28 Dec New Year’s Resolutions: Annual Checks for Businesses
Whether you’ve had your business for years or just finished the first one, a new year offers a natural time to assess where you are and where you want to be. Annual checks for businesses aren’t meant to replace the more frequent monitoring of your business. Regular activity like sales targets and budgets should be happening monthly, if not more often. But a few tasks just need a once a year check-in to make sure you don’t need to make any adjustments.
Here are some annual checks for businesses to consider soon:
Check in with the law. Hopefully you have a relationship with a lawyer and accountant at a minimum. These are resources that you should lean on at least once a year. Make sure there are no laws (recently changed or about to be) that impact your business.
Confirm that you don’t need to renew any licenses – or get them done. Talk over high-level business changes that might trigger something, like adding an office in a new state. Or a number of things that might not have been true last year — expanding your business to sell alcohol, work with minors, or hire union employees. Each of those changes are likely to require some advice.
But it could even be as simple as looking over your contracts. Keep this in mind especially with your client agreements. One of the advantages of these annual checks for businesses means you’ll naturally be sure to update dates or other references, and confirm there aren’t opportunities to make them more advantageous.
Talk taxes. If your business runs its fiscal year to match the calendar year, it’s not too early to start looking at your tax situation. It’s not all doom and gloom – perhaps you overpaid if the year wasn’t as successful as you hoped.
But speaking to your accountant is also an opportunity to plan for this year. Like lawyers, they’ll know about new changes. They might also find tax breaks that didn’t apply before if something in your business has changed.
Mark up marketing. If you use any sort of social media, marketing, or advertising team, you have likely set up next year’s budget. But the new year is an excellent time to get advice on new campaigns.
It’s not just about needing some new content on Facebook or planning more blogs. It’s about assessing the rapidly evolving world of marketing, different social media platforms and the effectiveness of your specific strategy. Tracking the ROI of marketing can be very difficult. However, any good firm can tell you things like how many people visited your site, opened your emails, or commented on your blogs.
And it’s also a good time to revisit your website. Even if nothing has changed in the business, you might want to add fresh content to keep visitors coming back.
Dollars and sense. It goes without saying that sales revenue and budget should be something you watch carefully throughout the year. But end of year results give you a chance to step back and see trends you might not notice in week-to-week monitoring.
Many businesses compare the current year over the year before. Often it’s also helpful to compare each quarter over the same quarter the year prior (if you haven’t already). This doesn’t have to be a search for bad news. Maybe you had a spike in new business and now you can track it to a marketing campaign. Maybe the budget took a hit, but only because you had to buy more to meet more sales.
Annual checks for businesses can take pressure off daily tasks.
Plan annual checks for early January, especially if your business is seasonal and December statistics could change results. But what’s most important is to do them, and any time is better than no time. If this time of year is super busy for you, maybe your annual checks are in June. That’s ok. But get into a routine – just like any other New Year’s resolution.