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It is only a matter of days until a New Year is upon us. Many people are still away on vacation or enjoying an extended ‘staycation’ at home. In addition, just about everyone is getting ready for New Year’s Eve, which is filled with sights, sounds, and festivities. The last week before the New Year arrives is a great time to take stock of the past twelve months and plan for the future. A few members of Balboa Capital’s digital marketing team and management team met and came up with this small business checklist for the New Year.
Let your employees know how important they are.
The first item on our small business checklist deals with your employees, who are the backbone of your company. They are the ones who make things happen and help you succeed. So, why not share your appreciation and gratitude with them? This can help start the New Year on a positive note.
Moreover, research shows that recognition boosts morale and leads to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity. So, instead of sending a company-wide email, think of something unique to start the new year, such as a kickoff breakfast or lunch, extra time off, gift cards, or a fun company outing. Employees enjoy business perks.
Look at your website’s key metrics.
Having a creative-looking website for your small business means nothing if it is not generating traffic, leads, and sales. Ask your marketing manager or the business/individual who designed your website to provide you with a 12-month report of the most important website metrics. These include website traffic, traffic sources, top landing pages visited, bounce rate, and conversion rate.
This information will give you a snapshot of how your website is performing and help you determine what needs to be changed. In addition, ask for a website audit report to see if your site has any problems that need to be addressed. Common issues include broken links, missing pages with 404 errors, overly large images, and slow page load times. These things can result in a poor user experience, decreased website traffic, and missed sales opportunities.
Revise your strategic sales plan for the New Year.
Your business’s financial performance over the past 12 months will determine your goals for next year. If you reached or surpassed your sales and revenue targets, you would start the New Year right. If you fell short, you should try to figure out why and make adjustments as needed. For example, examine ways to attract more customers and upsell existing customers. It is also a good idea to re-evaluate your business’s sales procedures and protocols to see if anything is causing you to miss sales opportunities.
Ask your employees what feedback they were given from customers, read your reviews online, and monitor what your competitors are doing. Then, think of what you can do to persuade customers that your product or service is beneficial to them. The better you understand your customers’ expectations and purchasing decisions, the easier it will be to get them to buy.
Get a jump start on bookkeeping for the New Year.
The hectic tax season will be here before you know it, so getting ready ahead of time can be a time saver and make your visit to the accountant a breeze. Start by gathering your business expenses, sales, receipts, credit card summaries, payroll reports, bank transactions, and bills from vendors.
Then, make sure they are accurately entered into your bookkeeping system or software. If you do this before December 31, you will have less bookkeeping in January, which means more time to focus on running your business.
Improve your business credit rating.
Do you know your business’s credit rating? If not, you probably do not know how much borrowing power you have. So start the New Year by giving your business credit rating a nice boost to get a business loan or a business cash advance with a lower interest rate. To do this, update your business information with all three credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax), pay your bills on time, pay your taxes on time, and borrow from lenders that report your information to credit bureaus.
While so many business owners focus on holiday parties and get-togethers, gift-giving, and New Year’s resolutions, it is vital to focus on year-end strategic planning. We hope that you found this small business checklist for the New Year to be helpful.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.