• Final Quarter-End Checklist for Hernando, MS Small Business Owners

    As the end of the year approaches, it's time to start thinking about wrapping up the fourth quarter. For small business owners, this quarter is always a busy one. There's so much to do and so little time to do it all! But don't worry, we've got your covered. Here's a quarter-end checklist for small business owners courtesy of the Hernando Main Street Chamber of Commerce to make sure you tie up all loose ends before the new year begins.


    Review Your Goals


    The first item on your quarter-end checklist should be evaluating your annual goals. Did you hit all your targets? If not, what can you do differently next year to make sure you hit them? Be honest with yourself and use this exercise as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes.


    After you've taken stock of your annual goals, it's time to start thinking about next year. What do you want to achieve in the new year? Outline your goals for the year ahead and start making a plan for how you're going to achieve them.


    Put Your Marketing Plan Into Action


    Give yourself plenty of time to develop and execute your marketing plan, but also don't let any grass grow. Holiday shoppers are notoriously busy, so you'll need to make sure they see your ads and promotions well in advance. Also, remember to get creative with your marketing. Traditional methods like print ads and email blasts are always effective, but try to think outside the box as well. 


    Social media is a great way to reach out to potential customers, and online ads can be very targeted and cost-effective. For instance, people who like to bake might be more interested in kitchenware than your sale on gaming devices, so if you already have a PDF of promotional materials, simply separate the pages and send them to specific target audiences in social media groups.


    After the holidays are over, reach out to your customers and thank them for their business. If you've collected email addresses, you can send out a post-holiday coupon or promotion. A little extra effort goes a long way in showing your customers that you appreciate their business.


    Plan Your Inventory


    One of the most important things to do is to stock up on inventory. This may seem obvious, but it's easy to get caught up in the chaos of the season and forget to order enough products. It's also important to think about which items will be most popular. Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that customers will want the same products year after year. However, trends change, and it's important to stay up-to-date on what's popular.


    Check In On Your Accounting


    You want to have a solid grasp of your financials, so take time to review your accounting. This includes reconciling accounts, preparing financial statements, and paying taxes. While it may seem like a lot of work, taking care of your accounting can actually be relatively simple if you use the right tools. There are a number of software programs that can automate many of the tasks, and there are also many online resources that can provide guidance and support.


    Get Your Tax Paperwork Together


    As a small business owner, you have a lot to think about when it comes to taxes. But with a little bit of organization, you can make tax time a breeze. Make sure you have all of your documents in order. This includes receipts, invoices, and bank statements. Keep these organized by date and type, so you can easily find what you need. It helps to put everything into PDF files, which are easy to manipulate and condense.


    Next, start collecting information for your deductions. If you have any business expenses, make sure to keep track of them throughout the year. Finally, stay up to date on the latest tax laws. The IRS website is a great resource for small business owners, and there are plenty of online forums where you can get advice from other business owners.


    The fourth quarter is always a busy one for small businesses, but following this checklist will help ensure that you end the year on a high note. Evaluate your annual goals, outline new ones for next year, finalize holiday marketing plans, catch up on bookkeeping and organize tax paperwork. Before you know it, 2023 will be here!

    Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Hernando Main Street Chamber of Commerce.