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With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s common for business owners to be stretched thin. But, with 2019 coming to an end, now is the time to knuckle down and prioritize those end-of-the-year checklists. Here are 5 things all business owners should be doing in December to ensure a strong start to 2020.
Consider Maximizing Your Tax Deductions
For many businesses, it makes sense to make whatever purchases you can now in order to maximize your deductions and reduce your tax burden. Maybe your business could use an equipment upgrade or a new computer system. Now is the time to spend money on whatever you have been holding off on buying. This includes anything from office supplies to new delivery vans to paying off any outstanding vendor invoices.
Another way to increase your deductions is by making charitable contributions. If you make a cash donation, make sure to get a receipt from the charity.
Check Your Inventory
Do you have old inventory taking up space? Or are you running low on hot items that you should be stocking up on for the new year? Now is the time to do a thorough inventory audit and verify that you are well stocked with items that are selling fast so that you are prepared for the new year. Clean out any older items that are taking up valuable space in your warehouse or store.
Review Your Finances
Do you have an accurate picture of what your business expenses are? As a business owner, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day happenings that come along with running a company. Often, this causes you to focus only on things that require your immediate attention. If you’re in the habit of paying your bills blindly without verifying that everything is correct, 2020 is the perfect time to break that habit. While analyzing your bills, you may find mistakes in your favor or areas where you can cut back on your spending.
You should also invest some time into running financial reports so you can get a clear idea of your profit and loss. Compare it to last year so you can see what business practices may need to be changed. Create a cash flow statement, so you are aware of how cash flows into and out of your business. This will give you better insight into your company’s financial health and help you predict and plan for times when cash flow is limited. If your finances are not organized, make it a priority now.
Evaluate Your Goals and Set New Ones for the New Year
Take some time to reflect on your business and analyze this year’s successes and failures. Think about where you want to be next year at this exact time and set your targets accordingly. While it is important to have high aspirations, remember to make those goals realistic and attainable. Create a specific roadmap for how to achieve them.
Check and Update Your Website
Your website is the first thing potential clients see, so it needs to look fresh and up to date. Is your content current and is everything accurate? Review your website and make sure everything looks good and is functional. Do all the links and forms work? Does anything need updating? If so, create a plan for revamping your website for the new year.
In between holiday gatherings, travel, and personal obligations set some time aside to complete the checklist above. It will be time well spent and you’ll set your business up for a successful 2020.
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