Once November arrives, most people shift their focus to the upcoming holiday celebrations. This time of year, small business owners also need to focus on year-end business planning. This includes both, preparing for 2023 and taking stock of the year past. It is always a good idea to use the final weeks of the year to set your business up for success. Between now and the end of the year, set aside a few hours per week to plan and strategize.
Here are some questions and tips to get you started.
Where do you want to be in 2023? Set new goals for the upcoming year and the corresponding action plan that help you achieve them.
Remember that as a small business owner, there are a lot of demands on your time, so prioritizing is necessary. What will you focus on? Improving your cashflow? Investing in machinery and equipment? Getting your minority business certification, or women-owned business certification? Whatever your goals, remember to keep them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART).
Review your finances. What story do they reveal about your business?
Many small business owners become overwhelmed by their financial statements and ignore them until tax time, but if there is one aspect of your business that needs thorough and periodic evaluation, it is your financial goals; after all, you’ve set up a business in order to earn income.
To make sense of it all, make an appointment with your accountant and review the balance sheet, income statement and cashflow. Determine the strengths and weaknesses. Are accounts receivable too high? How are you managing cashflow and debt? Make a resolution to meet with your accountant at least quarterly, but more often if you can.
End of year is a great time to review the performance of your social media strategy and update it for the coming year.
There are many platforms to promote your business, but do you know which ones brought you the most customers? Examine how much you invested and determine how next year’s budget should be allocated.
Review your website and social media accounts. Update profile pictures, the “about us” section and contact information. Remove unnecessary content, and refresh photography and graphics.
Cybersecurity is critical, therefore, make sure that your data is secured and that your website and other systems have the appropriate level of protection.
Commit to improving your business management skills.
Whether you want to have a better understanding of your finances, or need to develop a better marketing strategy, this is a great time to determine your training or education needs. There are great free and low-cost entrepreneurship education resources in the Philadelphia region. In the Hispanic community, entrepreneurs can enroll in bilingual and Spanish-only education programs provided by the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Widener University SBDC.
Choose holiday parties wisely.
The holiday season is a great time to engage, not only with existing customers, but also to develop leads for the new year. It is also a time to build your network of experts. Latino entrepreneurs often lack a strong network of professionals that can help them advance their business goals, and holiday events are a great place to meet your future IT or marketing consultant. The holidays are a great time to build social capital.
This year, GPHCC will host the Excelencia in Hispanic Business Awards Reception on Dec. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m.at the Museum of the American Revolution. The event will feature four entrepreneurs who will be recognized for pursuing excellence and being an inspiration to others. Tickets are available at philahispanicchamber.org
Jennifer I. Rodríguez is the President and CEO of the Great Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.