Conclude Your Auburn Hills Small Business's 4th Quarter on a Positive
The fourth quarter is upon us, which means it's time to start wrapping things up for the year! For small businesses, that means taking stock of what you've accomplished, setting new goals for the coming year, and getting your marketing and website ready for the holiday season. From the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce, here's a rundown of what you need to do to close out the year strong.
Evaluating Goal Achievement for the Year
The first order of business is to take a look back at the year and evaluate how well you've achieved your goals. This will help you set realistic goals for the coming year and identify any areas where you need to make changes in your business. To do this, sit down with a pen and paper (or your laptop) and answer the following questions:
What were your goals for the year?
Did you achieve them? If not, why not?
What went well this year? What could have gone better?
What did you learn this year?
Once you've taken stock of your achievements and challenges, you can start setting new goals for the coming year.
Outlining New Year Goals
When setting goals for the new year, it's important to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This will help you create a roadmap for your business and ensure that your goals are attainable. Some examples of SMART goals for small businesses include:
Increasing revenue by 10%
Adding 500 new subscribers to your email list
Landing 5 new clients
Creating and launching a new product
Getting featured in 3 major publications
Planning Seasonal Marketing
The holidays are a crucial time for small businesses, so it's important to have a solid plan in place to make sure you're capitalizing on all the opportunities. First, take a look at your sales data from previous years to get an idea of how much holiday traffic you can expect. Then, start planning your marketing campaigns. Will you be running any special promotions or discounts? How will you promote them? What kind of holiday-themed content will you create? Answering these questions will help you develop a plan to make sure your holiday season is successful.
For instance, creating a PDF gift guide filled with sales info and product images is a great way to help spread the word. You could even use this free tool to split your finished product into multiple PDFs that you can then send to different social media groups for more nuanced target marketing.
Updating Your Website & Social Media Accounts
Your website and social media profiles should be updated on a regular basis anyway, but it's especially important to do so before the holidays. Make sure all your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find, that your products or services page is accurate and up-to-date, and that your blog has fresh content. You should also update your social media profiles with holiday-themed cover photos and profile pictures. And don't forget to post regularly. After all, consistency is key!
Stocking Your Inventory
If you sell physical products, now is the time to stock up on inventory so you're prepared for the holiday rush. This includes both finished products as well as any raw materials or supplies you need to create them. Order early to avoid any shipping delays or backorders. Nothing puts a damper on holiday sales quite like not having enough inventory on hand.
Reviewing Your Accounting & Organizing Tax Paperwork
The end of the year is also a good time to review your accounting records and make sure everything is up-to-date. This will make filing taxes much easier come January. While you're at it, start organizing all your tax paperwork so it's ready to go when tax season rolls around. Trust us. You'll thank yourself come April!
Changing Business Structures
If you're thinking about changing your business structure – for example, from a sole proprietorship to LLC – the end of the year is a good time to do it. That way, come tax time, you can take advantage of any benefits or deductions that might be available to your new business structure. Consult with an accountant or attorney before making any changes so you understand what's involved and how it will impact your taxes.
As we head into the fourth quarter of 2022, it's important for small businesses to take stock of their achievements over the past year, set new goals for 2023, and get their marketing and website ready for the holiday season. By following these tips, you can ensure that your business ends 2022 on a high note and starts 2023 off strong!
Join the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce to connect with local entrepreneurs and resources that can help your business grow.