As the end of the year approaches, there are some things you should be doing to make sure you close out the year properly. That’s why an end-year checklist for small business owners is incredibly useful.
Here are the tasks you should check off before the year ends.
Get Organized If you have let paperwork fall by the wayside during the rest of the year, now is the time to organize it all.
Every small business owner will have to quickly learn how to be organized. Here are the main areas you should focus on when creating an end year checklist for small business owners:
WiseStamp do not provide financial advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, financial or accounting advice. You should consult your own accounting advisors before engaging in any financial transaction.
1. Establish Your Profit and Loss Statements
Generate financial reports that show you how your business is doing overall.
It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations and not notice what the financial health of your business is. That is why this is a great time to establish your profit and loss statements.
Check on your bookkeeping status and figure out the actual amount your small business spent and made during this past year. You will want to be sure to also review your balance sheet and cash flow reports
2. Organize Your Business Receipts
You may have some scanned images of business receipts mixed up in your photos folder or a large pile of receipts all over your house.
Maybe you are the kind of person who takes photos of them with your camera phone and forgets about them.
Organize all of these and get them sorted before the end of the year. or use a platform like Quickbooks for bookkeeping to keep you on track.
Make sure you are scanning and sorting all of your business-related receipts into folders that are categorized by vendor and tax year
If you do this consistently, you will be making it much easier for yourself down the road if you ever need to find something specific.
We recommend reviewing what you spent over the year and divide that spending into different categories.
1. Marketing and Sales Finances
- PCC –These would be the costs for the paid ads you ran on social media platforms or Google.
- SEO – These are the costs you incurred for any SEO tool or service, such as Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, or SEMrush.
- Organic Paid – This cost includes all outreach you have done where you paid content writers to write blog posts for your website, as well as purchased stock photos and other elements.
2. Operations Finances
- Production – These costs are those incurred from manufacturing products or providing services.
- Customer Service – The costs for customer service could include outsourcing your customer support using freelancers who handle all customer inquires, live chat, etc.
- Shipping – These costs were necessary to pay for the services that shipping your products.
- Product Development – These are costs that involve transforming an idea into a prototype.
3. Financial and Admin – All Bookkeeping
- Office Management Software – These costs are for the software you use that makes life easier and helps you manage all the tedious tasks that go with running a small business.
- Visit Your Accountant
Once you have the whole list of financial invoices easily accessible, make an appointment with your accountant.
You are going to want to see if your small business has paid all of its taxes properly. It’s never a bad idea to double-check the numbers when it comes to taxes!
Accounting mistakes can become very costly, which is why you want to make sure you have logged all revenue and expenses properly. Otherwise, you will either be getting a higher tax bill than you should be paying, or you’re going to get hit with penalties and incur interest.
3. Evaluate and Digitally Clean Up
Before you do anything, make sure you make copies of all your essential business-related files onto an external hard drive.
You never know when you may need a file or document down the road, so you want to make it easy to find them and keep them safe from potentially getting lost or deleted.
Begin going through your documents, files, and lists, sorting through them and making everything easy to locate in the future. Archive all of the documents you no longer need. Also, update any files that could use one.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs will usually use as little as one computer system for all of their accounting, post-of-sale systems, and everything else it takes to run their businesses.
That makes those computer systems absolutely vital. If anything gets lost, deleted, or corrupted, it could spell bad news for your business.
Again, back up everything related to your small business! This also includes vital business-related information that’s on your smartphone.
4. Re-evaluate Your Website
Experience your website as if you were looking at it for the first time. Is it user-friendly? Is it responsive and mobile-friendly? Do all the web pages load quickly? Is it easy for your customers to contact you? Make sure the answer is “Yes” to all of these questions.
Making sure your website is getting traffic is also something you will want to make sure you stay on top of. Do you have a working SEO strategy? Is your website ranking high up on the Google search engine results pages?
Is your email newsletter enjoying a high engagement rate? Make sure your subject lines are getting people interested in seeing what’s inside. You may want to add a dynamic signature that contains images, social media buttons, and links into your emails as well.
5. Review Milestones From Last Year’s Revenue Goals
Many small business owners start off the year by stating their revenue goals.
If you have your own small business, you should be reviewing your business goals every quarter.
By conducting this review, you can get a pretty good understanding of where you are lacking and where you are thriving when it comes to reaching your business revenue goals.
Once your business begins to generate sales, that is when your customer milestones begin. When reviewing the past year’s revenue goals, focus on the daily and monthly growth rates. You should be able to see a trend where it is easy to project how the trend has gone and how it will continue into the new year.
Believe it or not, very few small business owners stop to ask themselves how they got to where they are, or why they are doing what they’re doing.
To achieve greater success as an entrepreneur or small business, you should have an understanding of whether your milestones are being met. If they aren’t, then those are areas to focus on and improve.
6. Make a List of Your Accomplishments
This is the last thing you should check off on your end year checklist for small business owners. Take some time to reflect back on all the successes, great and small, that you enjoyed over the past year.
It may surprise you just how many positive things happened over the course of the year.
If you haven’t already, you can put together all of the information on your accomplishments throughout the year and use them as motivation to strive for even more success next year.
If you have other people working for you, then go ahead and share the good news with the rest of your team.
The journey of a thousand miles is made up of many different steps, milestones, and achievements.
Go on and celebrate them! It’s sure you give you an end-of-the-year perk you need after the exhausting holiday frenzy.
6. Assess Whether You Need More Staff
If this was a good year for you, then you will probably need additional help next year.
To figure out whether you need more staff, reflect back at whether there were times where you were simply too backed up, and needed some extra help.
One of the worst feelings is when you felt you could have made more profit during the busiest times of the year but didn’t because you were short-staffed.
Looking ahead into the new year. Get an idea of whether you will need to hire full-time help or just hire freelancers who will work for the duration of a project, task, or busy period. You may even want to consider hiring an intern if your business is a fit for that kind of help.
While making your overall business plans and goals for the following year, you should keep staffing as part of the equation.
It’s important to put this on your end year checklist for small business owners. Taking your small business to the next level will only be possible if you have the help you need when you need it.
The end of the year is the busiest time of the year due to the holidays. However, you should make sure you make time to follow an end-year checklist for small business owners.
This will help you stay on top of the financials. Make sure you have everything optimized to enjoy having as many customers as you can possibly have.
Keep this end year checklist for small business owners handy! Running a successful business requires getting involved in the not-so-fun tedious parts sometimes.