Business planning

The Ultimate Checklist to End and Begin Your Business Year

Business life is a rollercoaster. You are up one moment and down the next. Covid-19 curve balls haven’t helped to fuel our productivity or manage our priorities. This year has brought constant change and required a lot of adapting. It is important that we take care of personal, professional and financial goals with ample planning. The following checklist is designed to support your sanity and help prioritize your business success.

Ban burnout

A newly commissioned report from Sage and the Angus Reid Group, Forward Together: Building a Resilient Future. uncovers new insights into the current hiring challenges among Canadian businesses, and how they are moving forward in 2022. More than half of businesses (56%) are concerned about their employees burning out. Workers are acknowledging their concerns over burnout. What’s worse? 60% of businesses have not acted on mitigating burnout among workers. If you lead a team, be sure not to ignore this. Turning a blind eye will lead to a toxic work environment and it is likely you’ll have staff or contractors leave in what has been dubbed the
“The Great Resignation”.  If you are a solopreneur, be on the lookout for your own stress and burnout signs. Unapologetically declare a plan to turn things around.  Start by taking a hard look at how you are spending your time and prioritizing your health and wellbeing. As a women entrepreneur I can tell you that learning to say no is a very important and often difficult task. Practice. You won’t regret it. Here are some time management tips and a script for saying no in different scenarios. As added incentive remember that when you say no you are opening opportunities to say yes to things you want but don’t have time for (strategic planning, spending more time with your family, exercise, sleep and taking a vacation).

Lead with compassion

Encourage your staff and community to take care of themselves. Check in regularly. Encourage a proper vacation where you and they unplug. Put an autoresponder on and tell your family and friends you are taking time off. Plan something fun over the holidays or new year and realize that the goal is not to complete to do list before going on vacation. There will always be things to get back to, but a break will make it easier and faster to manage when you return to your priorities.

Bond with your bookkeeper & accountant

Throughout the year schedule regular check-in time with your bookkeeper and accountant. Be sure to examine your balance sheet, income, and cash flow statement, then take a deeper dive by reviewing your business’s total debt ratio, and profit margin. Doing this will give you a better idea of your financial picture and help to set goals for 2021. Schedule planning sessions and get your 2022 forecasting documents ready now.

Prepare for your upcoming tax season

Start organizing your required documents and make a list of what you should be collecting. Check in with your accountant or bookkeeper to help you put this together. Using cloud-based accounting software will make things faster as your accountant can be granted access to see your records in real time without you or them ever having to leave the office. If you are a new business owner, make sure you familiarize yourself with what the deadlines and requirements are. Unwanted surprises will cost you frustration, time, and money. Even a little bit of planning will be a huge relief in the end.

What is working well? What do you want off your plate?

I like to review my successes, failures, and milestones throughout the year. This is not about beating myself up, it is more about evaluating what worked and did not.  Write it down, evaluate and act. Are you saying yes to things you later regret?  I practice a 24-hour rule before responding. I ask myself honestly what I am getting out of this commitment or business practice.

Business resolutions

Do you break personal New Year Resolutions? I often do but recently I have started looking at my priorities in a more holistic way. If I do not prioritize sleep, I become more distracted at work. If I do not exercise my energy levels at work plummet. Consider a planning session where everyone shares an integrated goal that could help their mind, body, spirit, and business. If you do not have employees or a team, consider doing this with like-minded entrepreneurs in your network.

I hope this list will help to give you peace of mind and ideas to end and begin the year with ease, profit, and enjoyment.