We’re in the final two weeks before we all close for Christmas, so time is precious. That being said, we at Aurion think small to medium enterprise (SME) business owners should take a look at how the end of this year is shaping up so they can position their businesses for a strong finish and set themselves up for a good start to 2019.
So, in that spirit – here’s a quick checklist of 11 things to consider to wrap up 2018.
1. Go Over 2018’s Revenue Goals
Most small business owners and heads of departments start each year by defining revenue goals. And then, review these set out financial goals at the beginning of each quarter to work out how they are moving toward them, so going into the last quarter of the year they have a pretty good idea of whether or not they are on track or are lagging. With less than a month to go, it’s a good time to take one last look to determine if you’re on track, need to adjust, or are within sight of your goals with a little push.
2. Examine Your Vendor Files
December is the best time to ensure the information you have of any vendors you make use of is up to date and correctly listed. Now is also a good time to take a stern look at any external vendors you use and define how much their true value is to your business. Not working out as planned? Move on. Send a Christmas card anyway.
3. Initiate Year-end Financial Reports
Year-end financial reports allow you to take a look at the big picture. Day-day activities are easy to get lost in, so when the rest of your team is putting the Christmas tree up, examine your P&L statement, balance sheet and cash flow break down. If this is the domain of a CFO or external accountant, make it yours, so you welcome 2019 with a clear indication of where you’re business is situated.
4. Do a Physical Inventory
This is important if your business is operated on a calendar year basis, but that’s not the only reason to do it. Conducting an annual physical inventory is not only important for tax purposes but is a great way for you to evaluate what products tend to sell or identify which products don’t do as well. Unless slow-moving inventory is obsolete, many suppliers are willing to exchange it for something you can regularly turn over more quickly.
5. Audit Your Company Website
It is a safe bet to assume that many if not all small businesses appreciate the value of their website as a marketing, sales and retention tool. However, once it’s live and functioning they don’t give it any more attention. Aurion is convinced your website should be a living, breathing thing that you regularly revisit and refresh to keep it new and relevant to your customers and potential customers. Even something as changing images or headlines can keep your site looking brand new!
6. Back Up Your Data
Heaps of Australian businesses rely on their computers for accounting, point-of-sale systems, employee records and other business-critical information, but taking the time to backup systems can be time consuming—and a pain. Even though all this information is critical, it’s easy to understand why taking the time to back up your computer system often gets overlooked. Although a more frequent backup cadence is probably a good idea, an end-of-year backup is something I consider really important. Fortunately, there are a lot of backup drive options available for anything from an average personal computer or a much larger computer system.
7. Review Your Staffing Options
Did you notice any times when an extra hand or two, could have helped your business capture more profits? Does it make sense to add a new employee, consider a seasonal employee, or maybe a college intern for next year? When you establish your goals for the next 12 months, your staffing needs should be part of that discussion. With the hindsight of the year behind you, it can be time well spent considering whether or not you’ll need a new employee or two.
8. Print a PDF of Your Calendar
Although there are some people who keep a detailed diary of their meetings, phone calls, events, or other travels, many of us rely on our calendars to refresh our memories when it’s time to reconcile expenses for taxes or other purposes. The habit of printing out the calendar for the year is an exercise worth starting (if you’re not already doing it).
9. Create a Log of Your Business Accomplishments
You just might be surprised by all the great things that happened within your business this year, if you never take the time to catalogue your accomplishments. It can take a little bit of time, but collecting, sharing, and celebrating your business’ achievements with your employees at this time of the year is a great way to build camaraderie, increase morale, and end the year on a high note.
10. Define Your Payroll Needs
How efficient at you at paying your employees on time each week, fortnight or month? How good was your bookeepper at recording permanent and contract staff, noting increases and promotions, logging overtime hours? For many small businesses, this is a thorn in their shoe.
Just in time for year’s end, Aurion has launched Aurion PayGo – a simple and innovative payroll solution specifically designed for the Australian small business market. Aurion has been ensuring hundreds of large and enterprise Australian businesses have had all their payroll needs met for almost thirty years now – and we’re turning our attention and expertise to the SME market!
Find out more here!
In all the hustle and bustle of doing business through the end of the year, don’t forget to take some time to do some small business housekeeping—it will be time well spent. And this checklist is a great place to start.