Our Favorite Things of Year End Planningby Michelle Bomberger | December 19, 2016
Yes, there are “favorite” things to do for end of year planning… here’s what’s on our list:
- Financial goals. First and foremost, your planning should evaluate your financial performance this year. If you had financial goals for your business, did you achieve them? If not, why not? Many business owners have sales goals that are based on the expenses they expect to incur. The profit margin is the amount left over. Each industry has a standard for what is a “market” baseline for profitability. Do your research and be sure you’re on par. If not, make some adjustments to get there.
- Employee incentives. As you create new goals for the company, consider how you compensate and incentivize your employees. Does your incentive plan align with your company goals? If your goals focus on sales or profitability, your incentives should do so as well. Similarly, a lot of companies don’t do employee performance reviews. If you’re one of them, your bonuses shouldn’t be tied to individual performance – because how are they to know how they’re doing? Be sure you craft your employee incentives annually to drive performance to meet those goals.
- Record keeping. Year end is a good time to tidy up your record keeping including formal and proper documentation of big decisions and corporate minutes. Make sure documentation exists and is signed by the appropriate parties. Similarly, get your accounting in order before year end so that you can manage your taxes.
- Contract Maintenance. Ensuring you have key contracts in place is another formality that is better done sooner rather than later. If you have written contracts that expire, check the expiration dates and option to renew dates and calendar them so they don’t get missed. If you have important relationships where contracts aren’t in place (that sublease, partnership, graphic designer), get those done so you are sure your rights can be enforced if needed.
Year end clean up and maintenance will create a strong, focused beginning to a new year!