As 2014 makes its way into the books, it’s a great time for small business owners to think about wrapping up the year. There are some things that you should be thinking about now to make the transition into 2015 smoother. Not only will these things make your tax preparations easier, they could help kick-start business as you tackle the next calendar year.
- Thank your partners, employees, and vendors for a great year. As a small business owner you know you can’t go it alone. Your partners, employees and vendors are your lifeblood. Be sure to take time to send holiday cards and extend a ‘thank you.’ If your budget allows think about having a holiday gathering, or taking those important people in your life to lunch or dinner. They helped bring this year’s success!
- Schedule a meeting with your accountant or financial planner. When it comes to small business tax preparations it’s always a good idea to spend the money and have a professional do it. They’ll go to bat for you and your business if the IRS comes calling and frankly your time is better spent growing your business – not preparing taxes. Bring all those tax documents we referenced in point one above and things should go pretty smoothly.
- Establish goals for the New Year. December is a great time to take stock in what you’ve achieved over the course of the year. Note highlights and share them with your employees; they’ll appreciate hearing good news around the holidays. Work with your employees to put goals in place for 2015. What do you want to achieve in the upcoming year that you maybe didn’t get to this year?
- Complete a 2015 budget. Take a strong look at a realistic revenue projection and note your expenses, including payroll, administrative needs, and growth investments. If cash flow is looking tight, consider alternative financing options such as small business loans or invoice factoring. Cash flow is a critical component to small business health and potential growth, so financing solutions such as invoice factoring can play major roles in a healthy cash flow scenario.
- Create a 2015 business plan. Take some of those goals in point three above and start formulating a business plan. A business plan doesn’t have to be intimidating or complex but they are quite helpful when it comes to setting a sound roadmap in place. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has some great resources for what goes into a sound business plan. They detail the complete roadmap for success and share the essential ingredients for success at their website:https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business/how-write-business-plan
Tackling these items now will help you and your small business transition into 2015 smoothly and with less stress. It’s never easy being a small business owner, so anything that can reduce stress and free up time is worth undertaking!
Here’s to a safe and happy New Year ahead!