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The Small Business Year-End Checklist

The Small Business Year-End Checklist

With the busyness of the holidays, it’s easy to forget some very important year-end tasks. As a small business owner, a checklist can be helpful for assuring that you accomplish everything you need to in the current year and that you are well on your way to a successful new year.

Generate a list of your business’s most important accomplishments.

Even if you had a difficult year, there things that can and should be celebrated. Take some time to recognize how your efforts and the efforts of your employees made a positive impact on the business. Then share that list with everyone on your staff.

Take a look at your bottom line.

Now is the time to evaluate your business’s profit and loss statements. Things might pick up during the holiday season, but it’s important to analyze where your company stands on the whole so that you can make adjustments in the coming year. Great success might mean it’s time to plan for growth, while tight times might mean it’s time to scale back or take a new approach.

Conduct an inventory.

If you sell physical goods, complete an inventory, identifying what you have on hand. You’ll need this information for knowing what items you need to replenish, but more importantly, an inventory is necessary for accurate bookkeeping and to prepare for filing taxes.

Create next year’s budget.

Hopefully, you started working on next year’s budget a few months ago, and all you need to do now is refine it. If you haven’t started at all, now is definitely the time!

Create a file for important tax-related documents.

Tax documents will start pouring in, so create a designated file or drawer for collecting those documents as you receive them. This is especially important for freelance business owners and all small business owners that prepare their own taxes—it’ll help you keep sane during tax season.

Write your goals and plans for the new year.

Writing down your business goals for the new year is a good way to keep yourself accountable. Without a list in writing, it’s very easy to watch January slip away from you. And then, before you know it, the whole first quarter is gone. It’s important to set financial and sales goals, but don’t overlook the importance of setting non-financial goals as well. Maybe you want to encourage better attendance, participate in a new conference, learn a new skill, or enrolling in a job-related course.

Take stock of your website and make necessary updates.

Is your website full of broken links? Does it contain outdated information that needs to be updated? Is there something you need to add but haven’t had the time? Is it time for an SEO audit? Now is the time to fix it! Small changes like fixing broken links or updating information should be done immediately. For larger items that require more planning, create a wishlist and add those items to your goals for next year.

It’s better to be prepared when the new year arrives. What other end-of-year items would add to this checklist?

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About Emily Suess

Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me. Read more about Emily.
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