Happy first of November, everyone! If you’re like me, the end of Halloween, sight of Christmas décor, and Starbucks’ holiday drink collection has made me realize that we only have a few weeks left of 2017. However, these are not typical weeks. The end of a year is a lot of fun. There are holiday parties, seasonal deals, promotions, vacations, and travels. What more could anyone want!? I’ll tell you what, you want small business organization and tax tips to end the year in the green.
The downfall of the holidays is that they can bring about a lot of stress. What do you buy this person? What do you cook? Where should you go? The list goes on and on. Who has the most stress around this time? The small business owner, that is who! They have all the typical holiday stress, but they also have the end of the year business stress. What’s the best way to avoid the stress? Plan ahead.
Yes, it’s only the first of November. However, if you think about it, the holiday seasons will be in full force three weeks from today. That’s right! Three weeks from today you’ll be in the mosh pit that is the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. You have three weeks to organize your staff and yourself. Business may very well skyrocket depending on your industry. So, while you may think you have ample time to get ready for the end of the year, you really don’t. Plan now. Enjoy yourself later.
To help you get ready for the end of the year, we’re bringing you our best small business organization and tax tips to help you get ahead and stress less at the end of the year.
Small Business Organization and Tax Tips to End 2017 – Do a Financial Well-Check.
Kids have a checkup before starting school. People go to the doctor before traveling overseas. There is no reason not to do a business financial well-check before the end of the year. That’s right, tax season is not far around the corner. While you may be tempted to get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle, take a minute to step back and get your finances in order. No one ever likes to deal with taxes. But you know what is worse than organizing your finances now? Organizing them when you’d rather be enjoying the holidays or organizing them when you’re stressed out. Talk to your accountant and bookkeeper to do a financial well check on your business. Will it end 2017 in the green? Is there something else you need to do? Do this now. Accountants and bookkeepers will soon be vacationing to get their last bit of freedom before the busy season hits at the first of the year.
Go through your inventory and check all your receipts. Does everything add up? Is your checkbook balanced? Is the inventory on your shelves consistent with your bookkeeping? You want to know the answer to all these questions before you plan the end of the year. If something doesn’t add up, fix it now while you can.
Small Business Organization and Tax Tips to End 2017 – Decide Whether or Not to Defer Income.
Any income earned after Sunday, December 31st, 2017 can be counted as income earned in 2018. Depending on how much you earned in 2017 and how much you expect to earn in 2018, you may want to defer income. Deferring income can save you a lot on taxes. Talk to your accountant, bookkeeper, and business partner or partners, if you have them. Run some financial analytics and projection models to make an informed decision.
Small Business Organization and Tax Tips to End 2017 – Plan Your End of the Year Sales and Promotions.
Small Business Saturday is right around the corner. If you haven’t decided what sales and promotions you will do, you need to do this right away! How will you market your sales and promotions? What will be included? Do you need to put old inventory on sale to make room for new items? How much of a discount will you offer? Will your sale only be on Small Business Saturday or will you have sales and promotions throughout the holidays? Use your financial well-check to plan accordingly for your sales and promotions to get the most out of them.
Small Business Organization and Tax Tips to End 2017 – Buy What You Need.
Do you need new equipment? Is your inventory low? Are there items you can stock up on now? Not only does the end of the year bring about many opportunities to score some great savings to consumers, but also year’s end can bring a ton of savings to business owners. Do your research, and plan accordingly. If you are in need of some technology upgrades, Cyber Monday might be your best option. Talk to your suppliers and see what your options are to cash in on some savings. Not only are the savings great at the end of the year, but it’s a great way for you to max out your business deductible for taxes. Who doesn’t love a tax deductible! Remember, don’t go crazy on that business credit card until you’ve done your financial well-check with your accountant and bookkeeper. Notice that was the first thing on this list. Well-check FIRST! You don’t want to think you’re saving a ton, but actually, end up miscalculating and owing more than you thought!
Small Business Organization and Tax Tips to End 2017 – Max Out All Your Tax Deductions.
Between now and December 31st, it’s your last chance to get in all those tax-deductible purchases. Yes, I’ll say it again. To get the most out your of your deductibles, you NEED to consult with your bookkeeper and accountant to assess where your business is financially and what deductions you can still make for the year. Legislations regarding taxes and deductibles are always changing. Talk with a professional to make sure you are helping your business, not hurting it. Ask about the following deductions.
• Charitable. Donating to charity is a great way to give back to those who are less fortunate than you during the holiday season. Even the smallest donation can add up. The nice thing about charitable donations is that you can not only donate money but also goods and claim a deduction at their fair market value. However, to do this, make sure you have the correct and accurate paperwork and receipts.
• Retirement Funds. If you have a retirement fund, what you contribute up to a certain threshold can be deducted from your taxable income. Consult a financial advisor to plan what works best for you this year.
• Healthcare Savings Accounts. As with retirement funds, you can contribute pre-tax money to a healthcare savings account. This not only lower your income, but it’s a smart thing to do to plan for the future. You never know when something health-related will happen to you. The money in this account can be used for any medical costs you incur that are not covered by insurance. The balance rolls over each year, so you don’t need to worry about using it all in one year.
Small Business Organization and Tax Tips in 2017 – Plan Ahead for Vacation Days.
It is the holiday season, everyone takes time off. You should also take time off and spend it with family and friends. Don’t forget to rest up for the year ahead. To do this, check in with your employees now to plan ahead for who will be taking time off when. Maybe someone wants throughout the holidays. Maybe no one does. It’s easier to sort this out now. For example, if no one wants to work on National Hangover Day, aka New Year’s Day, you may just want to close up shop for the day. The last thing you want to deal with is someone getting ‘sick’ and having to frantically call other people to come in. If you don’t have any employees, check in with your friends and family and decide what events you would like to attend. Yes, you should take some time off. If Ebenezer Scrooge did, so can you.
Small Business Organization and Tax Tips in 2017 – Create a Plan for the Year Ahead.
The end of the year may not be the best time to start a new project. Things get busy with family and friends. Plus, people are in and out on vacations. However, this is a great time to reflect on 2017 and plan accordingly for 2018. What worked? What didn’t work? What would you like to improve? Did you accomplish your goals in 2017? What are your goals in 2018? What do you need to do in order to accomplish them? The list goes on and on. It’s important to go into the new year with a plan. There is no better way to do this than to evaluate, learn, and move forward. Use the next few weeks to do just that. You can then enjoy the holiday season with less stress because you won’t be scrambling. Instead, you can get some rest, and start 2018 fresh and ready to accomplish new things!