This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
We are about to close the final chapter on 2017. The holidays have officially launched. We’ve run out of creative ideas of what to do with our turkey leftovers. Are you ready for 2018? As a local small business, there is still much to do. Business never ends but how can you ever be ready?
We’ve got some quick tips for local entrepreneurs so you too can plan for a worry-free holiday season.
- Strategize for 2018 while things slow down during the holiday season. December is an excellent month to get things done. Activity is stone-cold quiet by the time December 20th rolls around (shipments end). Write down the goals you’d like to accomplish before the New Year begins. Factor in holiday parties and time spent with friends and family. Organize paperwork, do a visioning of 2018 with achievable goals and an updated business strategy. Use quiet time to develop efficiencies.
- End of Year Charitable contributions. There are plenty of opportunities before the end of the year to give back, and to do social good. Identify an organization you’d like to support. Create a campaign or other activity to help others in need. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has great tips on not only making sure an organization is qualified as a charitable organization but also a tax assistant to help identify how much you can deduct during the looming tax season.
- Revisit your tax structure. Taxes are changing constantly and are in the news every day. Set a time to meet with your tax advisor before the end of the year to ensure you have set up the best tax structure based on current law that meets the needs of your business. If you don’t have a tax advisor – get one. They may save you money in the long-term, and will be up-to-date on the latest tax recommendations.
- Seasonal thank you notes to your clients/customers. This is the best time of year to let your customers know how much you appreciate them for their business. Send out handwritten notes (a real standout in today’s age of technology) of appreciation or a personalized email letting them know how much their business means to you and your company.
- Be mindful and consciously plan to recharge your batteries. Running a business is hard work. Make sure you plan for time for yourself and for your employees. The holidays can be very busy and a time for a lot more juggling – but being good to yourself will help you be in a good place in the future and to your customers.
Check out BizLaunch programming for the New Year. We will be hosting events on mindfulness and strategic planning. There are still events in December too. We hope you can join us.
Do you have top tips you’d like to recommend before the New Year begins? If so, please let us know in the comments below.