By Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation
As small businesses everywhere wrap up Q4, many are conducting year-in-review reports on the challenges and successes they faced in 2017. These reports often focus on the financial records of the business.
No matter what kind of year your startup had, it’s important to keep everything documented so that you can better prepare next year. If 2017 wasn’t a strong year financially, here are a few things you can do right now to end on a high note.
Get Organized and Tie Up Loose Ends
If you haven’t already begun to organize your records for your reports, get started. Are any changes needed for your payroll or benefits? Will you be offering a bonus this year? What about unpaid invoices or other bills that haven’t been collected on yet? Will you need to do an inventory count or not? Use this time to organize expenses and deductions and to tie up other loose financial ends.
Check Your Financial Report
What all should be in your financial report, anyway? Make sure the document you’re working on includes the following areas:
- Profit and loss report. This is where you’ll be able to review the gains and losses made throughout the year in order to have a better understanding of how next year will get started.
- Cash flow statement. This covers all of the details behind where the money spent by your business is going with the three major areas focused on including operating, investing, and financial activities.
- Balance sheet. Everything you need to financially expect next year will be covered here.
Create a Budget
Now that you have a good idea of where the money your business makes is going, you’ll be able to better budget for the coming year and set aside money to fulfill goals. For example, next year you might decide to hire more full-time employees. That will require a budget to ensure that you can invest in them as well as the other needs of the business. Or you may invest in small business insurance before the end of the year. Remember insurance can be a tax write off.
Set Goals with Your Team
What would you like to accomplish in 2018? Using the information in your financial report, meet with your team to put together a big picture plan for the upcoming year including areas such as sales, marketing, finance, development, and tech. Encourage your team to weigh in with their feedback about the year by conducting one-on-one reviews with each member to share success stories and expectations and opportunities for the year to come. Additionally, if you met any of your major goals for the year, be sure to celebrate them and congratulate your team for a job well done.
About the Author
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.