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12/20/2018

10 Ways to Wrap Up the End of the Year

The end of 2018 is rapidly approaching and the pressure is on to close out the year strong.  Between inconsistent employee attendance and last minute sales challenges, December can be a difficult month for staying organized. The best way to start 2019 off on the right foot is to spend time wrapping up loose ends to ensure nothing is forgotten during the end-of-year holidays and vacations. Completing the following 10 tasks over the next few weeks will help get you on track for a stress-free January, and keep you from scrambling while the clock ticks down on New Year’s Eve.

1) Meet with your accountant to get ready for tax season – With tax season only a few months away (hard to believe, we know), it’s a good idea to review your business’ financials from the past year with your accountant. In particular, you may be interested in discussing how the Section 179 tax deduction could provide your business with serious savings.

2) Review your business activity and identify trends – After reflecting on how your business did over the course of the year, take a look at your records and try to identify relevant trends. Performing this kind of analysis will help you understand and anticipate needs your customers may have in 2019.

3) Back up all of your data and contacts – We all know how it feels when your device crashes and you lose the document, presentation, or other important project you’ve been working on for hours. Prepare yourself for possible system failures by backing up all your data. You’ll thank yourself later, should the worst happen.

4) Perform an equipment and inventory audit – Take a look at your business’ equipment and inventory, and think about whether or not it’s meeting your needs. If not, contact CIT to discuss financing options for equipment upgrades. Operating at your best requires the right tools, and we can help you get them without the financial strain that often accompanies purchasing machinery outright.

5) Clear out and organize emails – Starting the year with a full inbox is a way to seriously slow your business down. It may be tedious, but sorting through the junk and finding ways to categorize the most important messages will keep you from feeling overwhelmed when business picks up. Create folders and “Rules” that automatically filter messages to keep your inbox clean.

6) Reexamine your business goals from 2018 – Reflect on the goals you set at the beginning of 2018 and assess your progress. If you were successful, remember the steps you took that lead to those outcomes. If you missed the mark, consider where you can make improvements to your processes. This will help when you’re ready to set new goals for the coming year.

7) Handle end of year employee reviews – Don’t leave your employee reviews until the last minute and risk giving less-than-thoughtful feedback. Your employees work hard all year long, so start your reviews early and plan to spend the necessary time to deliver a comprehensive review.  

8) Offer holiday promotions – Give yourself a boost to hit those end-of-year targets with some holiday promotions for your customers. Every day of the year counts in business, so you don’t want to back down at the very end. Reach or exceed your goals by embracing special offers in December.

9) Make a charitable contribution – Charitable giving is not only a heartfelt gesture during the holiday season, but it can also provide tax benefits for your business. Discuss with your tax adviser how donating to qualified organizations might lower your 2018 tax bill.

10) Celebrate the year’s successes – After you’ve finalized the paperwork and are ready for a little relaxation, remember to celebrate all that your business accomplished in 2018. Those achievements will help fuel continued success in the New Year, so sit back and enjoy the feeling of a job well done. 

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