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End Of Year Small Business Checklist


The end of the year is a hectic time for Small Business Owners, aside from the holiday rush you should be Reviewing, Reflecting, Revamping, and preparing for your new year's Relaunch. Don't let that word scare you, lol. A new year relaunch doesn't mean a complete rebrand... it's just about reflecting, analyzing, and strategizing on how to make the next 12 months even more successful. Unless you want to do a complete rebrand in that case, do you?


The mistake a lot of Small Business owners make is setting goals without thoroughly evaluating what did and didn't work first. This end-of-the-year small business checklist has 17 tasks to help you prepare for next year and evaluate how this past year went. There is no right or wrong order to complete these tasks...just complete them.


End Of The Year Small Business Checklist



Check out this Reflect & Review 2023 Download to help get started on your 2024 planning.


 

2023 turning 2024


 

Review Finances


The goal of any business is for your incoming revenue to outweigh your outgoing expenses. Take the time to run your financial reports and review bank statements. Compare your profits and losses to last year. Identify any cash flow issues by analyzing assets, liabilities, operating expenses, and financial activities.


  1. Do you have more money coming in than what's going out?

  2. Are your vendor/supplier balances paid?

  3. Review your business credit reports—report any accuracy. Identify any areas that need attention.

  4. Review your relationship with your bank. Any increase in fees or balance requirements that may affect your business? Are they providing the service and benefits you need?


 

Inventory Audit


An inventory audit includes counting what's in stock and what needs to be re-ordered. It's also a perfect time to reflect on how certain inventories performed. What factors you're evaluating will vary based on if you're a product or service business of course. Here are a couple of things to consider when doing an Inventory Audit:


For a product/retail business evaluate how customers are reacting to your inventory.

  1. Did it sell well? Not sell?

  2. Worth re-ordering?

  3. Were shipping supplies/packing supplies performing as needed?

  4. Is pricing still reasonable?

  5. Relationship with the vendor/supplier going well?


For a service business evaluate how the product/equipment fit your needs. For example, let's say you have a cleaning business:


  1. Did the floor cleaner you purchased perform well on your client's floors? Or did it stain the floors?

  2. Did your vacuum withstand the year or does it need to be replaced?

  3. Are your rags/cleaning tools all in good condition?

  4. Any jobs you ran into that made you realize your tools aren't providing everything you need?

  5. Relationship with the vendor/supplier going well?

 


digital marketing research book

Review marketing strategies used.


Take the time to review every marketing strategy/channel you put in place over the past year. Hopefully, you have some that you used... cough, cough. 👀😷 If so, take the time to evaluate the performance and results of each one.


  1. What strategies were most successful?

  2. What strategies were the least successful?

  3. What channels got the most engagement?

  4. What strategies and sales produced the best conversion rates?




Reviewing your marketing strategies is important but so is evaluating your consistency and your efforts with each one as well. Don't count a strategy out without paying attention to how much time, research, and effort you put into actually making it work too.


 

Website/Social Media Audit


Having an online presence in 2023 is crucial. But it's not enough to just be visible online. You also want to make sure your website and social media channels are accurately portraying your brand, performing as needed, and displaying the correct information.


Be honest...If you go to a website with broken links, blurry images, and a bunch of typos, how likely are you to purchase or book with them? If you can't find their policies or see reviews how much will you trust them?


Website and Social Media audits should be conducted regularly throughout the year but especially as you close out one year and embrace the new one.


Check your website insights for traffic reports, conversion rates, bounce rates, broken links, etc. Make sure images and content are updated and current.


Review social media channels. Identify which channels are performing well. Identify what content is producing the results you need. Make a plan to continue to improve.


 

Review Sales Channels


If you're a retail business you probably sell from more than just your website. Take the time to review each sales channel. Make sure they are doing what you need and providing what you need. Also, make sure you're familiar with running them, and brush up on the tools they offer and their terms and conditions.


