End of year checklist

A Small Business Owner’s End of Year Checklist

The end of the year is a busy time for small businesses for several different reasons. Holiday visits, time off and travel plans can consume a lot of your time between November through to January. As a small business owner, you will find that this is the cherry on the icing of the pile of responsibilities you will be faced with towards the end of the year.

Moving towards the festive season, your business really needs your full attention, especially when regarding your business processes, the accounting and IT.

Completing all of these tasks will mean that you’re ending the year on a high note and it will also allow you to be prepared for the new year ahead. Here’s what you need to do for your small business before the end of the year.

 

Finance and accounting:

The majority of your time will be focused on the financial aspects of your business on the lead up to the festive period. Throughout the year, you need to ensure that you are managing your business records and that they are kept in order, but even more so in December.

December time is the perfect opportunity to evaluate where you are from a financial standpoint and how this compares to the previous financial years. The key aspects to take away from this is how much money your business has gained and how much you have lost or spent.

This way you will be able to see if you need to make any budgetary cutbacks or whether you need to make any changes. Any financial inclination will also affect your employees, for example, if you have seen a spike in profits, or have taken on several new clients, then it could be time to consider bringing on either freelance or permanent employees.

 

Information Technology:

IT is becoming one of the core foundations of any business, and as we move to a more technologically focused world, these practices are only set to intensify. It’s important to understand the value of IT and the level of security you need to adopt in order to protect your data.

Firstly, you must complete a full data backup on all of your files, in order to make sure that nothing gets lost or forgotten when moving into the new year. Backing up your data should also include a backup of the contacts you have built up, as these could be helpful in the new year. As well as completing a backup of all of your file data, you should also evaluate your internet security. Have you experienced any data breaches over the previous year?

Do you need to make any updates or adjustments to your computers? Moving into the new year, you should be able to have confidence that all of your business’s information is safe.

 

Human Resources:

There are so many different things that fall under the remit of human resources. Your employees, first and foremost, are the lifeblood of your business, without them, you would be sure to fail, so it’s important to make sure that they are performing well, that they are happy and that productivity is maintained within the workplace.

After reviewing your finances, it’s important to look at hiring more employees. In the new year, small businesses find the most success by hiring freelance professionals on a fixed term basis, as this will help you to reach your professional goals, and will also allow you to evaluate the necessity of bringing on more permanent employees.

It’s also important to evaluate your hiring process as a new business owner if you are in the process of hiring somebody, then you should complete a full background check, including any previous convictions, any previous experience etc. Your processes and incidents need to be documented and up to date throughout the whole year, and it’s important to make sure that this is evaluated in December in order to make any improvements or requirements.

 

General Business:

At the end of the year, a final report needs to be compiled, which highlights the successes and the failures of the months previous. This will help you to strategize for the following year and to ensure that you will improve your service. It’s also important to make sure that you give a courtesy to all of your clients and customers to get feedback on your company’s annual performance and to reaffirm their loyalty.

As well as getting the client side sorted, it’s also important to protect yourself and your employees at the end of the year. Ensure that you have up to date professional indemnity insurance in place for the following year, as this will protect you should anything go wrong throughout the year.

The end of the year is a busy period that is dreaded by most business owners, it’s important to make sure that you are keeping up with all of the data processes every month, as this will assist you during the end of year period.

Enforce organisation and you will find the experience much less painful.

 

 

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The Small Business Blog was started in 2009. Aiming to help SME businesses. With that in mind, we are always looking for talented writers to write for us and add to the blog.

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