There are just a couple months left in the year, and small business owners should be putting together checklists in order to make sure they're prepared for the end of 2014.
For small business owners, the next two months get a little crazy with holiday sales and the end of the year bearing down. There are a number of things you can do to save money and make sure that your business is prepared for 2015. For more on how small businesses should be organizing for the end of the year, take a look at the advice below:
1. Coordinate your documents
If you've been a bit lax in terms of record-keeping for end-of-the-year taxes, then now is the time to begin organizing your paperwork, Payscale.com suggested. For tax purposes there are a number of documents that business owners should keep track of throughout the year. Try and gather all of your canceled checks, credit card slips, purchase invoices and receipts for the past few years.
While many small business owners don't think about collecting and organizing documents until November or December, this should be a year-round task, Greg Jones, chief executive officer of BookKeeping Express, told Business Insider. Keeping paperwork in order throughout the year will make filing easier and reduce risk in case of an audit.
2. Alter or incorporate your business structure
Small businesses often start off as sole proprietorships or partnerships, Small Business Trends explained. Eventually, owners should consider transitioning into a different entity though. Incorporating your business will ease some financial risk, and provide extra flexibility in regard to taxes. Research your options as far as incorporation goes, and consider which option works best for you.
3. Reconsider your prices
When you have a good picture of where your small business stands financially, it is a good idea to take a look at your pricing structure, FreshBooks recommended. Often new businesses undercharge consumers and clients and end up trying to maintain an unsustainable business model. Make sure that the prices you charge are enough to cover your expenses and your time. A new year is a great time to get away with bumping up prices a bit, so if you feel you're undercharging, try it out.
4. Talk with your tax expert
If your taxes are beginning to look complex, and you feel you need some assistance, then speak with a business banking expert about how to get your taxes in order prior to the end of the year, Payscale.com noted. Check in with a tax attorney or bank that services small businesses in order to learn a bit more about how to handle your taxes properly.
5. Streamline your website
As the year ends you should set aside some time to improve your business. Part of improving your emerging venture is updating your website and social media profiles, FreshBooks explained. Try and set aside at least one day before the year ends in order to enhance your business's online presence. If you can't do that, then spend a couple hours a day – whatever you can do to show your business some of the attention it deserves, and add some appeal to your website.
6. Address your staffing needs
Think about where you'd like your business to be in the near future, and whether you will have to hire new staff in order to get there. If you feel that new hires aren't financially viable, but you need the help, look into other options. Be creative in your staffing efforts if you need to save money. You could check into hiring contractors for short-term projects, or interview candidates with multiple skill sets, who can be utilized in a number of ways.