Launch your business into next year: 3 tips for a successful start to 2019

As 2018 slowly draws to a close, it’s time to wrap up the business year. For small business owners, the end of December means so much more than gingerbread latte and holiday songs played on a loop to annoy … er… get your customers in a shopping mood.

The ball dropping on Times Square signals the start of a new business year. But you don’t have to wait for that very moment to get ready for the new business year (unless you want to spend New Year’s Eve working). There are few things you can do right now for a seamless transition from 2018 to 2019.

Clear out your seasonal inventory

Come January, you don’t want to be stuck with chocolate Santas and ugly Christmas sweaters. Get rid of your seasonal inventory by the end of December. You have several options for this.

Markdowns and discounts are a great way to get customers interested in good quality, non-perishable Christmas items. After all, Christmas will happen again next year, right? You can put lights, clothing, decorations & co. on sale starting the day after Christmas.

Markdowns and discounts are a great way to get customers interested in good quality, non-perishable Christmas items.

If the nature of your goods allow you to, you may consider donating them to a good cause. You could even send unsold products home with your employees on their last working day as holiday gifts.

Get your books in order

Whether you like it or not (OK, hand on heart, who likes it?) Santa’s visit is closely followed by something far less cheerful: tax season. But with a little preparation, you can make tax season a lot less demanding (or should we say taxing).

Round up all your outstanding transactions. Pay all your invoices and remind your business partners to pay you if they haven’t done so already.

If you’ve been keeping your receipts and invoices in a shoebox, now’s the time to file them properly. You may dread this task right now, but come tax season, Future-You will thank Present-You for taking care of it.

Once you have everything neatly filed away, examine your books and determine where you are financially. If you use accounting software, a few clicks will lead you to your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement to check how well your business is doing.

Evaluate your year

How was 2018 for your business? What worked for you and what didn’t? If you’ve written a business strategy for the year, here’s the perfect opportunity to evaluate it.

Determine your successes and the road you used to achieve them. If something went wrong, discover the reasons and how the failure could’ve been prevented.

Compare your initial goals to your actual achievements. Determine your successes and the road you used to achieve them. If something went wrong, discover the reasons and how the failure could’ve been prevented.

Your evaluations will contribute to your strategy for next year. Determine what needs to be changed or terminated, and what should continue for 2019 to be even better than 2018 was.

Conclusion

The closing of a business year is always an opportunity to take a moment and evaluate your company’s status and performance. While you should definitely seize this chance to work out how to improve your business, don’t forget to take a moment for yourself as well.

You worked hard all year; now’s the time to rest, regroup, and enjoy the few days of calm while the old year comes to an end and new one rolls in.

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