As we move into the fourth quarter, it's time to start thinking about wrapping up the year and getting ready for the next one. For small businesses, this means taking stock of what you've accomplished, setting new goals, and planning your holiday marketing strategy. It's also a good time to update your website and social media profiles, stock up on inventory, and review your accounting. From the Heard County Chamber of Commerce, here's a quick overview of what you need to do to get ready for the end of the year.
Evaluate Your Current Goals
The first step is to take a look at how you did this year in terms of meeting your goals. What went well? What didn't go as planned? What can you learn from your successes and failures? This evaluation will help you set realistic goals for next year.
Establish New Goals
Now it's time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish next year. What are your top priorities? What are some specific goals you can set that will help you achieve those objectives? Write everything down so you have a clear plan to follow in the coming months.
Plan For Holiday Marketing
If you haven't already started planning your holiday marketing strategy, now is the time! Figure out what promotions you want to run, what products or services you want to highlight, and how you're going to reach your target audience. The more prepared you are, the better results you'll see.
Refresh Your Website & Social Media Profiles
Make sure your website and social media profiles are up-to-date and reflect any changes or updates to your business. This is especially important if you're running any holiday promotions or discounts. You don't want potential customers to be confused or put off by outdated information.
Increase Your Inventory Levels
Perhaps most importantly, now is the time to make sure you have enough inventory on hand to meet increased demand during the holidays. No one wants to run out of stock and miss out on sales, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
Review Your Accounting
It's always a good idea to review your accounting periodically to make sure everything is in order. This is especially true at the end of the year when taxes are due. Make sure all of your expenses are accounted for and that you have everything you need in terms of receipts and documentation.
Organize Tax Filing Paperwork
Speaking of taxes, now is a good time to start organizing all of your tax paperwork so you're not scrambling come April 15th. Gather up all of your receipts, invoices, statements, etc., and put them in one place where they'll be easy to find when it's time to file your return. Trust us, this will save you a lot of headaches down the road!
If you’re not sure how to get started, try taking pictures of all your receipts and using this free tool to convert the image files to PDFs. From there, it’s a far simpler matter to stay organized, since you won’t have to worry about keeping track of stacks and stacks of loose receipts when you’re trying to meet those tax filing deadlines.
Alter Your Business Structure
Finally, if you've been thinking about changing your business structure—from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or corporation—now is the time to do it. This can have major implications for tax purposes, so it's best to consult with an accountant or tax advisor before making any decisions. But if it makes sense for your business, changing your structure can be a wise move.
The fourth quarter is a critical time for small businesses. By taking stock of where you are and where you want to be, setting new goals, and preparing for the holiday season, you can set yourself up for success in the coming year. So get started on your planning today!
Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Heard County Chamber of Commerce.