Last year is over and the new year has begun, so the busy entrepreneur just keeps moving forward, right? Well, perhaps 2016 needs one more review. In order to move forward in a positive manner, you need to do a few things with your business. Reviewing year-end results will help you discover key insights that may be valuable to your future success. It also allows you to prepare for the upcoming tax season and not be rushed and panicked.
Here is a list of items for you to review:
Pull reports on your entire year. Reports can include your revenue, total number of clients, actual results vs. goals, etc. Think about what is important to YOUR business.
You have the data, now look at what went well and why. Analyze your blogs, social media, bookkeeping, projects, special events, etc. Determine where your successes were and any changes you need to make for the future. Look at what business activities you do. Determine what changes should happen for continued success.
This is often the most challenging aspect of owning your own business. Whether you do your own taxes or plan to hand them over to an accountant, you need to make sure that all of your records are in order. If you have practiced good record keeping throughout the year, this job is much easier. However, you still need to review your books and double-check that all entries are in placed in the proper category. If you use a cloud-based accounting program, this should be fairly easy. You call pull up most of your required reports with a click of your finger.
Right along with your finance information is preparing for the IRS. Tax season can be made easier if you have all of your paperwork in order and ready to go. Make sure that all people that you pay have their tax forms in a timely manner. Have your year-end reports ready to use. Have all financials, receipts and records ready for whomever does your taxes. Don’t wait until the last minute. If you are missing something, it is much easier to catch this early.
You’ve pulled all of the information, now take another look at it before you close out 2016. Review the following:
- Performance – yours, any staff, contractors, vendors, etc. Do changes need to be made?
- Goals – Did you meet and/or exceed your goals?
- Review your plans for 2017- are they realistic? Achievable?
Looking at your year-end results may seem like something that you don’t need to do, however, this review can be immensely helpful with your continued success. These simple steps can assist you in preparing for the IRS and moving forward with your business goals