I looked at the calendar this morning and my eyes popped out of my head a little! 2017 is winding down, whether you crushed it in business or not. And 2018 is only 6 weeks away, whether you are ready or not!
So the window of procrastination has closed and it is time to finish out the year strong, and get your game plan in place for 2018. Here’s 10 things every small business owner should do before the end of the year.
- Review company spending– If you haven’t gone through expense reports in a while, now is the time. Every company can increase profits by eliminating unnecessary spending. In my 2016 year-end spending review we were able to identify nearly $2000 of monthly expenses that we could either do without or get for less.
- Review the sales system– How well is your sales system producing for you? Do you need to make adjustments? Is your scripting in place? Is your system working for you? How can you make the sales system produce better? These are all really important questions to ask. Don’t go into a new year with an old, out-of-date sales system.
- Set the marketing calendar– I recommend that all of my clients have 7 different marketing strategies they use to bring leads into the basement. And I am a stickler about having the yearly calendar built. A gap in leads always equals a gap in sales! If you want stable sales, you’ve got to make sure the marketing calendar is well laid out!
- Update any pricing or deliverables– Service based business owners I have some shocking news. Your expenses go up with time. And your prices should as well to match the cost of doing business. The beginning of the year is a great time to roll out those changes in pricing or what you deliver in your services and programs.
- Set the sales goals– Set your sales goal now because so much of your plans revolve around this number. How much revenue do you want to do? What products or services do you plan to sell to get there. Focus on selling the products and services that have the highest profit margin and that bring in the best repeat clients.
- Talent review– Once you know what number you are shooting to hit, you ought to take a look at your team. How are they performing? Do you have a team member that could take on more responsibility? How about someone that isn’t a great fit at their current job, but would be an asset elsewhere on the team? And what positions will you need to reach the goal that will have to be hired? When will you post the jobs and bring the talent on?
- Meet with your accountant– This is the time to meet with your accountant and see if you have any underutilized tax opportunities. Your accountant can do a lot more to save you money today than they can on January 15th.
- Enroll your team into the vision– Get your team excited about where you are going as a company so that they can work alongside you to build your vision. Business owners love to innovate. Team members love consistency and may resist change when they don’t see why the changes are being made. Take a small investment of time to get to know them.
- Client appreciation– How will you show your clients that you love and appreciate them before the end of the year? It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It is truly the thought that counts for most of us. I love when people I do business with send me a simple thank you.
- Team appreciation– Your business success is the results of your team efforts. Find some way to show them how much you have appreciated their efforts this year and get them focused with you on the goals for the new year.
- Bonus: Take a break– Let’s be honest, you need to be at your best come January 1st. And that will require that you take some downtime to rest, replenish, and feed your soul. It’s good for you! It’s good for business. Everyone wins when you take a break.
Happy year end! If you would like to some help with your year end review, I would love to gift you an hour with one of my coaches. Click here to schedule.