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23 November 2018

Your End of Year Business Checklist

Posted By: AIB Business
reviewing-business-plan-for-year-ahead

As Christmas approaches and the new year comes into view, it's always a good idea to look back on what your business has achieved over the past 12 months - and start planning for the next 12. Taking some time now to organise yourself now means you'll enter 2019 with a clear perspective on where you are now and where you want to be. Not sure where to start? We've outlined some items to add to your end of year checklist below.

1.  Balance the Books

When you’re stuck in the day-to-day, it can be difficult to take a step back and get a full picture of where you are financially. Now is the time to take a deep dive into your financials, which means a Profit & Loss Statement (P&L), Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Report. This will let you see where you performed well in 2018, and where you can do better next year.

2. Review and Set Goals

Did you set yourself business goals last year? Now’s the time to take stock of them – and hopefully celebrate a few personal victories. But don’t worry if you didn’t quite achieve everything you set out to, this is also the ideal moment to analyse where you went wrong. This will give you a clearer idea of your direction going forward and help you surpass your new goals next year.

3. Check Your Inventory

Not only is this crucial from a revenue perspective, it’s also an easy way to see which areas of the business are doing well and which aren’t.

4. Evaluate Your Staffing Needs

No matter what size your business is - from two employees to two hundred - end of year is the perfect time to review your staffing situation. Do you have the right number of employees in the right roles? Do any of them require additional training? Will you need to hire in the year ahead? These are all questions you should be asking at this juncture.

5. Streamline Your Processes

Another thing that’s difficult to get a handle on during the year are your internal processes. You may be doing something one way because you’ve always done it that way, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most effective way of doing it. Talk to your staff about what’s working and what isn’t, and use this end-of-year period to figure out where you can make things more efficient and ultimately more profitable.

6. Revamp Your Digital Presence

Every business has an online aspect these days, but it’s easy for it to become neglected. And if you let your primary web presence stagnate, you’ll be giving a bad first impression to many potential customers. Take this time to review all aspects of your website and social media channels, refreshing outdated content, checking functionality, and noting any missing elements you can implement.

7. Back Up Your Data

Let’s be honest, we all should be doing this a bit more regularly, but if you’ve neglected it for a while now’s the time to secure all those crucial files and data. You should do this using some form of cloud-based software as well as a physical back-up like an external hard-drive for additional security and peace of mind. Also take this time to review your IT security, changing any outdated passwords and making sure no one has access to anything they shouldn’t.

Need Business Advice for the Year Ahead?

Make an appointment to speak to your AIB Business Customer Advisor and get your business off to the best start in 2019.

Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.

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Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.

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