The end of the year is rapidly approaching, which means holidays, family gatherings, and celebrations are just around the corner.
It also marks a busy and stressful time for small business owners. In addition to the busy holiday shopping period, many operators face the challenge of winding down one calendar while preparing for a new one.
This time also presents an outstanding opportunity for small business owners to position themselves for success. Operators who most effectively prepare the operations for the end of the year will be best suited to enter the new year on the right foot.
At Visa Business Plans, we’ve created a checklist to help small business owners prepare for the end of the year.
Prepare Key Financial Documents
The first thing a small business owner should do to get ready for the end of the year is to prepare vital financial documents. Doing so will help the operator understand the business's financial health, make adjustments as needed, and assure that required documents by interested parties, such as lenders and investors, will be readily available upon request.
Whether prepared by the business owner, an accountant, or other professional, these documents include a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.
Once you have these financial documents prepared, you should calculate the current ratio, debt ratio, and gross profit margin for an even better look into the well-being of your business.
2. Gather Tax Documents
The end of the calendar year is the perfect time to organize your tax documents. You can better position your enterprise for the upcoming tax season by utilizing the information from the financial reports you developed in step one to get a headstart on your tax preparation.
Additionally, you should consider completing other tax forms such as Form 1099-NEC, Form 1096, W-2 and W-3 Forms, and state and federal payroll returns (Form 940 or Form 941). Personal and business income, as well as deductions, should all be accounted for during this step. Make sure to consult your CPA for details.
3. Assess Goals for the New Year
Goal assessment should be part of every small business owner’s routine. However, this year is the year to start if you are not currently setting goals and evaluating if they are met. Ultimately, goal-setting offers a blueprint for the success of your business.
Take this time to review the goals you set the previous year to determine if you met them. Then, evaluate why and how your goals were met (or not) and what you should do next to improve that performance.
Following evaluation, you should set goals for the upcoming year. Such benchmarks may simply be tweaks to your goals from the previous year or entirely new based on what your assessment revealed.
4. Plan Events and Recognition for Employees
Rarely, if ever, does a business owner achieve success alone. And of the others that help them thrive, the most important is employees. Therefore, the end of the year is an important time to plan events and recognition for a business’s employees to reward them for their efforts and ensure they feel valued.
Business owners should consider the most effective way to celebrate their employees. Fortunately, many options exist, including throwing a party, other company gatherings, offering extra time off, giving bonuses, and much more. Be creative!
5. Plan a Vacation for Yourself
This step is often the hardest for business owners, but it is arguably the most important. Small business operators are easily all-consumed by running the company 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But that simply isn’t healthy for the owner or sustainable for the business itself.
Therefore, business owners should plan a vacation and stick to it. Everybody needs time to escape the grind to relax so they can return to work recharged and fully energized. Such a break also allows the operator to clear their head and look at the enterprise through a clearer set of eyes after being away from it.
6. Plan for the New Year
The ultimate goal of completing these steps to prepare your business for the end of the new year is to provide the optimal position for the company entering 2023. And the final step in doing just that is to develop a plan for the new year.
Planning for the new year should include the following:
Develop a plan to reach those goals
Create a marketing plan
Plan time for managing financial and tax records
Assess employee engagement
Follow up on vacation plans for yourself and your employees
Developing a solid plan supported by the information gleaned from your financial documents is crucial to ensuring that next year is an even better year for your business!
Preparing your business for the end of the year can be daunting, particularly with all that happens in the final few months on the calendar. However, this time of the year is vital to put your operation in a position to take the next step forward in 2023.
Here at Visa Business Plans, we help small business owners move forward by developing practical goals and a path to achieve them. So if you want to grow your business and get ready for 2023, call us today!
Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.
Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and high-growth enterprises.
At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration, SBA loans, and others.