We've made it to a new year! Before you kick your feet up and relax, take some time to prepare your business for a prosperous new year. We know this can be daunting, and that's why we've compiled a checklist of everything you need to do for your business to succeed this year and beyond!
A Year in Review
Looking back often gives us a new perspective. Completing an end-of-the-year audit will prepare your business for this new year. Focus on your struggles and wins. Did you accomplish the goals you set for the previous year? What areas could use improvement? The answer to these questions will help you know where to focus your attention.
Planning for a whole year can be intimidating. It would be best to break it down using monthly or quarterly metrics. Once your goals are clear, it's crucial to include your team. They will use them as a guiding post to drive your company in the right direction and ensure all objectives are met.
There is no way around it; you need a budget! Look at your spending habits. What are your operating costs? What will your cash flow look like? Will you need a line of credit or loan to keep your business afloat when cash gets low? Identify what business expenses will increase. Find where you can reduce costs and formulate a plan to increase your revenue this year. Learning how to manage your funds early ensures your business's survival.
Whether we like it or not, tax season is upon us. We at ICS know that this can be a busy and stressful time of the year. With some preparation, you can easily make it through this stressful time. Gathering all your tax documents and scheduling a meeting with a tax advisor is a good idea. You will need last year's financial report, your 2021 tax return, 2022 1099 forms if you are an independent contractor, K1s if you're a partner or shareholder of a company, your W2(s) if you haven't left your 9 to 5 yet, and receipts for any deductions to credits you plan to claim.
Did you take advantage of all your tax deductions? What new laws went into effect, and how may they impact you? Were there any changes in your business, and how may your taxes be affected? If you still need to start planning for retirement, be sure to discuss your options. Make sure you know when your tax return is due and plan accordingly. This may seem like a no-brainer but starting the tax season off on the right foot is vital to your business.
Prioritize your time. Identify when you are most productive and use that time wisely. If you are a morning person, complete your important tasks during this time. Work on similar jobs back-to-back instead of scattering them throughout your day. Delegating tasks allows you to free up some of your time. Use business apps for managing and organizing your business. These apps can help new and seasoned owners streamline their processes. With so many things to do, it's essential to prioritize your time.
Remain Calm. It's easy to get stressed out during tax season but stay calm and focused. Take breaks when you need to, and don't try to do everything at the last minute.
If you are familiar with Chinese New Year customs, you know that Year-end cleaning drives away bad luck and prepares for a fresh start. Year-end cleaning does not have to happen at the end of the calendar year. This month, set aside time to tie up any loose ends. To eliminate client concerns, wrap up projects left on the back burner. Ensure your bookkeeping is up to date. Examine what applications and systems are working and what is not. Implement new technologies that will help your business stand out against competitors.
Celebrate your wins. Owning a successful business is not for the faint at heart. Be proud of all the things you were able to achieve last year. Reward you and your team with dinner. Plan a much-needed vacation. Grab lunch with friends. Remember to balance working hard and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
2022 is finally behind us. If last year was different from what you hoped it would be, now is the time to change that. Planning, taking stock, and preparing are crucial to a successful business. Although it is impossible to predict what this year will bring, being proactive allows you to identify challenges early and gives your business a head start!