Tag Archives: small business management

Make Next Year Your Best: End of the Year Checklist for Businesses

2017 is nearly over, and the holidays are coming to a close. But things are just as hectic as ever for many small business owners. With a mountain of year-end tasks on your plate and tax season looming, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Following an end of the year checklist should help you keep all your ducks in a row and get 2018 started out on the right foot.

 

Gather Tax Information

Begin by compiling all the necessary documents for handling taxes. This can include:

  • Income statements
  • List of operating expenses
  • List of assets¬†bought or sold
  • Invoices and receipts
  • Deductions

Ideally, you will have this information already organized. If not, it’s smart to invest in some accounting software moving forward.

 

Double-Check Payroll Information

According to Fundera, “33 percent of small businesses get fined for doing payroll incorrectly, often because they’re trying to do it on their own and don’t know the nuances.” Claiming ignorance won’t work with the IRS, and you could get hit with some ugly penalties.

Always double-check everything payroll-related and make sure that you’re correctly classifying employees and independent contractors. For more on this, please consult RMI’s Payroll Guide.

 

Get a Snapshot of Your Cash Flow

It’s important to know how you’re positioned in terms of cash flow. There are three key areas to examine to determine this:

  1. Cash flow from operating activities (e.g. revenues and expenses)
  2. Cash flow from investing activities (e.g. assets purchased and assets sold)
  3. Cash flow from financial activities (e.g. loans and loan repayments)

Doing this unassisted can be a little tricky, so you may want to use a tool like the Pulse App. This will generate robust, visual-driven reports to fill you in on the details.

 

Perform an Inventory Count

If you have physical products, it’s a good idea to count inventory levels at the end of each year. You’ll want to ensure that you’ve got an accurate count for accounting purposes and to minimize revenue loss due to theft. This should also give you an idea of what type of growth your business is experiencing long-term.

 

Back Up Critical Data

We live in a very uncertain world. You never know when important documents could go missing and cause you unwanted headaches and financial loss. Do the smart thing and back up all critical data in a stable cloud environment.

Make sure to choose a cloud provider with an emphasis on security. Also be sure to carefully organize and classify information for easy retrieval later on.

 

Examine Your Needs for Next Year

Analyzing your situation at the end of the year should shed light on your needs for the following year. For instance, you may need to hire some additional staff members or downsize, invest in more equipment, adjust your budget and so on.

This end of the year checklist should serve as a basic template to close out the year with minimal setbacks. Hopefully, this will allow you to run your business with a greater degree of efficiency and help you make a smooth transition into the New Year.

 

Psst! Small Business Secrets You Must Know

Running a small business can be a daunting task even for the most adept. It’s inherently risky and demanding with plenty of obstacles along the way. While there’s no one size fits all formula for success, knowing a few small business secrets can stack the odds in your favor.

 

Passion is Integral to Success

As Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” If there’s one pervasive trait that unites the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, it’s passion.

Why is passion so important?

It’s simple. Passion gets you through the inevitable ups and downs and sustains you for the long haul. It helps you stay motivated after most people would have given up. You’re also more likely to fully immerse yourself in your business and do the little things it takes to succeed. In other words, passion breeds progress.

 

Have a Mission

Two things should be clear right out of the gate – who you are and who you’re trying to reach. As a small business owner, you should have a clear purpose of what you’re trying to achieve and the exact audience you’re catering to. This should help prevent any identity confusion and will dictate your approach to branding, marketing and so on.

 

It’s a Process

Seldom do small business owners experience overnight success. More often than not, it’s a very gradual process where the pieces come together step-by-step. Many entrepreneurs also go through a gauntlet of challenges along the way.

The mindset of launching a startup and becoming the next Apple or Facebook isn’t realistic. Smart entrepreneurs acknowledge this and enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.

 

No One is Great at Everything

Even the best and the brightest entrepreneurs can’t do everything on their own. It’s just not feasible, especially during times of major growth. At some point, it’s necessary to enlist the help of others.

Smart business owners admit the simple fact that no single person can be great at everything. In turn, they find people who complement their talents. They focus on what they’re great at and let others fill in the gaps.

 

Evolve Before You Have To

Mark Brownstein is the CEO of The Brownstein Group, one of the most successful and long-lasting brand communications agencies in America. He has a great quote that summarizes the necessity of perpetual evolution. “In an industry that changes every three months, it’s easy to get old fast. So be a life-long learner, and evolve your business before it is time to. And you will remain relevant.”

The business world moves rapidly, and the companies that make it are usually the ones that are a step ahead of the rest. They anticipate change, so it never catches them off guard. Evolve before you have to and you should always be in good shape.

These small business secrets apply to entrepreneurs across all industries. Regardless of your specific situation and circumstances, let them serve as a beacon to stay on track.