Finishing One Year and Starting Another

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With the new year right around the corner, are you scrambling to make sure you achieve your business objectives for this year? Have you allocated some time to prepare and plan for next year? Have you got plans to take some well-deserved time off during the holidays? Finishing one year and starting another can be both stressful and exciting at the same time.

At this time of year most small business owners are focused on ensuring they achieve the financial results they planned for. Making sure that new sales get booked, collecting payments on outstanding invoices, and insuring products and services get delivered on time are key focus areas. On the other hand, there is planning for next year. Finalizing budgets and headcount requirements, making sure strategies and plans are completed, and reaching out to thank your customers for their business are just a few of the many things that need to be completed.

Allocating your time to finish strong and start fast, while at the same time enjoying the holiday season and spending time with your family and friends, is indeed a balancing act. Developing a checklist of what needs to get done this year, and making sure it gets done, should be your first priority. However, spending the appropriate time planning for the upcoming year should be a close second in how you spend your time.

Once you have a thorough checklist of things that need to be done this year, you can spend more and more of your time planning for next year. This includes deciding if you are going to stick with the same strategies or change them, making sure you have a comprehensive business plan, and that your financial objectives have been agreed on.

As each year comes to a close it is also a perfect opportunity to do something special for your employees. Letting them know how much you appreciate their efforts can be done in many ways. Thanking them face-to-face, handing out bonus payments, holding a holiday party, and recognizing top performers are all ways to show that you care about your people.

And as we head into a new year it is also time to reward yourself. After all, most small business owners work long days, long weeks, and spend a lot of time on the weekend getting work done. Make sure you schedule some down time for yourself. If you have everything ready to close out the year, and a good plan to start the next one, taking some time off to recharge your batteries is a good idea. No one is going to take your vacation for you! Have a great holiday season and Happy New Year.