December is a hectic time for many businesses. Some companies, like retailers, see a big uptick in sales around the holiday season, while others are simply scrambling to wrap up big projects before year-end.
Given the big rally to close out the year, it can be helpful to have a checklist of everything that also needs to be done — or should be done — by late December. End this year on the right foot by taking these key steps:
Show Employees Your Appreciation
You can give every employee a quick thank-you note and a small gift (maybe even a year-end bonus?) to express your gratitude. Also, consider planning a holiday gathering orteam-building eventthat gives everyone a chance to unwind and celebrate their successes for the year.
Consider Your Staffing Needs—for Now and Next Year
Do you need to hire extra help for the holidays to help relieve staffing pressure? You can start thinking about the year ahead and whether you should hire more people now so that you can hit the ground running come January.
Give Your Customers a Year-End Gift
Give your best customers or clients a small gift to express your thankfulness for their loyalty over the past year. This year, check off everyone on your holiday gift list in one place with theOffice Depot Gift Giving Guide.Whether you’re shopping forgifts for co-workers, tech gifts, or just looking for aunique gift, the gift guide has presents everyone will be overjoyed to open!
Consider Year-End Purchases
If you need to buy new equipment or supplies for your business, try to put together a year-end shopping list. You can deduct business expenses on your 2021 tax return if you make them by Dec. 31, so it might make sense to stock up in December rather than hold off until the next year. Plus, you might be able to take advantage of technology deals, such as onBlack Fridayand Cyber Monday.
Create a Year-End Financial Report
Year-end is prime time for analyzing your company’s financials so that you can make strategic decisions for the year ahead. Using your company’saccounting softwareor spreadsheets, some key reports to run include a balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash-flow statement. Consider reviewing these to look for issues or opportunities that can be addressed next year.
Back Up Your Data
Try to make sure your data is backed up regularly to the cloud or another secure place. Consider reviewing your key files and documents — whether customer records orfinancial statements— and make extra sure you have duplicate copies of those kept securely, both digitally and offline. Check outdata storageto find the best choice for you.
Review Your Business Technology Needs
Year-end is a good time to prepare your business for the months ahead. Consider what equipment or software could help your business become more efficient and effective in 2022, whether that’s new laptops, avoice assistant(such as Amazon Alexa or Google Nest), or customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Your Business Overall
Reflect on Your Year and Think Ahead
It may feel hard to make time for reflection with everything else going on this time of year. However, it’s the season for not just showing gratitude but also thinking about what your goals and accomplishments were for the year and how you can build on them next year.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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