  1. Are the sales channels you're currently using producing the results you want?

  2. Do you fully understand how to use them?

  3. Are you using all of the tools they provide?

  4. Review their terms & and conditions.

  5. Check for any policy updates or fees that may affect your business.



 

Customer Outreach

customer service

Review customer feedback, and reach out to customers who haven't provided feedback. Pay attention to what your customers are saying. Make any necessary changes.


Some ways you can follow up with customers are via email, social media, and/or text messages. Create a survey or send a coupon incentive in exchange for a review. Reaching out is also a great way to be like "Hey I'm still here." and maybe snag a sale 🤑



 

Review Licenses & Certifications


Make sure any licenses/certifications that are expiring or nearing expiring are on your schedule to renew. If there are any classes to register for or fees to pay it's better to go ahead and get those on your mind/calendar sooner rather than later.


 

Back-Up Your Files


There is nothing worse than losing access to important files and/or notes. Back them up now !!! IRS requires at least 3 years of files kept on file for employees. So don't be so quick to get rid of things. Doesn't mean keep everything but never know what you may need.



 


Review contracts and agreements currently in place.


Take the time to review the contracts you are currently using. Over the year maybe you've noticed it's not working for all of your customers. Make any adjustments you may need. Review the contracts currently in place and make sure the terms/conditions and pricing are all up to date.


  1. Do the contracts currently in place need to be updated?

  2. Are you and the client/vendor both upholding your ends?

  3. Are any revisions needed for current or future contracts and agreements?

  4. Are any of your contracts expired or reaching the expiration date?


 

Audit Software/Systems


Review and renew any software/systems you currently use to keep your business operating efficiently.


  1. Is anything not working?

  2. Does anything need to be updated?

  3. Do you understand how to work the software and systems you have in place?


 


Evaluate Day-To-Day Operations.


Having a solid plan to run the day-to-day operations of your business helps keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. It also helps make sure you don't miss customer messages, vendor/partner updates, or upcoming events/appointments.


  1. Do you have a day-to-day operations plan in place?

  2. Are you staying on top of the day-to-day needs of your business?

  3. Are there any areas you can improve in?



 

review your business policies

Review your Terms and policies currently in place


By now you should know the importance of having Policies and Terms and conditions in place. They not only protect you but protect your business and your customers as well. As situations arise or circumstances change you may begin to realize that these policies are not one size fits all. Adjustments may need to be made or wording may need to be added. Review the Terms and policies you currently have in place to protect you and your business.


  1. Are they working?

  2. Have any issues arrived over the past year that your policies didn't cover?

  3. Are they easy to find for your customers to see and be aware of?

  4. Are they clear to understand?

  5. Do you need to revise or reword any?



 

Review law and ordinance changes that may affect your business


Just like your business policies are updated and changed so are the federal, state, and local municipal laws/ordinances. Take time to make sure you're still in compliance.


 


Reflect and share on your success.


Your growth and accomplishments matter. Take the time to not only acknowledge what you've achieved but celebrate it too. Too often we focus on knocking out the tasks and reaching the next goal but not enough on soaking in the wins.


Success attracts attention and deserves praise. Your customers, supporters, and partners should see the growth in you and your business. Don't be humble...be proud!


 

Review 2023 Goals


Before setting goals for next year it's important to remind yourself how 2023's plan went. Not only review the goals you set but the progress you did or didn't make.


  1. Did you accomplish any of the goals you set?

  2. Did you fail at any?

  3. What changes would you have or should you have made?

  4. Did you thoroughly plan for these goals? Like laying out the action steps with deadlines.

 

plan for 2024

Plan for 2024


Using the information, insights, and notes from above it's time to set new goals for the year ahead and start strategizing. Use your competitors or other brands you like for inspiration.


Perfect time for a new vision board.




 

Download this 12-page printout to help you get started: Reflect & Review 2023



RISSS

Small Business Owning, Homeschooling, Traveling, Author, Entrepreneur, Softball/Baseball Mom & Wife.

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