In less than 90-days, we will all be standing together with loved ones and friends saying goodbye to 2017 and ringing in a new year filled with hope and promise. As the New Year approaches, now is the time for small business owners and entrepreneurs to take stock of our companies and put together our list of to-do’s that will make sure we are prepared for the coming year.

 

So use this list of 7 essential things you can do between now and the end of the year as a starting point.  Since we have a little time until the clock strikes midnight on December 31 let’s start getting ready now so we can make next year better than ever.

 

Are you ready? Let’s go:

  1. Clean house: Don’t carry clutter into a new year.  Purge the junk off of your desk. Go through your files and e-mails; archive what you no longer need immediately at hand, deal with the things that need attention, and get rid of the rest. Clean house and get yourself organized.

 

  1. Review your year: Look at your numbers – revenue and profit. What are the trends in your industry and what lessons have you learned? Document everything. Avoid having to re-learn the lessons by tracking evidence of what works, what doesn’t, and why.

 

  1. Conduct a performance evaluation of your current clients. Who did you love, who did you want to strangle, who did you fire and who should you say goodbye to? Review revenue and profit margins by client and update your target market profile as necessary. If clients are draining your profit margin why carry them into the New Year?

 

  1. Get your taxes records in order: Regardless of your tax schedule, every person you employ or contract needs their paperwork. By law, that paperwork must be postmarked by January 31st, contact your accountant or bookkeeper now to make sure you’re prepared when April 15 rolls around!

 

  1. Get informed: New laws for small businesses take effect on January 1, is anything new going to impact your business? Avoid the penalties, and be compliant before you have to be. Contact your HR attorney, CPA, and your business attorney to get informed of any changes that will affect your business.

 

  1. Review your goals: Now that you have dotted your Is and crossed your Ts, start the fun stuff. What do you want your business to achieve next year? Be SMART, set goals rather than make resolutions. Especially in business, there is a difference between a goal and a resolution. Resolutions are things you keep, goals are things you attain. Nearly all successful business owners use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based) goals to achieve their goals.

 

  1. Build your strategy with your team and mentors: Once you have goals for your business, it’s crucial to get your team on board. Schedule a planning and strategy meeting with your employees, colleagues, and support system to create the plans you need to reach those goals.

 

 

The New Year will be here before we know it. Has 2017 been all that you hoped it would be? Take time now to assess the current state of your business and make plans for the upcoming year. The countdown starts now. Good Luck!