• 4th Quarter Prep for Effingham County Small Business Owners

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    November 28, 2022

    With the final quarter in full swing, you’ve likely got your hands full. In addition to the holiday rush, there are a number of important tasks that need to be completed in order to prepare for the coming year. From reviewing annual goals to finalizing holiday promotions, here's a checklist from the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce of everything you need to do to get your small business ready for the new year.


    Did You Meet Your Goals?


    A great first step is to review your accomplishments from the past 12 months. What goals did you set at the beginning of the year, and how well did you achieve them? This exercise will not only help you measure your progress and end the fourth quarter on a high note, but will also give you some insight into setting goals for the coming year. If you’ve struggled to achieve a particular goal, ask yourself why and see if there's anything you can do differently in the new year.


    What Do You Want to Achieve in the New Year


    Once you've taken stock of your achievements from the past year, start to address what you want to accomplish in the new year. What are your goals for growth? What new products or services do you want to introduce? How can you more effectively reach your target market? Outlining your goals for the coming year will put you in a much better position to make them a reality.


    Finalize Your Holiday Marketing


    If you plan to run any holiday promotions or marketing campaigns, now is the time to finalize those plans. Set a budget for your campaigns and start working on creative ways to reach your target audience. Keep in mind that many consumers start their holiday shopping early, so don't wait until December to start promoting your products or services.


    Also, target your marketing whenever possible. For instance, DIYers might be more interested in toolkits than your sale on gaming devices, so if you’ve already assembled a snazzy PDF of promotional photos and sales information, separating the pages into multiple PDFs using a free online tool is an easy fix. You can then send them to specific target audiences.


    Freshen Up Your Website and Social Media


    Give your website and social media profiles a good look to make sure that all of your information is current and appropriate for the holiday season. Update any outdated photos, contact information, etc., and take care of any broken links or other technical issues that may have arisen over the course of the year. Now is also a good time to freshen up your design and make sure that everything looks its best going into the new year.    


    Do an Inventory Checkup


    Do a quick inventory of your current stock and determine how much additional product you'll need to meet customer demand during the holidays. This will help ensure that you don't run out of items during peak shopping periods and have to turn away potential customers. It's also a good idea to place orders early so that you don't have any delays with your shipments.


    Reconcile Your Bookkeeping     


    End-of-year bookkeeping can be time-consuming, but it's essential to make sure that your financial records are up-to-date and accurate. This is especially important if you plan to apply for any loans or grants in the new year. In addition to getting your finances in order, it's also time to prepare for April.


    Tax Time


    The fourth quarter is the perfect time to start thinking about your taxes for the coming year. If you haven't already done so, get all of your financial documents in order. You may also want to consult with a tax advisor to see if there are any changes that need to be made to your tax strategy in light of recent changes in tax law.  Once you have your paperwork in order, commit to organizing everything for easier sending and access. Your best bet is to convert files to PDFs, which allows for file-combining and simplified file-sharing.


    It's hard to avoid getting caught up in the chaos of the fourth quarter, but it's important not to let the emphasis on holiday sales overshadow other vital tasks like goal setting and bookkeeping reconciliation. By taking care of these things now, you'll set yourself up for a successful start to the new year.

    If you’re ready to grow your business with the help of great local resources and partnerships, join the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.
    Alexandria Haslam
    cit46532@adobe.com, (408) 753-5826