December, it’s a festive and often busy month, hopefully, a time full of friends and family, reflection on 2018 and a look ahead for 2019.
It’s also an important month in your business. Here are two things I pay extra attention to in December each year to ensure I start the new year strong.
Remember that new tax law? If you’re a business owner it might mean changing your filing status or making other modifications to your bookkeeping in 2018. Connect with your CPA and do this now. Don’t wait until April 2019 to find out you should have made changes to your filing status, retirement accounts, deductions, and so forth, in 2018. The tax law has some significant differences, don’t assume it’s status quo for you or you might regret it in a few months.
This month is also the time for you to review your profit and loss statement, and project your income and expenses in 2019 by creating a budget. If you don’t have a clean P&L you can’t create a meaningful budget, so start where you are and advance. I do this on the personal side too. It’s important to me that my financial household run like a business, with careful tracking of income and expenses.
Review your 2018 business goals, assess your business currently, look to the future and make some goals. Now, one of the challenges I’ve discovered with goals is people view them very differently. So, if you’re running an organization of more than one, then you need to make sure you’re on the same page with your team as to what the goal is. I like to set the following goal tiers.
I Promise Goal. This should be beyond doable, and your budget should count on this level of business performance. Be very real at this level.
I Hope Goal. This should be doable but will take some work and some things will need to work out to your benefit next year. Most team goals should be set at this level.
I Pray Goal. This should be the goal if everything works perfectly, and you get an extra unexpected win. It’s nice to have a target for this, though more realistically this is the I Hope Goal for 2020.
Do these things now and you’ll start the year with momentum immediately after the holiday!