The fourth quarter is upon us, which means it's time to start wrapping up the year and preparing for the next one. For small businesses, this means taking stock of what has been accomplished, setting new goals, planning holiday marketing, stocking up on inventory, reviewing your accounting, potentially changing your business structure, organizing tax paperwork, and updating your website and social media profiles. The Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce has put together a helpful guide so you can be sure to end the year on a strong note and set yourself up for success in 2023.
Evaluating Goal Achievement for the Year
The first order of business is to evaluate how well you've done in meeting your goals for the year. This will give you a good sense of what areas you need to continue to work on and what areas you're excelling in. It's also a good time to celebrate your successes! Once you have a handle on where you stand, you can begin setting new goals for the next year.
Outlining Next Year’s Goals
Now that you know what areas need improvement, it's time to set some goals for next year. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. In other words, they should follow the SMART goal-setting framework. Once you have your goals mapped out, you can start planning how you're going to achieve them.
Planning Holiday Marketing
If you haven't already started planning your holiday marketing, now is the time! The holidays are a critical sales period for many businesses, so it's important to make sure you have a solid plan in place. This plan should include everything from what promotions you'll be running to what holiday-themed content you'll be sharing on social media.
Assessing Your Inventory
If you sell physical products, it’s critical that you make sure you have enough inventory on hand to meet holiday demand. No one wants to run out of stock during the busiest time of the year! This is also a good time to do an inventory check so you can restock any items that are low or out of stock.
Reviewing Your Accounts
The end of the year is also a good time to review your accounting records and make sure everything is up to date. This will help ensure that your taxes are filed correctly and on time. It's also a good opportunity to catch any errors or discrepancies so they can be corrected before they become bigger problems down the road.
Potentially Altering Your Business Structure
As your business grows and changes, it's important to revisit your business structure periodically to see if it still makes sense for your needs. For example, if you've been operating as a sole proprietorship but have recently hired employees, it may be time to consider changing your business structure to a limited liability company. This is something that should be discussed with an accountant or attorney before making any final decisions.
Organizing Tax Paperwork
If you haven't already started gathering all of your tax paperwork, now is the time! This includes everything from receipts and invoices to bank statements and 1099 forms. The sooner you get this information gathered and organized, the easier it will be come tax season – and the less likely you are to overlook something important. To make things easier on yourself, it’s a good idea to take photos of your tax paperwork or scan them. Need to convert them to a PDF? This PDF converter is free, and then you won’t have to worry about misplacing important documents.
Update Your Website & Social Media Profiles
The end of the year is also a good time to update your website and social media profiles with any changes or updates that have happened over the past 12 months. This includes things like adding new products or services, updating contact information, sharing new blog posts or case studies, etc. If there are any major changes or updates that have happened with your business (e.g., relocating offices), be sure to include those as well!
And don't forget to update your profile photos and cover photos with any new team members or company logos. By keeping your website and social media profiles up-to-date, you'll ensure that potential customers have accurate information about your business – and that they see that you're keeping up with the times!
Small businesses have a lot to do in order to prepare for the end-of-year fourth quarter wrap-up! By using these tips, small businesses can set themselves up for success heading into 2023!
Join the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce to connect with local entrepreneurs and resources that can help your business grow.