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5 Things SMEs Should Do To Prepare For The End Of The Year

By Lorin M

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November 5, 2021

As we approach the business-end of another year, many of us will be looking forward to a good break spent with friends and family, taking the time to recharge and refresh in preparation to do it all again next year. But if you’re the owner of an SME, or any business, there are a few aspects of the year-end that you need to be considering now in order for this time to run smoothly. There are expectations on you not only from your staff around performance bonuses, 13th paychecks and holiday leave, but also from potential business partners and possible investors as to the state of the business and the plan for next year… 

It can all seem a bit overwhelming, but we have prepared a brief list of 5 things SMEs should all consider at the end of the year to help you get through.  

  1. Make A Checklist 

As obvious (and possibly tedious) as it sounds, it can really help to write things down that need to get done for your specific business to properly wrap up at the end of a year. You can break it up into the various sections of your business or possibly the areas that require the most attention – maybe your people are the most important and biggest aspect and need to be considered first and foremost. Try grouping areas to make checking off of the list more achievable, something like this could work:

  • Accounting – for analysing cash flows and reconciling accounts receivable.  
  • IT – backing up of computers, data and contacts is very important in this modern era of business.
  • HR – to evaluate your staffing needs and accomplishments. 
  • General – a few things key to your business may be worth listing: website updates, inventory audit etc. 

Once you’ve made the list you can add to it or remove aspects that don’t warrant much attention – then you have something to guide you next year when this time invariably comes around again. 

  1. Review and Report On Your Financials   

Staying on top of your business’s financial records is obviously very important throughout the year, but even more in December. By maintaining accurate records, you can aim to better predict what the new year may have in store – And you’ll be more prepared for tax season. A few accounting tasks you should sort before December 31 would be: 

  • Review last year’s revenue goals – With less than a month to go, it’s a good time to take a look to see if you’re on track, need to adjust, or within sight of the revenue goals you set at the beginning of the year. 
  • Run year-end financial reports – taking a critical look at your primary financial reports for the year is very important. Your reports should definitely include a Profit & Loss Statement, a Balance Sheet and a Cash Flow Report – this article outlines some important aspects to financial metrics you should be aware of. 
  • Update payroll information – having the right information can save a lot of hassles down the line and this is a good time to ensure that taxable fringe benefits are accounted for. 
  • Reconcile accounts receivable – More than half of small business owners say late payments are their biggest pain point. This article may help with keeping those relationships going well this festive season.  
  1. Evaluate Your Staff Needs and Your Staff’s Needs 

Whether you work with a large group or are just getting started with a small team, there are a few HR tasks you should give your attention to now that December approaches. 

Firstly, did you notice a lack of people at all? Or the need for additional people at certain times of the year? When establishing goals for next year, your staffing needs must be a part of that conversation. 

Secondly, it is vital that you celebrate your business wins – look back at everything you and your team have achieved together – document your wins and share them with pride. 

Then thirdly, and arguably the most stressful of the lot, year-end incentives, bonuses and 13th paychecks. While some may expect monetary incentives, rewards can also come in the form of paid time off and more flexible schedules. These can be a great way to boost morale and increase your staff satisfaction. 

  1. Audit The Company  

This is not as serious as it sounds, but it can be an important part of running a successful business. Physical stock, asset and product inventory can help to outline your usage and give you better-informed spending power. Interrogating personal and business goals, as well as auditing your company website are ways you can make the running of your business more efficient, and ultimately help you to both cut  losses and grow revenue. Which is the point isn’t it? 

  1. Look Ahead  

The most important aspect of the year-end ‘recon’ is to take what you have learned and put it into a plan for the new year ahead of you. The business landscape for all industries is in constant flux so the best we can do is make a plan that is strategically-informed and takes into account where you are and how you got there. Benjamin Franklin said, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” and he ended up on the hundred dollar bill!  

A new year is filled with possibilities and they are more achievable when we have a good plan. Good luck!

At Bridgement, we endeavour to make the running of a business, your business, possible. 

We’re here to help you make a success of your business by providing insight and understanding to a complex landscape and offering much-needed funding to make that success a possibility.  

Bridgement Business Funding

#MadePossible

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