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  • Year-End Preparations for Southside Seattle Small Business Owners

    Offer Valid: 12/04/2022 - 12/05/2024

    As the year comes to a close, it's time to start thinking about preparations for the next year. Whether you're a sole proprietor or have a team of employees, there are certain things that need to be done to ensure a smooth transition. From the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, here's a rundown of what you need to do to prepare your small business for the new year:


    1. Recap annual goals


    The first step is to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments over the past year. What goals did you set and were you able to achieve them? This will give you a good starting point for setting goals for the new year.


    2. Outline goals for the next year


    Once you've taken stock of your achievements, it's time to start setting goals for the coming year. Be realistic in your goal setting and make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).


    3. Decide on Your Holiday Marketing and Promotions


    As the holiday season approaches, now is the time to finalize your holiday marketing and promotions. If you haven't already done so, decide which holidays you want to target and what kind of promotions you want to run. Do you want to offer discounts on holiday-themed products? Or run a holiday-themed contest? Whatever you decide, make sure your holiday marketing is in line with your brand identity and will resonate with your target audience. Once you've decided on your holiday marketing strategy, start planning and implementing it so you can make the most of the holiday season.


    For instance, you could start by creating an eye-catching gift guide in Word, including plenty of high quality product images, then use this free tool to convert Doc to PDF. From there, you can easily send out your PDF guide via email and make it downloadable through your website.


    4. Make All Necessary Updates to Your Website and Social Media Profiles


    As we head into a new year, it's important to make sure that all of your online information is up-to-date and seasonally appropriate. This includes updating your website with any new products or services, as well as refreshing your social media profiles with new photos and content.


    5. Evaluate Inventory Needs


    Take inventory of both your physical and digital products (if applicable) so that you can determine what needs to be reordered or replenished. This is also a good time to analyze which products are selling well and which ones may need to be discontinued.


    6. Rethink your Business Structure and Change if Necessary


    As your business grows and changes, it's important to reassess your business structure periodically. This may include things like changing from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or adding/removing employees from your team. Evaluate what makes sense for your business and make changes accordingly.


    7. Reconcile your Bookkeeping


    Now is a good time to go through all of your financial records and reconcile them with your bank statements. This will help you get a clear picture of where your business stands financially and will also help prepare you for tax season.  Businesses that use accrual accounting should also take this opportunity at the end of each year to record any revenue earned but not yet received (aka accrued revenue), as well as expenses incurred but not yet paid (aka accrued expenses).  This ensures that everything is accounted for come tax time. Consult with a professional if needed to reconcile bookkeeping entries correctly according to standards.   Understanding small business accrual accounting standards helps avoid common mistakes.


    8. End-of-Year Tax Planning And Organization


    Get ahead of next year’s taxes by doing some end-of-year planning now. Review last year’s return line by line with care so that you can get an idea about which items may be subject to change in the coming year. Stay abreast of any changes in tax law that could impact your return. Develop a system now for tracking receipts and other documentation throughout the year so that come tax time, everything is organized and readily available. 


    Putting these preparations in place now will help your business run smoothly and set you up for a successful year ahead. Are there any other steps you take at the end of the year to get ready for the new one? Let us know in the comments!


    Join the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce to connect with local entrepreneurs and resources that can help your business grow.

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