Although the end of the year is packed with family to see, things to do, and places to go, it's also a time that business owners are preparing for next year and getting ready for tax season. Attempting to prioritize the attack on work seems like a job in itself, and it never seems to work exactly as the way it did last year. However, we've put together a list of items that mean big picture planning for your next successful big year.
The tax review with your CPA is one of the most important things you're going to do this year. With the knowledge of a CPA, you're able to make financial decisions for your company that can end up saving money now and in the long run. CPAs understand the tax code better than anyone, and can help structure your current and forecasted budget around the maximum amount of tax savings possible.
The budget that needs to be set should always be finished before the year actually starts. That way, you're able to make changes and adjustments, as necessary, before you're busy making 2016's first sale. It also makes sense, as you can look to see if you're able to afford a new hire, and complete it before the year takes off.
A marketing plan is one of the most important parts of your year-end big picture plan. Without any marketing, how does your business expect to grow? Sure, a company can shoot to be all word-of-mouth advertising, but when was the last time a WOM referral came through? Is it enough to support your business? Spending money online or offline completely depends on your business model, and trial and error or market research can make an impression as to whether it will work for your company. Either decision involves a significant amount of upfront costs that can make an owner's heart sink, but the long-term payoff can ultimately increase sales. Spending significant time understanding that marketing is way beyond just social media posts will help you now and in the future.
Be honest. When was the last time you put together an exit strategy? How much time did you spend preparing it? An exit strategy can change, but without having a clear goal of where you would like to exit the business, how you're going to do it, or laying plans to how you're going to get there, is a train wreck in the making. Without the exit plan, there's no strategy to follow for employees, and they can become lost too. Spend time on the exit plan now, while you can, so that 2016's overall strategy is strong.
Although 2015 is almost over, there is still plenty of time to knock some of these great winning tactics out. Having these 6 big picture planning methods in play for you can help the transition in the new year be smooth and somewhat predictable, so you're not caught off guard by anything upcoming.
If budgeting or forecasting is getting in the way of your 2016 success, make sure to talk to your bookkeeper. The value of speaking with the person who is closest to your books is underestimated. Who else can help you make those financial decisions?
Here's to your success in 2016!