Running a small business can require you to wear many hats. The pace of business moves fast these days, and the most successful small businesses don’t just keep up, they stay one step ahead. With the end of the calendar year approaching, here are a few quick ideas to help prepare your small business for 2022.
1. Run Financial Reports.
It is always important to review the financial health of your business at the end of the year. Running financial reports can give you vital information to help structure your budget for 2022.
Profit and loss report – This report will show how much your business made this year, what your financial outlook is, and whether you have money in the budget to invest in more assets.
Balance sheet – This report shows what your small business owns, what the business owes, and what the business is worth.
Cash flow statement – This will show how your money was spent by your business throughout the year, whether through operating, investing, or financial activities.
Running these financial reports will also aid you when you prepare to file your business taxes and in creating budgets for the future. If you do not have any experience in creating these types of financial reports, you may want to consider outsourcing them to an accounting firm.
2. Organize Your Receipts.
Most likely you are using a software system to track your receipts. If you have chosen not to use software for whatever reason, you will want to collect and organize all your paper receipts before the end of the year. This will lessen the burden come tax season for both you and your tax preparer.
3. Audit All Vendor Information.
The end of the year is also a great time to go through your vendor list and verify that you have all the correct contact information like emails, phone numbers, and account information. This is also a great time to trim the fat and eliminate any inactive vendors from your files.
4. Audit Your Business Marketing.
The end of year is a great time to look back at your small business marketing efforts as whole and review what is working. What marketing channels are bringing in the most leads and customers, and what channels have the best ROI? Use this time to get a clear picture of how both your digital and traditional marketing worked over the year and assess what type of marketing mix you plan to have in 2022. Marketing channels can fluctuate over time but analyzing each channel year over year can help you identify trends.
5. Back Up Important Business Data.
Business experts have always recommended keeping important data in no less than two separate digital locations such as external digital drives and secure cloud software. In addition, you should keep one physical copy for your records. They call this “The 2:1 Rule”.
This also applies to documents and reports that you may use in your business or accounting software such as QuickBooks. Always download a copy of your cloud-based documents to a hard drive then also print out a copy to keep for your physical records.
6. Audit Your Privacy Protection Processes.
Protection of private information from identity thieves has become one of the biggest issues facing business owners in the past decade. Review what cyber security measures your business has in place to protect the private information your customers and your employees. Hackers are always looking for systems to exploit, so make sure that any cyber protection software you are using is up to date.
Identity thieves also can steal private information from hard copy files. Make sure that your business has a plan for securely discarding any outdated printed material that may have private information on it. Privacy laws can vary by state and by industry. If you are unsure of how to comply with your industry or local data destruction guidelines, contact a local secure document shredding company for answers. Depending on the industry, state, and city your business is in, you will want to be aware of any compliance issues. Perform a local search in your area, such as “top paper shredding company in Austin” or “document shredding in Atlanta” and research them to find the best solution.