7 Things Every Small Biz Owner Should Do To Wrap Up 2016

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With Christmas behind us and December 31st  just around the corner, it’s time to tie up any loose ends from 2016 and begin looking forward to the new business year ahead. To help you wrap business up as smoothly as possible and prep for 2017, we’ve put together this end-of-year checklist for small business owners:

  1. Complete Invoicing and Pay Your Bills: If you’ve been casual with your billing and collecting payments throughout the year it’s time to catch up! Make sure you’ve sent out invoices for all the services you’ve rendered, products you’ve sold or any other tasks and projects that remain unbilled. If you have clients with outstanding bills, send a friendly reminder and ask when you can expect payment
  1. Pay Your Bills: Conversely, your suppliers, vendors and contractors would like to get paid too! Be a responsible entrepreneur and take a few moments to make sure you don’t have any outstanding bills. Filter your inbox for emails from your suppliers, double check the “junk” folder, and sort through that stack of unopened mail and papers on your desk to ensure you haven’t missed anything.
  1. Write Off Bad Debt: At some point or another, almost every small business owner encounters a customer that defaults on a payment or simply disappears without settling their bill. It’s unfortunate, but that’s life sometimes. If it becomes clear a customer is unlikely to ever pay what they owe, you should write off the bad debt to help balance your books and get back any GST/HST you may have already paid on the bad debt.
  1. Check-in With Clients: The end of year is a good time to go through your contacts or customer database and make sure everything is up to date. Use the opportunity to thank current clients for their business this past year and to reconnect with old clients you haven’t heard from in awhile – you may be an opportunity to work with them again come 2017.
  1. Take Inventory: If you deal in physical products or materials it’s a good idea to conduct an inventory count before the year’s end. Compare the results to your records and make any necessary adjustments. This will give you a clear understanding of how much capital you have wrapped up in your current inventory going into the new year, and can signal the need for an internal audit or investigation if you notice significant discrepancies.
  1. Analyze Performance, Set Goals: Scrutinize your financial statements and compare them to previous years to identify any outliers or issues. Consider customer feedback and input from your team. Review your business plan and take stock of the things you did well this past year, and those you didn’t. Now use all these learnings to set out your top priorities and a plan of attack for 2017 so you can hit the ground running once January 1st hits.
    1. Book a Meeting With Your Accountant: Think tax season is the only time you should see your accountant? Think again. A good accountant or financial controller will ensure there are no red flags or obstacles in the way of your path to success year-round. Schedule some time with them soon to review your business’s financial health and to make sure you’re on track to meet your objectives in 2017.

Closing out the end of the year can be daunting, but we hope this checklist will come in handy and make the task a bit more manageable. Here’s to a great 2016 and hopefully an even more amazing 2017 for you and your small business!

Need a hand wrapping up your year or planning for the next? Give the Blue Sky team a call today: 289-466-5210