December is here! Before you get all soft and gooey about the holidays, it is important to take time to set things up right so you can achieve your business goals for 2019! You must plan your success for next year. Here are 10 things to do to get your business ready for 2019
- Clean up your accounting records
Hopefully, you use accounting software to keep track of your revenues and expenses, but if you haven’t been keeping everything up-to-date, it’s time to buckle down. If your receipts haven’t been entered into your system, it’s a good idea to make that happen asap. IRS typically does not need receipts for items under $75 that relate to transportation or meals. But, if you get audited, you may be questioned. You need to get your paperwork together and call the bookkeeper or accountant before tax time when everyone gets slammed. Remember, business taxes are due March 15th, not in April like personal taxes.
- Update Vendor 1099’s and W2’s
IRS 1099- MISC is a year-end form you send to all non-employees such as consultants and contractors. Anyone who you’ve paid more than $600 during the year should receive one, as well as any partnerships, LLCs or companies you may have contracted during the year. The IRS requires 1099’s out the door before Jan 31, 2019. If you have employees, you need to issue their W2’s by January 31, 2019. If you use a payroll service, they should provide W2’s for you and your employees.
- Get your 2019 W9 filled out and signed and scanned
Take care of this small task this way, you’ll have this handy when someone asks for it. Some vendors or corporate clients will ask for this form before paying any invoice. If your business is a sole proprietor, LLC or an S-Corporation, you will need to provide a W9 to get paid.
- Set up your files for 2019
If you are like me, you create files for next year at the end of every year. My filing system is by year, then category then month. How do you store your contracts, special projects, PPT slides, admin files, etc.? Develop a system and use it consistently.
2019 – Category – Month
You may prefer 2019 – Month – Category
- Is Your Desk or Email Cluttered?
If you have 5,000 to 10,000 unopened emails, make it a goal to get back to no new emails before the end of the year. And is your desk cluttered? A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. Deal with those stacks of unopened mail; who knows there could be a check in one of them. If your work space or computer is cluttered, spend a few hours and set up a system. Shred things you don’t need, and organize your computer files. It will save you hours later.
- Check all your monthly subscriptions
There is nothing worse that paying for something you don’t use. With all the apps and subscription services out there, you could be paying for things you no longer need, or paying for apps that do that same thing. Productivity apps, media subscriptions, and music are great place to start. Do you need Spotify and Amazon music? What about your CRM software? Does your email program have the same functionality? Look at social media scheduling tools too. Save money where you can.
- Budget for next year
If you don’t have a budget for next year, now is a great time to create one. You need updated financials so that you can see what you spent this year. It’s always best to base a budget based on the previous year. If you had proper accounting, you can use that as a starting point for creating a budget for the next year.
- Build a promotions calendar
Sit down with a calendar and start looking at all the holidays or events you want to build content or promotions around. This will give you ample time to plan your social media updates, blog posts, graphics, and advertising campaigns, etc.
- Always be reading and learning
Some people read a book a week! This is pretty challenging when you running your own business and putting out fires constantly. But readers are leaders, so you need to make sure you are growing your skills as a business leader. Here’s the latest book I am reading: Building Your Story Brand, by Donald Miller
- Start a Gratitude Journal
It is easy to boil things down to wins and losses, but it’s better to be grateful for everything and everyone that is in your life. Some events, people, things may seem bad – I suggest you look into them to see what they showed up, and write down what you learned. Reflecting on what you learned from the person, event or thing that happened is a great way to make sure you don’t repeat your mistakes. Then take 3 deep breaths!
Wishing you the best for 2019!
About the Author
Jasmine Alexander is the creator of Jazmine.com, a software application for individuals and families to organize their important information and documents. She is a former Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product Development for several Fortune 500 companies such as Penton, ABC, and Ziff Davis.