End-of-Year Small Business Checklist

The end of the year is right around the corner, and for many small businesses it represents a busy time that goes far beyond holiday blowout sales. With so many things on your plate, it’s a good idea to create a checklist for your end-of-year activities. This checklist will vary slightly from one small business to the next according to your specific needs, but should definitely include the following items.

Re-Examine Business Plans and Goals

Circumstances change. Events happen. A lot can take place over the course of a year. The end of the year is the perfect time to examine your current business goals and plans and determine if any changes need to be made and what those changes need to be.

From the economy to world events and weather phenomenon, small things around the world can have a significant impact on the way you need to do business in order to continue growing and succeeding or to re-start the engine of your business so that new growth can occur.

It’s not only important to take stock of changes that need to take place, as well as what processes and procedures are working well for your business. Look for ways to incorporate that into other aspects of your business to maximize the benefit and use it to determine which employees deserve credit and recognition for jobs well done.

Take Thorough Inventory of Stock

Inventory is necessary this time of year to ensure products are available for holiday demand, but taking thorough inventory accomplishes other important responsibilities as well. First, it lets you know what inventory you have on hand. This allows you to determine which products are selling and which are not. This lets you know if it’s time, perhaps to consider redesigning or retiring old or potentially outdated inventory items.

Second, it helps you identify potential internal security and inventory control problems. If a significant amount of inventory is missing, there’s likely to be a problem somewhere. It’s either in mismanagement or theft (employee or non-employee) both of which are problems in need of swift attention. If you don’t have crime insurance or employee dishonesty insurance, now is the time to get it.

Prepare for Tax Time

Tax season is nearly here. Take this time to ensure your records are in order: balance your books, and gather your records. It is a necessary process this time of year that helps you start the New Year off with a clean slate. You should also consult with an accountant to make sure your tax strategy is the wisest course of action for your business. The right tax strategy can help your business save a lot of money while operating with the wrong tax strategy in place might prove costly in penalties and fees.

While these things are all necessary to close the door on the previous business year, they also help you clear the way for bigger and better things to come in the year ahead. When you view them in this light, they don’t seem quite as painful to experience.