End-of-year checklist for business owners

As the year rolls to a close, you need to put your house in order and start preparations for the next working year. It’s time to take inventory of your progress so far and figure out what was done right and which area needs improvement. If you’re wondering where to start this should help.

  1. Go through your complete financial report (this includes; profit and loss statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This will help you assess your financial state. It will also help to compare your performance this year to that of previous year and you’ll ultimately be able to make plans for the New Year.
  2. Pay close attention to your cash flow statements especially with regards to (a) cash revenue and expenses, (b) loans and repayments, and (c) assets purchased and assets sold. Having a clear understanding of how your money was spent through the year makes for a better budgeting system for the next year.
  3. Collect outstanding bills; before the year runs out, make sure to reconcile your accounts receivable. Find out which invoices were left unpaid and which customers still owe you. Reconciling your accounts receivable might help with last minute cash flow.
  4. Appreciate your employees; the best companies are the ones that keep members of their staff happy. While you’re rounding up the year, consider whose efforts it was to bring the company through the year. Make plans to appreciate your staff. It could be awards for the best staff or team for the year or an end of the year party with gifts and bonuses. This keeps them motivated and eager for the new work year.
  5. Don’t leave the customers out; you should have a list of customers who have been very loyal to the company and to whom you owe gratitude. Plan to send out a thank you message to them in form of emails, cards or gifts. This will help to maintain your relationship with them.
  6. Re-visit your goals for the year; go back to the goals you set to accomplish at the beginning of the year and observe how much you were able to accomplish. If your accomplishments are not satisfactory, try to figure out what went wrong, re-strategize and set goals for the next year.
  7. Consider if you’re ready to go (financially) for the next year; when you check the money available to you after inventory and financial reports, do you think you’ll be able to ride on that amount next year? If no, start making arrangements now for next year. It’s not late to boost sales by offering promos or irresistible deals at least that way you’ll increase cash flow. If you end up needing a loan, well the sooner you apply, the better.
  8. Draw up goals for next year; considering what you were able to accomplish this year and the goals you didn’t meet alongside your bank balance and expectations for the next year, its expedient to draw up goals that will guide you next year. What are your financial goals, marketing and networking goals, customer relations goals, and others for the year coming? Put it all down and mentally prepare to achieve them without fail.
  9. Make  a list of new ideas you want to try; after accessing the current year, you should have a record of ideas that didn’t work out quite as well as you thought they would. This should of course stir new ideas in your mind. Put them in writing. You could also engage your staff by calling on team leaders and executives to come up with constructive ideas to use next year (focusing especially on failed or unsatisfactory projects).

Round the year up on time with zero-worries for the holiday season. Get enough rest and revamp for next year.