The end-of-year checklist for small businesses
The end of the year is a busy time for small business owners for so many reasons. You’re trying to get all your work done before the holidays so you can spend time with your family and friends and enjoy the new year. Our family and work priorities collide and we can become frantic trying to make sense of the chaos. The end of the year isn’t the time to lose control. It’s when your business needs your attention most. But it’s also the best time to take a break.
It’s hard to choose which to prioritise. Around 90% of small business owners admit to working during the holidays and 5% do not expect to take any time off at all. Being a workaholic can drive your business forward, but it’s at the expense of your social life, family life, and personal health.
So, to put things into perspective, here is an end-of-year checklist of things you need to do to keep things running smoothly.
The end of the year is the time to sort out your accounts. Many dread it. But if you keep things simple and prepare in advance, you’ll have your books in order before you know it. You should:
- Run a few standard reports and assess your financial situation – Think about how this year compares to the previous ones. You can use your accounting software to generate financial reports and useful insights to guide your business in the coming months.
- Analyse your cash flow – It’s important to check your cash flow before you take time out for the holidays. If you’re leaving your business in a state of uncertainty, how will you be able to relax and enjoy some much-needed quality time if you’re worrying about your finances? If you check everything is in order in advance, you’ll be able to use Christmas and the New Year to regenerate your mind and body, ready to get things rolling again in January.
Some of us like to spend the holidays wrapped up at home and some like to go on holidays abroad. No matter what your plans are, it’s a time to take a break and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Making sure you can pick up where you left off is important. So you should:
- Backup your data – Make sure you backup and secure all your files and make sure you do the same for your employees. Remember to back up your contacts so you can get back into the swing of things quickly and easily. Unplanned downtime can happen at any time, and if you’re away, you may not be able to solve it instantly. Backing up your files means you don’t have to worry.
Running a limited company is hard. But the end of the year is a time to remember you’re not doing this alone. It takes a great team to grow, learn, drive a business to success. So perhaps the festive period might be one to give a little recognition and appreciation. You could:
- Offer a Christmas bonus or end-of-year incentive.
- Examine your staffing needs for the coming year so you can budget accordingly for the new year.
- Share the accomplishments of your business and staff from the past year with everyone at the company to get everyone excited for the year to come.
Sometimes we take our jobs so seriously, we forget to enjoy the ride and take a breather every now and again. The end of the year is the perfect time to sit back, relax, and look how far you’ve come, then get ready for the future. As the holidays draw closer, now is a better time than ever to make sure you have everything in order for a great new year.
The Big Hand team wants to see all our clients reach their future business goals. In combination with our business advice, we also offer professional accounting services to ensure you can focus on the things that really matter. For more information, visit our site or call us on 0161 327 2911.