Year-end checklist for SMEs

Year-end checklist for SMEs

Learning & Development

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

22 Dec 2020, 12:56 — 4 min read

For business owners, year end is a time to take stock, tie up loose ends and set goals for the coming year. It is critical to end the year strong and start the New Year in a fresh and in a good state.

Use this checklist to ensure you take care of key business tasks before the year end.

 

1. Examine your finances

The end of the year is a good time to set up a meeting with your accountant to review your overall financial health.

 

You may want to look at your

  • Balance sheet - A summary of how your business is doing at a particular point in time with your assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • Income statement - Allows you to quickly see if your business is profitable through your revenue, expenses, and the resulting profit or loss.
  • Cash flow statement - Shows you where and how your money has been spent.
  • Payment dues – A list of outstanding dues that need to be collected by or paid to your company.

 

2. Upgrade your technology and ensure data security

Assess whether you need technology upgrades to improve productivity. Check if there are software licenses that need to be renewed. Ensure that you have backed up all essential data and deleted unwanted files. Take steps to for data security, especially if you have team members that work remotely.
 

3. Review your inventory

If you sell products, examine what sold and what didn’t in 2020. If you offer services, check which services did well. Use this time to determine a strategy for 2021 that focuses more on items and services in demand.

Also read: Supply chain disruption: What firms can learn

 

4. Evaluate your staffing needs

Take stock of your team and gauge whether you need to hire more employees in the New Year. Ensure that you budget for additional personnel you plan to hire. If you are overstaffed, think of creating new roles to reallocate your team’s talent.  Also review your compensation and benefit plans to ensure they are still competitive.

 

Also read: How to hire the right person for your team

 

5. Revise your business plan

Review your business plan and assess how you are doing. Are you meeting all the goals and objectives you had for your business? Are your financial projections still valid? Does your marketing plan require modifications? If perceptible changes have occurred, rework your business plan to reflect them.

 

Also read: Make your business plan an 'action plan' for growth

 

6. Update your social media presence

Do your Facebook and Twitter cover images need to be refreshed? Is your Instagram bio out-dated? This is a good time to update your social media accounts. Then, devise a strategy for 2021 to create greater engagement via social media.

Also read: Most important social media trends to know in 2020

 

7. Assess your 2020 goals

If you had specific goals for 2020, review and assess them systematically according to the following questions.

 

  • Were your goals achieved? Why or why not?
  • If they were exceeded, why did that occur? What are the next steps?
  • If they fell short, why did that occur? What are the next steps?

 

8. List goals for 2021

The review of your 2020 goals should give you a clear picture of at least some of your 2021 goals. Do you need to increase sales? Invest in product innovation? Rejig your marketing strategy? Hire new employees? Institute more thorough training? Devise a strategy to reduce costs? Is your business or sector experiencing changes that you need to plan for?


Invest some time in creating clear and actionable goals for the coming year. The more well-defined your goals, the more likely you are to meet your business targets.

 

Creating a year-end checklist is akin to business spring cleaning to make your organisation more effective. It helps to end the year strong and start the New Year on a positive note. Share with us your end of the year checklist.

 

Image source: shutterstock.com

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