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Start-Ups

4 End of the Year Planning Tips for Small Businesses

By Pramod Raheja   |    December 26, 2013   |    10:07 AM

1. Assess How You Did.

Look at last year’s action plans and goals. Did you accomplish what you set out to do? Why or why not? Make some notes, as these will help you to determine what to do (or not to do) in accomplishing your goals in the year ahead.

2. Review Your Finances.

There are a few components to this:

  1. Budget: how well have you been following it? Do you even have one? It may be time to establish one!
  2. Cost Base and Pricing: Review your cost base and determine if you need to adjust pricing. How will this adjustment affect your relationships with customers?
  3. Borrowing: Are you on top of your business loan obligations? Are you in need of refinancing?
  4. Taxes!: It’s time to get your financial books in order. Hire a bookkeeper if you need to-but now’s the time to get serious. Prepare the three major financial documents that will be the basis of any planning for the year ahead: the Balance sheet, the Income Statement, and the Cash Flow Statement.
3. Evaluate Your Employees.

Now is the time to conduct employee performance reviews. These are extremely important, as they will not only allow you to consider an employee’s performance, but also praise them for their achievements over the course of the year, as well as assure that the individual’s personal goals are aligned with your business’s.

4. Set Goals for 2014.

What do you want to accomplish this year? Draw up a new action plan. If you’ve never put one together, an action plan is a list of activities and steps that delineate your business’s priorities. To put one together, try the following steps:

  1. Identify desired outcomes within each business category.
  2. Identify potential solutions.
  3. Outline steps that will make the outcome a reality.
  4. Assign each goal to someone within your company.
  5. Set a timeframe: Assign a desired start date and a desired end date.
  6. Schedule milestones and status updates.
  7. Allocate money and time to each objective.
When drawing up your plan, be specific and make your goals achievable. Throughout the new year, refer back to your plan regularly in order to assess your progress and make sure you’re staying on track.

Good luck in the New Year!