As we approach the end of 2023, small business owners have an opportunity to reflect on the past year and plan for 2024. There are also several end-of-the-year tasks to consider. We’ll explore actions focusing on the critical areas of cash flow management, taxes, and goal setting.
Tax Preparation for Small Businesses
Of all the many responsibilities you face as a small business owner, tax planning and filing efficiently and accurately are among the most important. Being organized and implementing year-end tax strategies available to you will help you save more, reduce your taxes, and avoid unnecessary stress come tax season. This may include:
- Maintaining and gathering necessary documents for your business such as expense reports, profit and loss statements, charitable donations, and more. Working with an accountant or having a record and accounting system will significantly benefit this area of your business.
- Reducing your taxable income by identifying eligible deductions and leveraging year-end tax strategies such as deferring income and accelerating deductions by strategically timing your business purchases, delaying payment collections, or increasing your charitable donations.
- Working with a professional specializing in small business needs who can help you identify savings opportunities, stay updated with tax laws, and reduce your tax liability.
Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses
How was your cash flow this past year? Was it healthy and consistent enough to pay your bills and fulfill payroll every month? If cash flow is a challenge, it’s time to consider a proactive approach so you can keep momentum as you grow, experience a cash crunch, or have a timely investment opportunity. You may wish to consider:
- Tweaking your accounts receivable process. Customer payment terms of 30, 45, or 60 days may inadvertently create a cash flow issue, making it difficult to meet everyday expenses. Consult a professional who can guide you in creating a pricing and invoicing model that supports and sustains your business.
- Anticipating and preparing for the unexpected. There are various unforeseen reasons for cash flow disruption. Stay informed about where to secure capital, whether through traditional or alternative financing, to address gaps while maintaining operations.
Goal Setting for Small Businesses
As you take stock of your cash flow, taxes, and success, it’s a great time to review the goals you set at the beginning of the year and figure out how you’ll approach the new year. Here are a few areas you can evaluate:
- Determine how you can streamline operations to be more efficient or remove redundancies. Consider improving your customer experience, outsourcing or automating tasks, and freeing up resources to reinvest in your business.
- Think about how effectively your marketing and sales efforts target your ideal customers. Consider practical improvements to your website, developing a consistent social media presence, and nurturing your current customer base to increase your reach and brand loyalty.
- Set realistic, clear, and measurable goals as a roadmap for the upcoming year. Write down your goals and post them somewhere they’re always visible, check in periodically to see if you’re on track or need to adjust, and celebrate your wins along the way.
The end of the year is an excellent opportunity to review, adjust, and move forward with purpose. Insights gleaned from taking stock of your achievements and challenges can help you make more informed business decisions and set the stage for a successful new year. Contact our team if you’d like more small business resources and guidance to elevate your business in 2024.