With 2016 in the rearview mirror, the time is right to establish a strong foundation for the new year. Whether this is your first year in business or your 50th, here are some things you can do to make sure your business, your customers, and your peace of mind are at their happiest to start the new year right.
1. Get your financial ducks in a row.
Been waiting to file that stack of bank statements? Do it now so that they’ll be ready for your accountant at tax time. Need to order checks or open a new escrow/trust account? Get those housekeeping details in order–any fees will go into the books for this month, and you’ll be starting in 2017 with a clean desk. Run a P&L statement so that you have an accurate picture of how you did in 2016–more fuel for strategizing at the beginning of 2017. Need help? Reach out to us for pointers on how to streamline your bookkeeping and accounting procedures so you can focus on what matters most.
2. Reward your best customers.
You know who they are…the loyal folks who keep your business running with their orders, timely feedback, and support. Show them how much you appreciate them by offering them a Happy 2017 discount on their next order. Mail them a colorful coupon, or attach a printable coupon to your next marketing e-mail so that all your customers can start the new year off with you! This is also a good time to launch a satisfaction survey…and attach a coupon for all your customers who participate.
3. Reward your staff (even if it’s only you).
This is a great time to celebrate the contribution that you and your employees have made to your business success. If you’ve already given financial bonuses, you can still make a personalized gesture to let your people know how much you appreciate them. A handwritten note (“Dear Joe, I appreciate your perfect attendance in 2016. It’s great to know I can count on you.”) is a great way to inspire your staff. If you are the sole employee, try the same thing–write yourself a congratulatory letter, thanking yourself for the late nights, that great sales campaign, surviving that week when no deliveries came through, you name it. You made it until the end of the year in one piece–celebrate!
4. Make some resolutions.
2016 was full of lessons. You tried new things, you experimented, and took risks. What did you learn? Will you know anything new the next time that will improve your odds of success? What do you know to avoid from here on out? Year-end is the perfect time to take stock of how far you’ve come and to put that knowledge to work shaping your business’s future in 2017. Think about where you want to be at the end of next December. Do you want your customer base to grow? How about your sourcing to be more green? Want to hire more people? Or to bank another $10K? Want to expand your product line? Write your goals down and keep the piece of paper where you can see them every day as a reminder. Or type them into your phone so that you can review your list at home or during travel.
The work of keeping a business afloat is never easy, but it promises extraordinary satisfaction for those who dedicate themselves to it. Taking a few moments to make sure you fully understand where you are and where you’re going in 2017 is a great investment. Contact us for help getting your finances in order.