Your Small Business End-of-Year Checklist

Yes, the end of the year is almost upon us. It’s a busy time with wrapping up projects and presents and attending holiday parties, but before you clink the champagne glasses to usher in a fresh start, make sure to do your small-business review.

Review Overall Achievements

Make a list of your business triumphs. Maybe you’re proud of landing a big client, your team nailed it on an important project or you took an expansion risk that paid off. Delve deep into how you and your team met each accomplishment. Then develop strategies to advance those successes and achieve new ones. Figure out what didn’t work as well, and why. Nix those approaches in the future. Don’t let your business keep running into the same walls.

Get a Picture of Your Financial Fitness

Reviewing a profit and loss statement will help you gauge your overall financial situation. But take a closer look at your cash flow by month or quarter. Assess which times of the year you either didn’t hit or just barely reached your targets, as well as which times you exceeded your goals. Are there any ways to apply financial-gain strategies to the periods that lagged?

Evaluate Your Marketing Strategies

Review your website and determine if it needs a refresh or an overhaul. If it does, schedule it as soon as possible. Don’t let another quarter go by with that task getting shuffled around on your to-do list. Take stock of all of your marketing strategies. Do you need better efforts on social media, more consistent email newsletters or blogs, or growth when it comes to subscribers or followers? Make plans to strategize. Likewise, if you’re slaying certain marketing tasks, figure out how to build on those.

Consider Your Customers

You’ve likely had interest from clients who didn’t take you up on your services. Reach out to anyone you’ve given estimates to or received inquiries from and see if they’re still in need. Reach out to clients whom you did work with this year and thank them for their business. The courtesy goes a long way, and you never know if they’ve been meaning to get in touch with you for another project. Evaluate your ongoing client list and determine if there’s an account that’s a drain on resources and time, rather than a boon for your business. Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to that client so you can move on to work that’s more rewarding — both emotionally and financially.

Examine Your Team

If you have employees or subcontractors, provide them with feedback and thanks. Also ask them for their input on any processes or projects and get their ideas for improvements in the new year. Decide whether you need to make additional hires to accommodate growth.

Review General Housekeeping

Take a look at all the workflow processes you have in place. Do you need a better task-management app or a more fluid way of team communication? Research options for better efficiency. Evaluate your office space as well. Maybe it’s time to go fully remote or join a co-working space instead of paying brick-and-mortar prices.

Your small business is a labor of love. Make sure it is protected - review your business insurance and make sure you’ve got the right coverage to protect against uncertainties. Contact your Farm Bureau agent for a SuperCheck® on your coverage, and dive into the new year with confidence.