With the holiday season nearly upon us, it’s wise to set aside some time to tie up loose ends so you can start the new year fresh, organised, and ready to roll. As you prioritise ‘must-do’s’ before taking some well-earned time off, consider adding these end-of-year business activities to your list.
Connect with your clients The holidays are a time of shared goodwill—a natural time to reach out to your customers to check on how they’re doing, how well your products or services are working for them, and to show your appreciation for their ongoing patronage. Some small businesses send their clients a holiday card or email with a special offer. Others make sure each of their customers receives a personal phone call. Whatever you decide, remember it’s not how you do it or how much you spend—it’s the personal touch that your clients will remember.
Update your financials Ideally, your business should always keep up to date with bookkeeping—but if you’re still using an outdated spreadsheet system, now is a great time to consider upgrading to cloud-based accounting for the new year. There are many cost-effective solutions designed for small business owners that will help save time and money, allowing you to make better decisions based on accurate, real time figures. In the meantime, organise any receipts that need to be entered into your financial database, make sure your invoicing is up to date, and be sure you haven’t fallen behind on anything.
Consider a price increase Once you know your numbers, you may want to give some thought to raising your rates in the new year. Take an honest look at expenses, annual profits, as well as personal and business financial goals. It’s generally recommended for freelancers to increase rates on an annual basis as the value you bring to your work increases with experience. Every small business should really consider doing the same. Costs go up and it’s reasonable for your pricing to reflect your expenses. Increasing rates at the beginning of a new year will also make sense to clients. They’ll appreciate getting the heads up now so they aren’t surprised when new pricing goes into effect on January 1.
Meet with your accountant Touching base with your accountant before year’s end is a smart move for your small business. That way, you can go over your goals for the new year, do some business planning, look at how much capital you may need to meet your goals, and whether a change in business structure would be worthwhile. Your accountant can also offer helpful tax planning advice and maybe provide an estimate of tax payments for the current year, while highlighting tax-saving opportunities.
With these end-of-year planning tips in mind, you can take action and enjoy a great start to the year ahead. Best of all, checking off all those important ‘must-do’s, you’ll be ready to enjoy a relaxed and happy holiday season.