If you’re a busy business owner, don’t skimp on rest and relaxation over the holidays. Set aside time to invest in relationships and refresh yourself by doing things that you enjoy. But though it may be tempting to put your business concerns completely on the back burner, make sure to take some time to assess your business and lay down a plan for the coming year. It doesn’t need to take long, but it can make a big difference in getting your business off on sure footing in 2017.
Here are a few tips for your end-of-year business review.
Take Stock of Results
Review your income and expenses, checking the figures against your projections for the year. If the numbers don’t match up, find out why. Also, review sales reports, going over the volumes and revenues. Look for products or services that performed better than the rest, locations that churned out the biggest sales volumes, and marketing efforts that generated the best returns. Discuss with your team the reasons behind both the high and low performances.
Together with your team, make projections for the following year based on the current year’s performance. Ask your sales force to weigh in on the projections. Figure in known upcoming expenses as well. Consider performance and discuss new ideas and innovations to improve it in the coming year.
Create a Budget
Once you have made your projections for the coming year, prepare a budget to back them up. The budget should be detailed and account for projections for both income and expenses, cash flow statements, available cash reserves, and available credit. Your profit and loss statement and balance sheet will help you in preparing the budget.
Plan for Expansion
Plan for expansion if you project to operate beyond your current capacity in the coming year. Consider adding new products or services, augmenting distribution channels, or opening a branch in another location.
Invest in Technology
Is there something that you or your employees are spending time doing that could be eliminated with technology? Tech innovations may be costly to implement at first, but they can pay dividends down the line in making your business “leaner and meaner.”