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The end of the year is a busy time for most people. But for business owners, it is especially important to be working hard to wrap up the year and effectively plan for the next one. Here are some tips on how to end 2018 on a high note and start 2019 with gusto.  

#1: Get taxes in order.
Year-end planning is important, so you can avoid any surprises when tax time arrives. Be sure to look closely at your records and plan accordingly for taxes, estimating what you will owe the IRS for the year. Tax planning allows you to know if you are underpaying or overpaying projected tax payments and will allow you to be prepared for any economic changes that may impact your business. In addition, look at all available tax breaks and determine which ones your business qualifies for, so you can save money and ultimately, bolster your bottom line.

#2: Review cyber-security.
As you look toward the new year, it is the perfect time to review and improve how your business handles cyber-security, making sure that you are being proactive in keeping everything safe. Businesses are often easy targets for cyber-attacks, so this month as you wrap things up, delete anything that could potentially expose sensitive information and make sure to play close attention to email scams and tax fraud information that may be circulating. In addition, train your staff to be on top of their game, so you’re assured that they know what to look for when it comes to cyber-attacks.   

#3: Set attainable goals.
Year-end is the right time to reflect on how everything went in the 12 months. Looking back at the highs and lows of your business this year will help you accurately create plans for the coming year. Examine the year’s performances to help make predictions on how next year’s growth might be and look at the bigger picture of your company’s business practices to ensure they are adequate. It’s also important to keep in mind that your business goals should be attainable. If they aren’t, it can cause frustration later down the road for yourself as well as your staff.

Looking back on the year will help you gain the insight you need to start the new year with a clean slate. Preparing for changes with the right planning and communication with your leadership team and staff will help you launch and get your business on track for success in 2019.

 

Brooke Strickland is a writer focusing on small businesses. You can find her on her website at www.brookestrickland.org or connect with her on Facebook.

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