The End (of the year) Game
by Bill Ladd
The leaves are beginning to put on a show, a chill is in the air and football is on TV. Fall is here, and I love it! But just as sure as Alabama winning another National Championship is the fact that our year is winding down. 2018 came roaring in with a lot of promise, and many of you are having a fantastic year in your business. For others perhaps it’s been a struggle. Regardless, it’s time for a little retrospection, followed by some forward thinking. The next few months are crucial for your business, and the moves you make might make all the difference for 2019 and beyond.
So what do you do? We suggest what we call the End Game. Each year, before the end of the year, do the following five things.
- Get your books and records caught up and tied down. I know I’m preaching to the choir for many; however, it’s been our experience that most small businesses simply do not have time to do this properly. We believe your business deserves better. Take the time now, or outsource. Trust me, this is foundational. Everything you do from this point forward depends on having good books and records.
- Annualize these results to determine how your year will shake out. Be sure to factor in any seasonal variations that might affect the last few months of the year. Analyze the results to determine any cash flow concerns or investment opportunities.
- Provide the results to your accountant. Now is the time to perform a review of your tax situation and to work up a proactive plan to minimize your exposure, while considering cash flow implication. This is especially crucial this year with all the changes tax reform has brought.
- Create a budget for 2019. Seems simple, everyone knows they should, but again, very few do. Begin with your prior year revenue and costs and build in known increases/decreases. Don’t fall into the trap of building up your expenses for potential revenue, plan for known revenue. Many businesses have budgeted for big swings only to see it not happen (except for the increased expenses)!
- Get out of the office and work on your business! Take at least a half day if not a full day to perform strategic planning. Think of where you are, where you want to be and how you can get there. Perform a SWOT analysis and chart out a path to your future! Every single business should do this and very few do. Invest in yourself and your business and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. Not sure how to do this? Outsource a facilitator.
Five simple steps right? We certainly understand that these functions are easier said than done. That’s why we’re here to help. We’ve built out service offerings to help you with any or all of these items. At Duckett Ladd we believe you need more than an accountant, you need a partner, and we’re here to help.
Click the links below for more info on all five steps!