The last two years have been extremely challenging and small business owners are looking forward to 2011 with a sense of excitement and optimism. All signs are pointing to an improving economy and consumer confidence is beginning to move in a positive direction. To assist you in preparing for a successful new year, we have put together the following list of ten tasks you should complete between now and the end of the year.
photo credit: C.A.P.
Management and Financial
• Pull out the old business plan and review where you are relative to the goals you set at the end of last year: (revenue, profit, number of customers, assets, owners’ equity, debt). To get these numbers you should review your Balance Sheet, your Income Statement and your Cash Flow Statement.
• Collect all of the receipts especially those in the shoe box or in the glove compartment. Make sure they are inputted into your accounting system.
• Look at your accounts receivable and call those customers who owe you money and demand payment. Times are tough and everyone is slow paying. Those who ask get moved to the top of the pile.
• Check leases to make sure you know when they are due to expire and renegotiate them in a timely fashion.
• Take a physical inventory of your products and compare with the entries in your accounting system and make any necessary adjustments.
• Understand who your favorite customer is and review your marketing message and make sure that it addresses their needs and is written using the words that they, the customers, use.
• Tune up your elevator pitch and make sure that all your employees learn it by heart.
• Check your web site content and make sure it communicates your marketing message. Also check your copyright notice and contact information for correctness.
• Make sure your Twitter, Facebook and other social media site names/profiles represent your company name.
• Register your company with Google Local, Yahoo Local and Bing Local. Check to see that you show up on map searches.
Now that you’ve done the above, start your planning for next year. Set the goals and objectives for the next 4 quarters and prepare action plans and designate responsible individuals in your company. Remember, you should be reviewing your business plan continually.