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Here is a checklist of things you need to do at the end of the year for your small business
It’s December and you are in holiday mode, but don’t forget all the important things you need to do at the end of the year for your business. Finish out the year strong and in order with this end-of-year checklist.
End-Of-Year Business Checklist
- Run year-end financials: These reports give you the opportunity to look at the big picture. You need to know where your money is being spent and how you can manage it better next year. What are your best income sources? Who still owes you money? Do you owe money to others? Make a list of assets. Know how much cash you have on hand. Have a copy ready for tax time.
- Update employee and payroll information: Make sure phone numbers, addresses, and payroll information are up to date. This will also make preparing W-2s and 1099s easy at tax time.
- Update vendor and client files: Make sure your vendor list is up-to-date and know exactly which vendors you will be using next year. Will you have repeat clients in the future or have some of them moved on?
- Audit inventory: If your business sells a physical product, you need to know how much of what is in stock and what needs to be ordered or manufactured. This information is also needed for this year’s taxes. Get rid of old inventory and make room for the new.
- Review insurance policies, contracts, business plans, and other important documents: Does your current insurance policy still apply? Are your contracts up-to-date, and will they apply for the following year? Do you need to update company policies? Do you need to make changes to your business plan due to growth?
- Back up computers and cell phones: This task is time-consuming but necessary. Back up data like employee records, point-of-sale systems, and all of your accounting information. Many small business owners do a ton of work from their cell phones. Don’t get in a bind when your phone crashes and you haven’t backed up your contacts.
- Tax Preparation and Planning: The end of the year is a critical time for financial review, especially for tax purposes. Organize your receipts and documents to make tax filing smoother. Understand potential deductions to maximize your returns and start planning for next year’s taxes. This might include estimating taxes and adjusting financial strategies to optimize tax benefits.
- Employee Performance Reviews: Conducting year-end performance reviews is instrumental in identifying areas of success and improvement for your team. These reviews offer a platform for setting clear goals, providing constructive feedback, and discussing training or development needs, aligning individual objectives with the company’s vision for the next year.
- Customer Feedback and Engagement: Sending out a year-end survey to clients or customers is an effective way to gather valuable feedback. Use this information to refine your services or products and strengthen customer relationships, laying a foundation for loyalty and continued business.
- Digital Presence and Social Media Strategy Review: Evaluate your digital marketing strategies, including social media. Analyze what tactics were successful and which ones fell short. Make sure all links are working correctly and there’s no old information or products still listed, and see if there are ways to make improvements in SEO and sales. Update images, headlines, content, and other relevant information. Plan for the new year by updating your digital marketing strategy to enhance online engagement and improve your reach and impact.
- Legal Compliance Check: Ensure your business is compliant with all relevant laws, regulations, licenses, and permits. This legal check is vital to avoid penalties and maintain smooth operations.
- Personal Development and Education: Reflect on your personal growth as a business owner. Set goals for further education through courses, workshops, or self-study to enhance your skills and business acumen.
- Budget Review and Financial Forecasting: Review this year’s budget, noting any variances. Use these insights to plan next year’s budget, aligning it with your business goals and projections. Effective budgeting and forecasting are critical for financial stability and growth.
- Make a plan of action for the new year: This one is important and probably the most overlooked. Using all the data collected from steps 1-7, how was your year? Did you meet all your goals? What goals will you set for the following year? Break up the next year to set small objectives to help you reach the larger goals. Make a list of accomplishments to see how you’ve grown. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for your personal life; they also make for a successful business as well. Fill out a calendar for next year with known dates for certain activities, deadlines, and bills. Create your own checklist for individual items. Incorporate these ideas into your business plan.
By addressing these areas on this end-of-year business checklist, you can close the year well-prepared and enter the new year with a robust strategy for success and growth in your business. Go forth and conquer the new year!