For a lot of small businesses it can be a crazy time of the year: the holidays are bearing down on us, customers are in a mad scramble to get things finished before the end of the year and people in general seem more focused on when they’re going to finish their shopping than the pile of work on their desks. But amid all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, small business owners can take some time to think about their businesses – what happened during the past year as well as setting course for the coming year.
Here are five things every small business owner should do this holiday season.
1. Start Your Year-End
For unincorporated businesses, CRA has mandated a December 31 year-end and even though incorporated businesses can choose their year-end a lot stick with the same date. This means that it’s about to be year-end season for a lot of businesses. While you have 180 days following your year-end to file your tax returns you should get to it sooner rather than later. If your business was profitable and you owe the government for corporate income taxes then they will start penalizing you for late payment as of April 15, 2015. Call your bookkeeper and find out what you can be doing heading into the final days of the year to get a head start on your year-end.
2. Review Your Previous Year Sales
Once all is said and done, take a few minutes to review your sales. Were they what you expected them to be at the beginning of the year? Did some products or services sell better than you expected? Did some not sell as well? Were your sales seasonal or peak at a particular point of the year? If there were surprises in your sales then this might be an indication that your business is shifting, and staying ahead of the shift can be a great opportunity for your business.
3. Review Your Business Expenses
Likewise, how did your expenses compare against what you expected? Were there any unpleasant surprises in your expenses? Were there any pleasant surprises in your expenses? If your expenses tracked closely against what you expected then it means that your business is predictable, and that’s a good thing for a business owner. If your expenses weren’t what you expected, then maybe that’s a good indicator that you should sit with your bookkeeper and find out what happened during the tax year because unpredictability in your business can be a very dangerous thing.
4. Review Your Business Team
This is a great time review your team and make sure you’ve got the best people in the right places in your business and to add new team members. A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions to find a new job so if you identify an area that could really help strengthen your business and advertise then you’re going to have a lot more people looking and have a better chance of finding the perfect new employee!
5. Set a Plan for the New Year
Reviewing how your business has performed in the current tax year also serves as a great opportunity to set a course for the coming tax year. Take some time to set out what you’d like to see in your business in the next year because if you don’t set some sort of direction then your business might wander aimlessly. It’s also a good idea to involve your bookkeeper in this planning session – they will bring an outsiders perspective to your business, will offer unbiased and grounded advice and can use their knowledge and experience to make sure you’ve got a solid plan for a successful 2015!
As we count down the final days of the year, it’s definitely worth looking at how your business has performed over the last twelve months and set the course for the next twelve months. Review your revenues and expenses and the team that is driving your business and make sure you’re comfortable with how they have performed. Take the time to set a plan for the upcoming year and you’ll be well on your way to a successful New Year!
Simply Bookkeeping provides professional bookkeeping services for freelancers, solopreneurs and owners of unincorporated and incorporated businesses. We customize our services based on your needs – we only see some of our clients a few hours a month but others we see on a more regular basis. Our services are reasonably priced and we tightly track the amount of time we spend working for you so you only pay for the services you get.
To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.simplybookkeeping1.com or contact Michele Hyde by phone at (647) 668 – 9363 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.