Winding down properly at the end of the year might be the key to staring off well when the new one comes around. But not everyone who runs a business does this. It often shows when January dawns on them. They struggle with their finances and give up on their resolutions even before they’ve gotten out of the blocks.
This doesn’t have to be you. Why not take stock now and begin planning for the next twelve months, so you have things under control even before winding down?
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Here are eight things you can do to end the year well and prepare for a growth-filled period ahead.
1. Review Your Finances
Examine your financial records to see how well you have done (or not done). Measure your profitability for the period; note your outstanding debts; calculate the total amount owed your business by clients, and determine how much tax you’re likely to be paying.
With these sorted out, you’ll get a good view of where your business is, and what obligations you have to meet in the coming days and months. You can also think about the indices that need to improve and how you’re going to improve on them.
2. Audit Your Business Structure and Processes
Did your company get things done as efficiently as it could have this year? Are there ways to make it work better?
You can answer this question by holding performance assessment meetings with your staff and managers. The discussions you have with them should be aimed at revealing the successes and failings of the current organizational setup, and what changes could be made to get things working better.
3. Check Your Inventory
Take note of how much inventory you’ve sold and how much you have left. If you can, try to trace the patterns in the inventory level changes throughout the year, and see if there are insights to be gained from that. At the very least, know how much stock you’re closing with, so you’ll know where you’re picking up from in the new business period.
4. Go Over Your Expenses
How much did you spend? What sort of items took the most amount of your spending? Were there expenses incurred that were wasteful in hindsight? How can you cut out such wasteful spending and save your business scarce funds?
5. Replace Worn Out Equipment
You might think that it’s better to get this done in the New Year. But unless you already have the timing and financing for this locked down, you may wind up not replacing your equipment. January may turn out to be a ‘slow business’ month, and you may not have the time or resources to fix the things that ought to be fixed at your office or workshop.
6. Get Your Supplies In
You should consider doing for the same reasons as you may want to replace your equipment before going on a break. You don’t always realize how ‘dry’ revenue streams could be in January before it arrives. If you can, get your supplies ahead of that time.
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7. Cut Out Non-Performing Segments
The end of the year is the best time to pull the plug on non-performing products and services. It lets you start the New Year on a clean slate, without the inefficiencies and costs of those offerings weighing you down. You can find out what products haven’t been performing by reviewing your inventory and sales records.
8. Update Your Online Presence
Maybe there are changes to your web and social media channels that you need to implement. If these changes are the result of feedback or analytics from those platforms, you could draw up a plan for those changes ahead of the New Year, and begin putting them in place.
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