cost_cuttingBefore the sun sets on 2015, make these last months count. Here’s to closing out your small business strong!

1) Book Balance: Bookkeeping can be like those dreaded yearly health exams that get shuffled around on your calendar, until you’re either in the emergency room or worse. Despite its angst-producing trait, bookkeeping is arguably the most important part of staying alive in business; balanced books is the best preventative care for the health of your small business. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:

  • Keep all your records and scan them for electronic records.
  • Keep your personal and business accounts very separate.
  • Hire a professional if necessary.

2) Check your progress: Whether you’re a B2B company with a team of three or a thriving B2C with over 50 employees, goals are the bedrock of your business. Small business goaling, on a statutory level, is a technique used to ensure that subcontracting between the government and small businesses is handled fairly. The term, and practice, can also be used by any business owner to determine if resources are being used in the best way. Year-end assessments are a great way to examine, adjust and monitor goals; and they should be a formal process.

3) Plan Ahead: So you’ve met goals, for the most part, all year long and a new fiscal and calendar year is on the horizon. What do you do with all the scalable ideas that were successfully initiated in 2015? Check out Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg’s four tips on small business growth and discover a new strategy for accomplishing your goals. Or perhaps you’re looking to raise prices for your customers or scale back on services? Don’t make a move with out carefully planning the steps towards your goal. There’s no better time than now, when the pressure of finishing strong is fading and a new slate is before you.

4) Prepare For Taxes: Are you a part of the 40% of small business owners that hate tax season? When things as important as savings and as scary as audits are on the table, if you’re uncomfortable, outsourcing a tax professional may be a smart move. Feeling up for the task? Do your research on tax forms for your state and business structure to avoid these common tax mistakes.

5) Performance Reviews: This year-end assessment is an asset to small business human resources, despite conflicting reports on its value. Incentivizing and encouraging employees to self report their strengths, challenges and concerns can really help the core of your business and to retain great talent. On issues like culture; coaching and development; and process improvement, you need measurable data to guide goal setting and reward exemplary employees.