Small Business End-Of-Year Planning Tips

Time to plan
With the financial year end nearly upon us, it’s important to set aside some time to plan, reflect and get yourself mentally prepared and fresh for the new year.

As you prioritise “must-do’s” before the financial year comes to an end, consider adding these end-of-year business activities to your list.

Strategise & Reflect

Take some time, even get away from the office, and reflect on how you think you’ve performed over the past year. What have been your highlights, what could you have done better?

Use this time to take your learnings and strategise for the new year. What are your goals, what do you want to achieve and how do you plan on going about making sure you get there.

Only by writing down your goals, and tracking them regularly, can you realistically expect to keep on track, otherwise they are simply a ‘wish list’.

Connect With Your Customers

The financial year end is a natural time to reach out to your customers to check in on how they’re doing, how well your products or services are working for them, and to show your appreciation for their ongoing patronage.

Some small businesses send their clients a holiday card or email with a special offer; others make sure each of their customers receives a personal phone call. Whatever you decide, remember it’s not how you do it or how much you spend—it’s the personal touch your clients will remember.

Update Your Financials

Ideally, your business always keeps up to date with bookkeeping—but if you’re still using an outdated spreadsheet system, now is a great time to consider upgrading to cloud based accounting for the new year.

There are many cost-effective solutions out there designed for small business owners that will help you save time and money, allowing you to make better decisions based on accurate, real time figures. In the meantime, organize any receipts that need to be entered into your financial database, make sure your invoicing is up to date, and be sure you haven’t fallen behind with your AR or AP.

Consider a Price Increase

Once you know your numbers, you may want to give some thought to raising your rates in the new year.

Take an honest look at your expenses, annual profits, as well as your personal and business financial goals. It’s generally recommended that freelancers increase rates on an annual basis as the value you bring to your work increases with experience.

But really, every small business should consider doing the same. Costs go up and it’s reasonable for your pricing to reflect your expenses. Increasing rates at the beginning of a new year will make sense to your clients—and they’ll appreciate getting the heads up now so they aren’t surprised when new pricing goes into effect July 1st.

Meet With Your Accountant

Touching base with your accountant before the year closes is a smart move for your small business. That way, you can go over your goals for the new year, do some business planning, looking at how much capital you may need to meet your goals, and whether a change to your business structure would be worthwhile. Your accountant can also offer helpful tax planning advice; for instance, she can provide an estimate of your tax payments for the current year, and point out tax-saving opportunities— such as a purchase that would benefit your business and save on taxes if made before June 30th.

With these end-of-year planning tips in mind, you can take action and enjoy a great start to the year ahead. Best of all, checking all those important “must-do’s” off your list, you’ll be ready to enjoy a relaxed and happy holiday.