We’re so close to the end of the year now, and it’s tempting to check out and just leave everything until the new year. But a little preparation in your business now can help make your transition into the new year much smoother. So as you’re winding down for the year, make sure that you:
Get your finances in order
Of course you’d expect us to focus on finances … but getting your finances in order at the end of the calendar year is a great practice for your business, and makes everything that much easier at tax time. So chase up those old invoices, make sure you’re up to date with any payments you need to make, enter any expenses, and have a look at your balance sheets to see where things stand.
Check in with your employees
You should also take advantage of this time to check in with your employees. Many businesses give performance reviews around this time of year, but even doing something as simple as making sure that your employees are clear on what the company is about and what they’re supposed to be doing can be incredibly helpful. It sounds overly simple, but studies show that around 60% of employees actually aren’t totally clear on what their organisation is trying to achieve or why … so it’s definitely worth checking out!
Review your past year
It may seem a waste of time to think about what’s already happened when you’re getting ready to plan for a brand new year, but it’s important to know where you stand. Even better, you can probably pull some important lessons from how things went this year that you can use as you’re planning for next year, so don’t get so excited about the future that you forget to review. Ask yourself, what went really well, and why did it go so well? What didn’t go well, and why did it work out like that? (Want help with this? Click here.)
As part of your review, you should also make it a practice to check in with your business’s mission. This acts as the touchstone that you can use when making any decision, so if it’s not quite right — or if you’ve been ignoring it — it’s important to either refine it or figure out why you’ve strayed from it.
Plan for the year ahead
This is usually the most exciting part, because you’ve got essentially a blank canvas in the new year. So ask yourself, what do you want to make happen in 2016? What have you learned from 2015 that you can use to your advantage? Who are you going to call on to reach your 2016 goals? And what steps, specifically, are you going to take to make your goals a reality?
How do you wind down your business for the end of the year? Tell us in the comments!