Get ready — from now until December 31, the year is going to zoom by. And if you’re not careful, you’ll end the year with loose ends in your business. Now’s the time to start planning your end-of-year wrap-up so you can close the books on a high note.
Use up end-of-year budgets
If you have money allotted for projects or expenses that you haven’t used up, now’s the time to do so. Some business expenses might be tax-deductible, so it’s in your best interest to take advantage of those budgets.
If you’re not sure what to spend the money on, here are some good candidates for investment:
- Updating office equipment or furniture.
- Subscribing to software that makes your work easier.
- Hiring new employees to even out the workload.
Review your accounts
Don’t wait until your accountant calls about filing your 2015 taxes to clean up your accounts. Log into your accounting software and make sure all your expenses are properly attributed to the appropriate tax category (and that you have all of your expenses accounted for).
Don’t use bookkeeping software? You should. Sign up for a platform like GoDaddy’s Online Bookkeeping before the end of the year so you can start 2016 off on the right foot.
Think about your business structure
If you’ve never selected a business structure, you’ve been operating as a sole proprietor. And while that’s fine for some, it does put you and your personal assets at a greater risk. Consider instead a corporation or LLC — both of which keep your personal assets separate from those of the business and provide some streamlined tax benefits.
If you start the paperwork now and designate January 1 as your start date, you’ll begin 2016 with a clean slate. This will also act as benefit come tax time, as your entire year will fall under your corporate (or LLC) taxes. This way, you won’t have to file two partial tax returns.
Assess the goals you set in January
Whether you’re on track to meet your goals or falling short, assess them now. This will help you determine what direction to take your business — and your goals — in the new year.
For example, let’s say you set a goal to increase sales by 50 percent in 2015. If you’ve only increased them by 20 percent, you’re likely not going to hit the mark by year’s end. For next year, you might make that sales goal a little more reasonable so you can accomplish it in 2016.
Think about hiring
If you’ve been operating as a solopreneur, you’ve been doing everything yourself. And while that’s a must for many business owners, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
If you’ve got more work than you can handle and are constantly overwhelmed, consider your hiring plan for 2016. Hiring doesn’t mean you have to hire a full-time team. You can get more done even by hiring part-time help, an outside firm or freelancer for specific projects.
And there you have it! By tackling these end-of-year tasks early, you’ll have more time for your business in the coming months, and you’ll start off 2016 stress free.
The above content should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.
Check out our free checklist of year-end to-dos below.
Also published on Medium.