As we get closer to the end of the year, keeping up with the holiday season schedule can be a bit nutty. From November to January, most small business owners are inundated with holiday sales, planning company parties and customer gifts, and managing sporadic employee schedules – all while running their day-to-day operations.

It’s a busy time, but it’s also an important time to take inventory of your business, and start setting goals for the next year.

The Accounting Department

Tax season is coming upon us, so you’re likely already looking into your books and records already. However, take particular note of two areas for your strategy in the new year.

Cash Flow – Reviewing your cash flow statements gives you a good, hard look at how you’ve spent money in the past year. Have you been as efficient with your revenue as you could have been? What excess spending can you curb?

Accounts Receivable – While it’s likely not possible to have all of your invoices paid as of January 1st, what has been outstanding for 30 days or more? Make extra effort to collect on bills for work that you’ve already completed. This will give you the most cash in hand to work toward your goals in the new years.

The HR Department

Your relationship with your employees is a vital part of the sustainable success for your business. This season is a great opportunity to take inventory of how your employees are operating, areas for improvement, and opportunity to acknowledge your star players.

Performance Reviews – Take the time to meet with each of your employees before the new year. Ask them about which accomplishments are they most proud of this year. Ask them to identify any areas in which they’d like to improve themselves in the next year. This helps you set a benchmark for both of you and show that their success matters too.

The IT Department

If you haven’t kept up with your data management, now is the time to start organizing. This will enable you to start the new year fresh, and ready to hit the road on the way to your goals.

Perform a Back-Up – Check the security of your files. Do you have a storage procedure in place? How are you backing up your files? Make sure that your procedures make sense, and that the appropriate precautions have been taken.

The Executive Office

As you end this year, take a look at the goals you set for yourself and your business at the beginning of the year. Where did you succeed? Where could you improve? Where your goals viable?

Take inventory of the direction of your business. With this information, and your experience from this year, set new goals for the new season. Are your policies, procedures, and practices helping you reach those goals? Where do you need to make a switch in the new year?

By performing a thorough internal review now, you’ll be better prepared to launch yourself into a new year with confidence and ready to grow your business.

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