A perfect time to plan for the coming business year.
For businesses with fiscal years that coincide with the calendar year, your revenues and expenses shown in your Income Statement will be wiped clean for last year on New Year’s Day. Starting with a clean slate gives us a chance to reflect on our 2012 results before we enter 2013 and experience the hope that comes with a new year.
Hindsight is always valuable, and we can learn important lessons from our past actions—good and maybe not so good—that we can now more objectively look back on. We can take those lessons and incorporate them into our plans for the new year so that we can continue to learn, grow, and prosper.
To create your plans for an awesome 2013, here is a list of questions and documents to consider in your business.
We can make budgeting more fun by looking at the revenue side first.
Are you happy with your 2012 revenue levels?
What new product or service lines can you roll out in 2013?
Are there any product or service lines you should discontinue in 2013?
Should you raise prices?
A revenue plan is useful because it can feed into your annual budget as well as drive your marketing plans.
Business is more fun when you have the right team to support your vision.
Is your current team sufficient to support your business goals for 2013?
In what areas do you need more help? Should you hire employees or outsource to contractors?
Are there any team members that are not pulling their weight?
Was there a turnover that you would have rather not had? How can you retain your best talent?
Your revenue plan and staffing plan can feed into your master budget, which can become part of your accounting system. Tracking “actuals” against budgeted numbers and prior year numbers will help you determine how you’re staying on track throughout the year.
Special Projects Plan
What special projects should you consider for 2013? This might include a move, new fixed assets, or replacing systems and processes that you are outgrowing.
Disaster Recovery Plan
Each year, we watch the news and see people and businesses that were affected by extreme weather events, fires, theft, or other disaster. Are you protected?
Is all of your data backed up to a remote location that is away from your local area?
Do you have the necessary insurance coverage for all areas of your business?
Are you comfortable with the risks you are taking in business and are you prepared for the worst-case consequences of those risks? If not, be sure to take action to reduce your risks.