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End of Year Planning for Small Businesses

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

There is still time left before 2019 wraps up, but planning ahead for your business is the key to ending the year right.

To help guide your year-end planning check out these tips:

1. Get your Financial Books in Order

If you want to start 2020 off right, then make it a goal to finish out 2019 with sound financial or tax planning so you know exactly where things stand—and that means understanding actually how much your business has taken in and what your expenses are year to date.

Whether you are a small business, entrepreneur or coach, you want to get a good idea of where you business is now. If you aren’t currently working with an accountant, there are a lot of options to hire one or use an online platform to help automate your financial preparation. How you handle your expenses, can make or break your business.

One online program that makes it very is to track your expenses is FreshBooks for my online accounting. It has everything I need for managing my business and connects right to my business banking. Invoicing vendors and subcontractors is so easy and they can make payments online. This is my affiliate link if you want to check out the great benefits for yourself: income and expense tracking. I use this myself for my business and love it and how easy it is to use! It saves me time and money tracking my finances.

By getting caught up on your revenue and expenses now, you will have an easier time come tax season, and you’re in a better position to make sound end-of-year decisions.

2. Now is the Time to Revisit Your Pricing

Your pricing should be a part of your overall strategy and goals. Once you understand your business’ total financial picture, it’s time to reflect on how things are going overall. Ask yourself, and be honest, is your business model sustainable or do you feel like you’re working as hard as you can, but not getting the momentum you anticipated?

If you are planning a rate increase, the start of the New Year is a natural and optimal time to raise your rates. Start with evaluating your current pricing strategy and if it is adequately compensating you for your time, experience, and costs (which include taxes, retirement plans, health insurance, and more).

So many mall business owners and entrepreneurs make the critical mistake of not knowing their true value and ultimately undercharging for their product or services. Your pricing potential is related to the value you give your customers and how you can differentiate from you competitors. You should raise your prices when you offer, and can sell more value.

3. Update Your Website and Social Media Profiles

Social media platforms allow you to attract new customers and connect with audiences you never would otherwise. Take some time to audit your online presence. Take a look at your analytics from accounts you are active on such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. How much time do you dedicate to growing your business and developing? Is the content on your website and business social media profiles up to date and consistent? Have you confirmed your Google My Business listing? All these add up to better SEO ranking opportunities for your business. Make a plan around have consistent content and brainstorm ways to grow your reach.

Dedicate at least one day this month to marketing efforts by touching up, revamping, or overhauling your digital presence. If you simply can’t spare a full day from billable work, then spend two hours per week for one month. You can even hire someone if needed… just don’t ignore your business while you help everyone else move ahead.

4. Refocus on you Brand

Take the time to assess your brand's positioning in the marketplace. Have your grown or added services? Has your team changed? Taking the time to look at how your brand is being reflected to your target audience. Is your brand personalized to your business? Brands need to be authentic and unique to differentiate your offerings from your competitors.

Take a look at your core message. Do you have a strong positioning statement that is memorable and recognizable? Does your visual identity convey who you are without directly saying anything? You want to go into 2020 with a clear brand strategy to build your brand's presence to attract more clients.

Businesses that invest in long-term marketing strategies like branding significantly out perform their competitors. Download the free Brand Assessment Checklist!

5. Evaluate your Goals

Goal setting is one of the most important activities you can do in your small business. Take the time to understand where you are and what you did to get there. Look back over the year and conduct and assessment all the steps you took to get to this point in time. Did your business achieve the goals you set out to accomplish? If not, ask why and look to see what areas you can improve moving forward. Its not too early to start you annual planning and goal setting.

Take some time to research your business, set out to define your new goals and how you will implement them. This process helps support the direction of your strategy and will impact your business' growth. Be specific with your new goals and how you will achieve them. Determine if they are they financial? or are you opening a new a location? or will you need a new website? are you trying to grow you online presence?

Take time to carefully consider where your business stands as you close out the year so you can enter 2020 with clarity and focus.

If you want to get results in 2020 with your marketing and brand strategies, reach out here.


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