There is still a few months left before 2019 wraps up, but planning ahead is the key to ending the year right and better than ever. So, here is your ‘End-of-Year Playbook’ for your business to help you tie up any loose ends and get a running start as we hurtle towards 2020.
1. Get Caught Up on Your Bookkeeping
You can’t make any sound financial or tax planning for the future if you don’t know where things stand—and that means understanding actually how much you’ve taken in and how much you’ve spent year to date. You’d be surprised by how many business owners don’t know these numbers.
If you are not working with an accountant, there are plenty of apps to help automate most of the work for you. By getting caught up on your revenue and expenses now, you will have an easier time come tax season, and you’re in a better position to make sound end-of-year decisions.
2. Revisit Your Pricing
Once you understand your business’ financial picture, it’s time to get honest about how things are going. Is your business model sustainable or do you feel like you’re working as hard as you can, but still treading water?
Many freelancers and small business owners make the mistake of undercharging their clients: is your pricing adequately compensating you for your time, experience, and costs?
The start of the 2020 is a natural time to bump up your rates. BUT…why wait? If you need to increase prices NOW then do it. Sometimes it’s just a psychological barrier that stops you from doing it…so perhaps talking things through with your business coach or success team may get you through those barriers.
3. Do Some End-of-Year Tax Planning
The majority of people think about taxes just once a year….January 31st! As a result, they lose the chance to make any meaningful changes to help their tax situation and keep more money in their pockets. It’s smart to set up a meeting with an accountant before the year comes to a close, so you can follow any tax advice on your business while it still matters for 2019.
For example, if after organising your books, you realise that you’ll have a larger-than-expected profit this year, consider pulling the trigger on that new computer or other expenses you’ve been considering. And by all means, see where you stand with your estimated tax payments for the year and get caught up if needed.
4. Change Your Business Structure
If you have been thinking about “upgrading” your business structure from a sole proprietorship to a Limited Company or anything bigger, now is the time. That’s because you can simplify your record keeping and taxes by starting 2020 as the new structure.
5. Update Your Website and Social Media Profiles
Throughout the year you undoubtedly make time to help your clients prosper, but how much time do you dedicate to growing your own business? Is the content on your website and business social media profiles up to date?
Dedicate one day this month to touching up, revamping, or overhauling your digital presence. If you simply can’t spare a full day from paid work, then spend two hours per week for one month. You can even hire someone if needed… just don’t let your own business languish while you help everyone else move ahead.
6. Plan Your Holiday Schedule
Your clients will expect you to take time off around the end of the year; more than likely, they’ll be quiet around the holiday season, too. However, you should still give all clients ample notice of your plans and set their expectations for your availability. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure a smooth and stress-free holiday and a well deserved rest!