Year-end planning may feel stressful as you organize business/tax planning, budgeting, and future strategy during the last few months of the year. Establishing a vision for your business can alleviate worry and guide the direction for your future. Here is our checklist to help close out 2018 and decide where you want to go next.

  1. Acknowledge accomplishments

Taking time to reflect on everything you and your business achieved can powerfully motivate goal-oriented behavior in the future. Making this mental acknowledgment for yourself and showing appreciation for those that helped you reach your goals is vital to moving into 2019 with enthusiasm. Recognizing this year’s achievement helps inspire effort and results next year. (1)

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  1. Get your finances in order

If you’re already working on closing your books at year-end, it is a great time to do analysis and make decisions to ensure your business prospers the following year. After determining your current financial position, look back and make notes on why your business did or did not accomplish your goals. This is valuable information for budgets and forecasting for next year.

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  1. Decide what you want to be known for

Promotional product distributors spend a lot of their time finding creative solutions for their clients. It’s easy to say what you do in your business, but clearly stating what you want to be known for can be much more difficult. Taking time to brainstorm on this idea can help determine the essence of your business, how you spend your time as an entrepreneur and how to differentiate yourself from the competition. (2)

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  1. Draft plans that align with your vision

What do you want to accomplish in your business? Begin with a broad plan and make sure it’s consistent with previous years, or if you’re taking the business in a new direction make sure that is outlined clearly. Develop an organizational chart, marketing schedule, job descriptions, budgets and anything else that will help your vision come to life. Decide what you will measure to make sure the business actions align with the overall direction and plan monthly accountability checks. (3)

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  1. Finalize budgets, forecasts and hit the ground running in 2019

Be sure to have your 2019 budget and forecasts finalized by late December or early January. This will give you enough time to consider additional things you may want to think about like tax planning, retirement planning, owner’s compensation, etc. Making these business decisions and having financial plans in order will help you get on the path to success right away in 2019. (4)

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Don’t underestimate the value of taking a moment to think about last year’s business decisions to determine a strategic direction that becomes your mission and frames what happens next with your business. Cheers to a prosperous 2019!

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