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End of the Year Checklist for Small Businesses

Graphic DesignEnd of the Year Checklist for Small Businesses

The year is coming to an end, and it’s usually time for people to sit back and relax. But not just yet! If you are a small business owner, now is the perfect time to evaluate your business and marketing strategies, do some housekeeping, and prepare for the upcoming year. 

Of course, you probably already have tons on your plate, which is why we created this handy end-of-year checklist for you. Whether you want to assess your financial health, plan for a rebrand (our AI logo generator is here to help you!), or prepare for a huge marketing campaign next year, we got you covered.

Small Business End of the Year Checklist

Every business is different. What you need to accomplish or review might vary depending on your industry, business size, or budget. 

Still, there are some key tasks that every business should do. These are:

Assess your branding

Branding is a crucial part of any business. It’s what gives you that image or identity that your customers will associate you with. Think of popular brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, or Starbucks. You only need to see their logo or color scheme and you’ll already know it’s them. That’s the power of branding.

Of course, not every business gets it right the first time. Maybe your name is too long. Or maybe your logo design is not memorable enough. Whatever the reason is, you’re struggling to get your customer’s attention.

If that’s the case, a rebranding might be necessary. 

One of the perks if you are a new or small business is that your audience is not as big and your identity is not firmly established yet. You still have a chance to rebrand without alienating your customers. So if you want to do a rebrand, it’s best to do it while you’re still relatively new. 

Do you think you need a rebrand? Check out our articles such as 10 Examples of Great Rebranding or When Should You Consider A Rebrand For Your Business to give you a better idea. 

Review your marketing strategies

Marketing is a powerful tool in getting more customers and sales to your business. It’s your way of reaching new customers as well as making sure your current customers are engaged and loyal to you. 

As a small business, you need to make sure you get your marketing right as you don’t have a huge budget or staff to be running multiple huge campaigns all the time. 

So how do you know if your marketing efforts this year were successful? 

The first is by checking your data and analytics. Check your social media dashboards. If you see an increase in your followers, engagement, views, and other metrics, it means you’re doing well. 

Make sure you compare your social media pages performance as well. You may find that you’re doing better on TikTok compared to Instagram. Therefore you should be focusing on creating more TikTok content or perhaps even running some TikTok ads

Analyze your sales as well. You may have run an in-store promotion or a loyalty program. Compare your numbers from before the promotion to after to see if there is an increase in sales. 

Include that data in a sales funnel calculator to track the effectiveness of your promotional efforts and identify trends in customer behavior. This data-driven approach enables you to make informed decisions about future promotions, fine-tuning your sales funnel to maximize revenue and customer engagement.

Lastly, talk to your customers. How did they find your store? How do they like their experience with you so far? Is there anything they want to see more of? Ask them directly or get their feedback via surveys. 

Audit your website

Did you know that 58% of customers look for local small businesses on their smartphones every day? While 72% of customers who make a local search end up visiting the store.

A great website is key if you want to get discovered by customers and get more people to your business. You need to ensure that your website is visually appealing and easy to use. To do this, you need to audit your site.

First, check your web design. 38% of customers will stop engaging with a poorly designed site. Make sure you use your brand colors, that your logo is always present, and that your layout is clean and uncluttered. Always use high-quality images and illustrations. 

Next is to check your user experience (UX). Is your website easy to navigate? Can your users easily find important details? Is your order form too long? Are your links working properly? Etc. 

Check your website analytics as well. Do you get enough traffic? How long do people stay on your page? Where is the traffic coming from? Is there a particular page that gets more attention? And so on. 

Backup your files and documents

Losing your customer, vendor, equipment, or product information/data is a disaster that you don’t want to experience. 

Always keep a backup of your important files. These could include accounting documents, important emails, marketing analysis, business contacts, and others. You can use cloud-based platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox to ensure that you have secured storage for your files. You can also save them on external hard drives. 

If you primarily use Microsoft Office apps, you can also look into backup for Office 365 to protect your Exchange Online, Sharepoint, and Microsoft Teams data.

You may even want to print them out or list your contacts on phone books the old-fashioned way so that you always have a physical copy with you. 

Check your financial statements

It’s also important to do a thorough financial review before the year ends. Examine your cash flow, profit-loss statements, and your balance sheets. Check your employee’s payroll, bonuses, and benefits. Don’t forget your tax obligations. You should also check if you have licenses or fees to renew or pay for the upcoming year.

Knowing all of this can help you make necessary adjustments for better financial health. This should also give you a better idea of how to budget for the coming year.

Conduct inventory assessments

Next is to take a look at your product stock or inventory. Check if you still have enough stock for the coming year. Identify any slow-moving items or excess stocks and consider running a promotion or sale to clear them out.

Run a quality check as well. You may have products that are damaged, expired, or near expiration. Or maybe your stockroom is disorganized or your products are mislabeled. This should help you see if you need to take any action or improve your processes. 

Aside from your product offerings, you should also take note of your storage and office furnitures/equipments to see if there are some upgrades or changes needed. This strategic approach ensures that your business remains competitive and responsive to the evolving needs of your clientele and employees. For instance, consider leveraging online platforms where you can easily filter your computer desk options based on design, size, and features. This gives you a better working environment for the next year.

You might even want to consider upgrading the look of your storage. Invest in good lighting, sturdier storage shelves, or even decorations like plants or wall art. You can look into Wallpics for a retro wall art to upgrade your walls. All of these can add an appealing and cleaner look to your stockroom.

List down your accomplishments

Not everything needs to be about some work that needs to be done! Sometimes, it’s also nice to just take a look back at your year and see how far you’ve come.

List down your accomplishments to help remind you of your successes as well as things that you can be grateful for. This can help boost your mind and spirit for the new year! 

Set your goals for the new year

Lastly is to reflect on your goals and objectives. Did you achieve your goals? Or did you find that you now have new targets?

Based on everything that you experienced and learned this year, you can adjust your goals and strategies accordingly. From there you can develop a plan and list of goals for the next year. 

Build Your Brand Today!

Give yourself a pat on the back, you did well this year! 

We want to help you to be the best version of your business. If you need a new logo, hop on to our AI logo generator or check out our logo maker tool. Just choose a design you like from our wide variety of choices, customize it to your liking, and download to use. 

We can also help you out with your marketing needs. Pair your new logo with our marketing templates for business cards, Facebook posts, or flyers

We wish you all the best in all your business endeavors!

Read More on Branding Here:

Written by DesignCrowd on Wednesday, December 20, 2023

DesignCrowd is an online marketplace providing logo, website, print and graphic design services by providing access to freelance graphic designers and design studios around the world.

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