries. You’ll return to work with a clearer mind and a stronger commitment to growing your company.
You’ll be in a better position to identify personnel needs for the coming months once you’ve evaluated your team’s success in recent months. With 42 percent of SMBs stating that hiring new employees is their most difficult chore, entrepreneurs must make wise personnel decisions.
Begin by determining whether you require new personnel throughout the year or only during peak periods, such as your busy season. If you only need seasonal help, working with a hiring firm can be worthwhile.
These companies specialize in locating, business planning, and screening part-time and temporary personnel that can assist you on short notice. You can also anticipate future requirements by setting your monthly objectives. If you’re starting a new project in June, start hiring extra people a month or two ahead of time.