The End is Near – 4 Tasks to Complete Now!

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Getting a Christmas Present

picture from William Warby via Flickr

Every year the Holiday seasons tends to start earlier.   Though it is getting spread over a longer period, the month of December still seems to stretch our schedules and the available hours more than ever.  For business owners this can be an especially busy time of year.  If your business is seasonal, and December is a busy season, it can be overwhelming.

Relax.  Help is on the way…besides taking some deep breathes here are 4 relatively easy tasks every business owner can (and should) complete before the end of the year.

Meet with your Accountant.  Even if you think everything is in order, have a meeting to review the year.   Are there any time sensitive forms that need to be filed?  Do you have items on your account that need to be written off before the end of the year?  Are there any purchases or other expenses that need to be dated before Dec. 31st?  Review your financials; make sure you understand the financial condition of your business.    Not all accountants are proactive.  It is your business, take ownership in this aspect of it.

Review Business Policies and Procedures.  If you have a management team, get them involved.  What is working in their departments?  What isn’t?   Challenge them to define and identify weak links in their own areas.  Often time employees, including management keep repeating the same mistakes when a minor change could result in a significant improvement.   When is the last time you had a professional review your HR Manual, if it hasn’t been looked at in the last 2 years, it is way overdue for an update.

Business Insurance.  The world is changing. Business is changing.  Your business policy may not be up for renewal on Dec. 31st, but now is a great time to have your Business Insurance agent review your policy and make sure you aren’t unknowingly putting your company at risk.   Also, seeking a 2nd opinion on your coverages can be invaluable.  Do you do E-commerce?   Are you protected if someone feels like they were wrongfully terminated?   Are your limits of protection where they should be?  Are you sure?  A good agent will not charge you a dime to review your coverages.   Pick up the phone and schedule a review.

Thank your employees and your customers.   One would think this is the no-brainer of the list, but reaching out to your customers this time of year and saying thanks should be part of every businesses year end protocol and often it isn’t.  Do all of your customers get some kind of acknowledgement at the end of the year?  It doesn’t have to be a personal meeting or phone call (though it is highly suggested with larger accounts) but, some form of a “Thank you” is in order.  For your employees and support team, whether or not you have a formal Christmas Party or other Holiday event isn’t the issue.  Most importantly, is just let them know you appreciated their contributions throughout the year.   You might be surprised how much “direct eye contact” combined with a sincere “thank you and hand shake” means to the people on your front line.

The last month of the year is usually a blur, but it also a critical time of the year to get time sensitive tasks completed.    Depending on your company, there certainly could be additional tasks that are not listed above, but these are ones that are applicable for all businesses…even yours!  🙂

If you have any additional suggestions that should be added to this Year End list, please feel free to share them, we always appreciate any comments or feedback.

Chris Steinlage  Kansas City Business Coach

1 thought on “The End is Near – 4 Tasks to Complete Now!”

  1. KBHR says:

    Great advice Chris—-I’m trying to get your brother in law to heed it!

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