To say that 2018 has flown by would be an understatement. Most of you likely feel it was yesterday that the ball dropped at Time Square to ring us into the New Year. Well, it is almost time to do it again. While many are looking forward to starting a new chapter, it makes sense that business owners are a bit apprehensive about stepping into 2019. There might be fourth-quarter goals you have yet to meet, or you could be worrying about the ability to keep your employees motivated into the final days of 2018. The New Year can bring a lot of pressure, but there are ways to plan for it to be a smooth ride. Read on for five ways to begin preparing for the end of 2018.

Start Getting Your Finances in Order

This can feel daunting and overwhelming, but the sooner you start this process, the more at ease you will feel when Christmas vacation rolls around. Start working with your accounting team, or a bookkeeper to begin reviewing your account balances as well as identifying all assets and liabilities. Work to ensure that nothing has fallen through the cracks and that you can reconcile everything with your general ledger. Don’t wait for those expense receipts and inaccurate finance records to pile up. Start getting a jump on this now so you can smoothly process the rest of your financial transactions as you move toward 2019.

Prepare Your Tax Documents

Since you have taken the time to settle your financial books, why not start to prepare your tax documents? You can begin to put together your income tax information, and even meet with a CPA to start preparing taxes for the upcoming year. Hopefully, you have a robust accounting software that has allowed you to keep track of all statements and will automatically use the documents you need to file for next year. If you do not have a powerful account software option, be sure to invest in one. Even if you are a solopreneur, it is a lot easier to prepare your taxes with the right accounting software solution.

Have an Employee Performance Review Process

It is popular for companies to review their employees at the end of the year. While this makes logical sense, don’t take a process like this and wait until the final days of the year to speak with employees and review documents. Start this process before the holidays hit. This tactic gives you the opportunity not to review and compare past employee performance goals, and seek out feedback from employees. Performance reviews should be a conversation, and a rushed end-of-year process does not allow for this type of interaction.

Motivate and Engage Your Employees

By this time of the year, everyone is likely to feel a bit winded. So, it is a great time to begin engaging with your employees and showing your appreciation. Work with your HR team to start planning holiday events, strategize about various ways you can say thank you as well as augmenting work hours to give your employees greater work flexibility. The goal is to keep them invested and motivated into the onset of the New Year. Remind them of any end- of-year goals, and keep them informed of the progress toward them.

Evaluate your Goals

What goals did you set last year? Are you meeting them? Take time to sit down with your team and discuss what you have accomplished and how far you have to go. Did your sales increase? How effective are your lead generation efforts? Have any widespread employee metrics improved? Be sure to take note of how your company has improved or if it still has a long way to go. This is also a great time to strategize for next year and create goals that guide new efforts. It is helpful to do it now while this year’s issues are fresh in your mind before walking into the New Year to face a new set of problems.

Final Thoughts

There are a little more than three months left in this year, and it will fly by before you know it. The last months of this year do not have to be riddled with anxiety and pressure. You can get a jump on the financial, strategic, and performance processes that need to happen before January 1st. Work with your team to leave for the Christmas holiday without feeling as if your company’s dealings are unsettled so you can fully enjoy the transition into 2019.

Sources:

How to Prepare Your Business for the End of the Year, https://www.kashoo.com/blog/how-to-prepare-your-business-for-the-end-of-the-year/

Small Business Year End Checklist, https://www.thebalancesmb.com/year-end-checklist-for-small-businesses-2948183

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