As 2020 comes to a close, many years of experience tell us that now is a crucial time to analyze annual results, take inventory of short and long-term business goals, and re-align ourselves with a bigger vision.
To make this process easy, we’ve created our own checklist and made it available to you! Grab a fresh cup of coffee and find somewhere comfortable with limited distractions, if possible.
We recommend starting simple by jotting down any initial notes and thoughts that come to mind. When done, schedule additional time on your calendar when you can return to this list and provide updates on any progress made. If you’d like to take things even further, share your list with a few colleagues and collaborate together on any applicable items.
Our Small Business Goals Checklist
1. List 3 – 5 achievements from this past year.
We recommend considering company-wide, department-specific and personal accomplishments for a well-rounded perspective!
2. Consider your many visions, dreams and purposes on a personal level. Jot down a list of 5 – 10 words that describe your feelings in the moment.
Tuck this away somewhere that’s easily accessible and refer to your list occasionally throughout the year.
3. Compile a list of your common work-related activities. Then estimate the amount of time you usually spent in each category.
Take a look at your list and make notes considering the following questions – Do the numbers seem sensible? Is there anything you’ve been taking on that could be done more efficiently by others? Is there anything you should be placing more focus on? What activities have you most enjoyed so far?
Pro Tip: Want to start tracking this kind of info digitally? Try one of our staff favorites – Rescuetime – for free by choosing the Lite version.
4. Set new KPIs for 2021.
We recommend breaking these up by quarter to make this task more manageable and suggest that you ask at least two other team members for feedback.
5. Take advantage of the slower business cycle and allot at least 3 – 5 hours to complete product training or refresher courses that may be available.
With all of the internal changes and technological advancements that can take place during the year, be sure to spend some time reviewing continued functionality and fit.
6. Once your business’ books have been reconciled, categorized and closed, be sure to generate any year-end reports for analysis.
While you’re at it, consider giving your usual reporting methods a substantial boost by adding Jirav.
7. Thoroughly review your tax and regulatory filing requirements with the IRS and any applicable states.
As part of this process, don’t skip over the following crucial steps –
a. Make sure that you are properly registered for sales, income and/or payroll taxes with each applicable state. If you don’t have online business and tax accounts established with the IRS/State(s), take a few moments to register!
b. Compile all of the W9 forms that you’ve collected throughout the year and, if any are missing, ask for those before the end of the year is up.
c. Confirm how and when your company’s 1099s are to be filed. Here’s everything you need to know about filing 1099s this tax season. If you used Acuity’s 1099 preparation and filing services last year, we’ve already got you on our list for this year! If you’d like to sign up as a client who’s new to our 1099 services, let us know here.
d. Submit payment for any quarterly estimated taxes that may be due, at both business and personal levels.
We’re here to help with any of your financial needs heading into the new year! And don’t forget that we are offering free CFO sessions. These are a great time to explore…
- any developing financial plans
- concerns around business strategy
- advanced reporting
- any upcoming changes that you may have on your mind