Business tips for the end of the year

Are you feeling it yet – the race towards Christmas? This time of year tends to be a bit chaotic for business owners, but it’s actually a good time to get some extra housekeeping done for your business if you can find the time. Read on for some tips to help you finish the year neatly and feel prepared to face 2023.

Review your goals

A lot has likely happened for your business over the course of the previous 12 months. The end of the year is the perfect time to take a look back and see how your performance stacked up against your goals.

Consider your goals, both personal and for the business,  and review how you did. Be honest with yourself. If you didn’t make your goals, that’s okay. Now you can look at what went wrong–or right–and adjust accordingly. Were there unexpected surprises that affected your business? Could you prepare more for slower times? Did you take on too much all at once? Are you making the right kind of profit margin for all of the hard work that you are doing?

If you met or exceeded your goals, take some time to celebrate the achievements.

Review your business plan

It’s always surprising to see how reality compares to your original business plan. Give yourself the opportunity to evaluate how you’re doing and see if your business is becoming what you hoped it would.

If it isn’t, ask yourself if your goals and vision have changed or if you haven’t been focused enough on them. It’s okay to adapt your vision as your business evolves and you understand the market better, but make sure the change is one you intend to make, not one that’s happened unconsciously.

Reconcile accounts receivable

Unpaid invoices are often one of the biggest disruptors to cash flow. Check if you have any outstanding accounts and remind those clients to settle up before year’s end. Remember, a lot of your clients will probably be shutting down over the next few weeks so it will take longer for them to pay .  It also doesn’t hurt to double check if you have any amounts owing to your suppliers and pay those.

Catch up on expenses

This is  a good opportunity to make sure you have included all of your business expenses so that you dont miss out on any GST credits or tax deductions. Have you paid any business expenses using your personal accounts? Have you claimed all possible travel expenses associated with your business? Have you taken account of that computer purchase or the multiple trips to Officeworks?  Make sure you’ve accounted for any eligible business expenses by year’s end so that you are going into the New Year ahead of the game.

Verify vendor or client information

You already know that a lot has changed for your business over the course of the year. The same is true for all the other businesses that you work with. Take some time to make sure you have their correct information and are aware of any changes to their business terms. If you ahve the chance , check the ABNs for some of your new suppliers ( use ABN lookup) . This will let you know if they are registered for GST and if they should then be charging you GST. This is an ATO requirement, to reveiw ABNs annually, so now is as good a time as any to catch up on any suppliers who you have started working with in the past 6 months.

Review subscriptions

It’s so easy to let subscriptions fly under the radar, but they quickly add up. Review your active subscriptions and cancel any that aren’t relevant anymore.  Have you had any changes in the number of staff members who need to access your software – maybe you are paying too much. Do you know what each subscription is for and if it is still relevant to your business? Is there a new app that might be more cost effective? It’s an easy way to get more money in your pocket, and it’s fun to choose some new ones for the new year that better meet your needs.

Send out year-end letters

Put together a year-end letter for customers or clients, and another one for employees.

Let your clients know what you’ve been up to over the year, share some of your milestones, and let them know how much you appreciate their business. Highlight any community events that your business was a part of. It’s a good way to stay in touch and keep yourself fresh in their mind for when they may need your services in the new year.

For your employees, thank them for all their hard work over the year. Call attention to your successes and celebrate all that you’ve achieved. It’s a great way to provide some recognition and highlight the most important events of the year.

Consider end-of-year gifts or bonuses

The end of the year is a terrific time to reward employees for a job well done. Even if you have an established bonus program, it’s always nice to surprise employees with a gift. It’s a personal way to say thank-you and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Final thoughts

The end of the year is notoriously busy, and the holidays make it even harder to get things done. However, it’s a great time to take a look back and celebrate your accomplishments. You’ll be glad you did when the new year rolls around and you feel like you’ve wrapped the year up in a bow – ready to take on the next one with a sense of renewal.

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