As a small business owner, wrapping up the year involves more than just closing the books. It’s an important time for reflection, planning and strategic adjustments. This checklist offers 7 key items that may help ensure your business is better prepared for the upcoming year.

1.) Financial Review and Reporting: Conduct a thorough analysis of your income and expenses. Look for trends such as seasonal spikes and sales or unexpected cost increases. Examine your accounts receivables to ensure all invoices are accounted for and follow up on outstanding payments.

  • ACTION ITEMS: Prepare a detailed financial report. Consider using accounting software for more accurate insights. If discrepancies arise, investigate and resolve them promptly.

2.) Tax Planning and Preparation: Identify potential tax deductions such as business expenses, home office deductions, or charitable deductions. Review any changes in tax laws that might affect your business.

  • ACTION ITEMS: Compile all necessary documentation for tax filing, including receipts, invoices, and bank statements. Schedule a meeting with your CPA or tax advisor to discuss tax strategies and ensure compliance with the latest tax regulations.

3.) Evaluate Your Business Plan and Goals: Reflect on the goals set at the beginning of the year. Analyze which objectives were met, exceeded, or fell short. Understand the reasons behind these outcomes.

  • ACTION ITEMS: Update your business plan to reflect new goals and strategies for the upcoming year. Consider setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals to enhance clarity and focus.

4.) Inventory Management: If you carry inventory, analyze turnover rates and identify slow-moving items. Assess the need for additional stock or the disposal of outdated products.

  • ACTION ITEMS: Implement inventory management tools or techniques such as Just-in-Time (JIT) or ABC analysis to optimize inventory levels. Plan for any seasonal inventory needs for the upcoming year.

5.) Review and Update Policies and Procedures: Examine your operational workflows, employee handbook, and procedures. Ensure that all employees are trained on any new updates. Implement regular review cycles for continuous improvement.

  • ACTION ITEMS: Revise and document any changes in your policies and procedures. Ensure that all employees are trained on any updates. Implement regular review cycles for continuous improvement.

6.) Assess Your Marketing and Customer Engagement Strategies:  Review the performance of your marketing campaigns across different channels. Analyze customer feedback, engagement metrics, and sales data to gauge the effectiveness of your strategies.

  • ACTION ITEMS: Develop a comprehensive marketing plan for the next year, incorporating tactics that have been successful and exploring new marketing avenues. Plan for customer engagement activities such as loyalty programs or special promotions.

7.) Plan for Employee Development and Appreciation: Evaluate staff performance, identify training needs, and consider opportunities for career growth within your team. Acknowledge their contributions and address concerns they may have.

  • ACTION ITEMS: Organize training sessions or workshops for skill development. Plan performance reviews and consider implementing a reward system to recognize outstanding work.


End-of-year planning is a multifaceted process that sets the tone for your business in the coming year. By taking these steps, you can build on a comprehensive review and hopefully begin with a strong start to the new year!

Investment Advisory Services offered through Trek Financial LLC., an (SEC) Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered specific investment advice, does not take into consideration your specific situation, and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. For specific tax advice on any strategy, consult with a qualified tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Trek 23-793

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