As the end of the year approaches, things are starting to pick up speed. Business owners and employees alike are preparing for holiday travel and increased company traffic. Although these plans are exciting and make the time fly by, entrepreneurs need to remember the important tasks that come with the end of the year. This period should be used wisely, as everything will feel just as fast once 2016 has arrived. Let’s look at five tips for small business owners leading up to the start of the new year:
- Get renewals in order
Companies often have several contracts in place and of course, they all tend to expire when the year ends. Business owners need to check the deadline for these agreements and make sure all necessary renewals are taken care of in a timely manner. Examples may include trademark, employee, property and domain name commitments. If entrepreneurs fail to extend these contracts, their enterprises could lose valuable workers, as well as intellectual property. These agreements often take a fair amount of preparatory work so businesses should make sure not to wait too long to address their renewal needs.
- Prepare tax documentation
The fiscal year ends when Dec. 31 rolls around, so entrepreneurs need to start researching their tax requirements and filing needs. Employers should collect all receipts and other documents, reconcile bank transactions and distribute the necessary employee forms, according to Entrepreneur. This process is also a good time for business owners to take a look back on yearly payments and search for expenses that could be cut in the next year for cost-savings. Companies can use this research to plan their budget for the following year.
- Gauge employee need
It’s common for the beginning of the year to be a little slow, especially in comparison to the holiday season. While many companies hire more employees during the busy period, many businesses have to rethink those numbers once the season is over. Businesses should use the end of the year to gauge how many workers they’ll need into the upcoming year. Entrepreneurs should have a process in place for letting seasonal workers know the duration of their tenure, as well as informing workers who will stay on board after the busy period.
- Make holiday changes known
Many businesses will alter certain aspects of their enterprises during the holidays. It’s necessary for both employees and customers to be aware of these changes, so both parties can take full advantage. Entrepreneurs should distribute information regarding shopping hour extensions as well as schedules for occasions like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. This action will ensure everyone has the most updated information.
- Survey clientele
Although some consumers may be new to a business around the holidays, others have been with companies for at least the year. Entrepreneurs should use the time leading up to the new year to gauge customer satisfaction and opinions. Enterprises can send out client surveys, asking for information on their experience, as well as suggestions for the upcoming year. Consumers who feel their thoughts are heard are more likely to become returning customers.
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