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As we near the end of the year, there are some things that you should do now, to close out 2022 and to prepare for 2023.

Create Fourth Quarter Sales Campaigns

The fourth quarter is a busy time for retail operations, as well as many service providers. So let’s brush off those sales campaigns and see what needs fine tuning.

With certain economic sentiments lower, people are pulling back on their spending. Which means you have to be even better at convincing people that your product or your service is the one that they want to buy.

Now is the time to take a look at your campaigns. Some of the things you will want to look at include:

  • New products or service offerings
  • New ad copy and ad buying strategy
  • New affiliate and influencer programs
  • New or revised distribution channels
  • Sales and discounts for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas

Catch up You Bookkeeping

Often, our bookkeeping/accounting falls behind when things get busy. We often will push it off until either a bank needs a financial statement or it is time to do our taxes.

And yes, I can be just as guilty about this as anyone else.

Fall is a great time to catch-up on all your bookkeeping tasks. Knowing how much money you have made (or lost) this year will help you make end-of-the-year moves.

And if you haven’t done it along the way, make sure that you have all the information you need to complete 1099s and W-2s. It’s a lot easier to do that in the 4th quarter this year rather than next year under deadline.

Stock Up and Major Year-End Purchases

Once you’ve caught up on your bookkeeping, you’ll have a better idea on how you are doing this year. That will let you know if you should stock-up or make any other major year-end purchases for your business.

If you have a hefty profit, it may be time to look at upgrading your technology or stocking up on raw materials for the first half of next year (if you don’t have to worry about personal property tax in your state).

Meanwhile, if you are close to breaking even or taking a loss, you’ll want to push those purchases to next year, when hopefully you’ll be back in the green.

Either way, you’ll need that bookkeeping caught up so you can make those decisions.

Pick Health Insurance During Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for the ACA Healthcare Exchange starts on November 1. If you are still covered by a spouse’s plan or from another job, your open enrollment dates may vary.

But in any case, one of the things that you have to do here very soon is pick your health care coverage for 2023.

If you have employees, you may also want to offer health insurance to your employees next year. Start working with a health insurance broker now! (Let me know if you need a referral, I have many that I have worked with throughout the country)

Small employers offering health care coverage may be eligible for tax credits to help cover the cost of the coverage.

Hire New Employees

Are you overworked? Are you turning away customers because you cannot serve them? Want to try to take a vacation at some point soon?

It’s time to hire some new employees!

I like hiring at the end of the year. A lot of companies don’t which means that you can get some good talent. You will also have time to get them trained up and ready to really take off starting January 1, after the holidays.

Celebrate Your Employees

Already have employees? Or hiring new ones before the end of the year?

Make sure that you take the time to celebrate your employees by the end of the year. Company dinners and parties are expected at the end of the year.

If company finances allow for it, you may also want to consider bonuses or small gifts for your employees.

Train Your Employees

Make sure that your employees have completed all required annual training by the end of the year.

Whether that is professional continuing education or required sexual harassment training or recommended cyber security training, make sure you get it in before the end of the year.

Plan Your Vacation

I know, it is hard for us Type A control freaks to let someone else run our business while we are gone. Or even to say we are going to be closed for a few days.

But stepping away from your business is important for you.

Because I want you to avoid burnout, which will happen if you don’t take time off.

And I want you to come back with tons of great ideas and inspiration for the year ahead.

So plan your vacations for the fourth quarter and next year.

Review Your IT Infrastructure

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Let’s take the opportunity to make sure that your technology is working for you and not against you.

First, let’s make sure that your security is top notch. Enable two-factor authentication on every website and service that you can. Yes, even your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Second, you should make a full backup of all your computers, servers, and websites onto an external hard drive. Then take it completely off-site and off the cloud so that you have these backups if you need them. Then enable a solution for regular, periodic backups; these can be connected to the cloud for quick access.

But you should also look at your tech stack. Are you using all the technology that you have purchased? Do you have any redundant systems that you can shut off before their renewals? Is there a feature you are missing that you need to add?

Plan for a Great 2023

As the year comes to an end, you’ll want to start making plans for 2023.

Take a moment to review what went well and what needed improvement in 2022. Where do you want to grow in 2023?

Set goals and strategies for next year now. And then come January 1, you’ll be off to the races!

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