Year-end planning may feel stressful as you organize tax documents, tackle budgeting and forecasting, and develop a strategy for next year and beyond. This is especially true for small business owners, who have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking to get back on track.

With businesses starting to return to “normal” operations in 2021 and continuing to work toward this goal in 2022, planning ahead is more essential than ever. Establishing a vision can alleviate worry and guide the direction for your future. Here is our checklist to help small business owners like you close out 2021 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 acknowledgement for yourself and showing appreciation for those who helped you reach your goals is vital to moving into 2022 with enthusiasm. Recognizing this year’s achievements can help to retain top talent, increase employee engagement, and encourage high performance – all great for ensuring success in the next year. (1)

2. Get Your Finances in Order

If you’re already working on closing your books at year-end, now is a great time to do analysis and make decisions to ensure your business prospers next 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.

3. 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)

4. 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 it 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)

5. Finalize Budgets & Forecasts and Hit the Ground Running in 2022

Be sure to have your 2022 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 2022. (4)

Looking to promote your own business with the most highly regarded form of advertising? (5) Check out these Koozie Group Best Sellers to get your business noticed in 2022:

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 2022!

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