Your 2019 Checklist: How to Start the Year Off On the Right Foot

Just like we set personal New Year’s resolutions, you should also set resolutions for your business at the beginning of the new year. You should be thinking about these resolutions strategically and thoughtfully, but real progress isn’t just about the resolutions and goals. It’s about the follow-up — the action plan that turns those resolutions into results.

If certain things didn’t go your way last year, then now is the time to pivot. Stepping into the new year on the right foot is critical to determining how your business will perform this year. Here are four things you can do to kick off 2019 while keeping your resolutions in mind.

Evaluate Your Business Type

At the beginning of every year, it’s important to take a hard look at your business and decide if it’s time to adjust your entity type. Evaluating your current business entity type and whether it is in need of adjustment is essential for starting your year on the right note.

Let’s say that you originally formed your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), and now since you have scaled so much you’re considering shifting it to an S Corporation. Is that the best move? What are the benefits and potential downfalls? Perhaps an unfortunate legal or tax issue arose last year, and your business wasn’t as protected as you thought it should be (or needed it to be). Now is the time to ensure your business entity type is still serving the business well. 

Review Your Finances

With tax time quickly approaching and new calendar year budgets being formed, it’s the perfect time to dive deep into the numbers and review your business finances. Conduct your typical profit loss analysis to see where the business is netting out. Are you close to hitting your goal? What is driving you over? If you’re not close, where are you being dragged down?

Work with your finance and accounting teams or financial consultant to get a true understanding of your budgets and overall spending. From there, you can better allocate funds for certain line items and budgets for this year.

Add or Reduce Your Headcount

After you pore over every penny of those finances, it makes sense to decide where you can cut, reallocate or spend some of your dollars. One area where you may want to allocate additional funds (or make cuts) is your employee overhead budget. Take a look at the results each employee is producing, the type of projects in your pipeline and what your employees are relaying about their workload.

Adding headcount will set you up for success if that is what your business and your employees are demanding. By the same token, reducing headcount can save you valuable dollars if you deem they are better spent elsewhere (or if you find the business is simply overstaffed).

Set Big Goals

What do you want for your business this year? What type of return on investment are you hoping to achieve? Do you want a larger office space or more remote workers? Do you need to reduce wasteful spending? How about hosting webinars or launching a new product? Really dig deep and decide what your business could benefit from.

However, don’t wait until the very end of this year to evaluate those goals. You should be tracking your progress often — quarterly or even monthly. Tracking the progress of those goals frequently will help ensure you meet them, since you’ll still have plenty of time, opportunity, and insight to pivot your strategy and execution when needed.  

 

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