End Of Year Business Checklist – How To Prepare For 2024.
Be honest. Is your business ready to wind down for the holiday season and smash your goals for 2024?
If the answer is no, well, quite frankly, you’re certainly not alone. A lot of companies fail to prepare for the end of the year. But don’t panic. You still have time to get organized and strategic.
We’ve put together our ultimate end-of-year business checklist to give you a head-start when it comes to fine-tuning your holiday hustle, keeping customer relationships jolly and making 2024 your most successful year yet!
Give Your Company a Head Start
Each new year will bring its own set of challenges, but what’s really important as a small to medium-sized company is to reflect and celebrate your wins over the past 12 months. By looking back on your highs and lows, you can give your company the best chance possible to evolve, pivot and advance in the new year.
Here’s our end-of-year business checklist to hit the ground running come 2024.
1: Audit your company’s highs and lows: Delve into what worked well and what didn’t. A year-end survey or an anonymous feedback box could help to provide insights into areas of improvement directly from your employees and customers.
2: Craft your financial strategy: Conduct a thorough analysis of your financial statements. According to a U.S. Bank study, 82% of businesses fail due to poor cash management. Understanding your cash flow patterns, inventory turnover, and working capital requirements will help you avoid such pitfalls.¹
3: Set specific goals: Make sure your business objectives are crystal clear for 2024. Everyone in your team should be working toward a shared goal.
Create A Christmas Schedule
The Christmas period can easily put pressure on businesses, especially when staff numbers dwindle as they take their well-earned breaks. But there are ways to optimize your holiday schedule to reduce stress and anxiety around taking time off.
Business Advice For Managing the Holiday Schedule:
Plan your resources effectively: Identify the minimum viable team to keep operations running smoothly and ensure they are well-prepared to handle the workload. Make sure you cross-check the schedule with your team well in advance.
Prioritize and delegate: Classify tasks based on urgency and importance. Assign responsibilities to team members who will be present during the holidays. Bear in mind that clients and customers will naturally expect delays during the end of the year.
Consider a company-wide shutdown: Closing your business down to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s week can greatly alleviate stress for your team and can be a coveted benefit that employees look forward to every year.²
Communicate With Clients & Customers
Clear communication with clients during the end-of-year season is crucial to maintain trust and ensure a smooth transition into the new year.
As Christmas approaches, many people will be taking time off to attend parties, family get-togethers and to take a well-earned break. This is why it’s important to communicate with both clients and customers before December regarding your company’s operating hours and how to contact you during this unique time of year.
Small Business Tips for Excellent Client Communication:
Advance notification: One way to inform clients and customers is to send out newsletters or emails detailing your holiday schedule well in advance.
Express gratitude: To build trust and loyal customers, consider sending out a personalized thank-you note or small tokens to staff, clients, connections and customers.
Manage expectations: Clearly communicate when full services will resume after the holiday period, and ensure clients have the right contact information should they need to get in touch with you urgently.
Host An End Of Year Meeting
The end-of-year meeting is a critical event for setting the stage for the upcoming year and ensuring that every team member is on the same page.
Top Tips for a Productive End Of Year Meeting:
Review 2023’s performance: A transparent review of the year’s KPIs can help set realistic goals for 2024.
Encourage open dialogue: New ideas and innovation are born in an open and comfortable work environment, so support your team and encourage them to freely express themselves regarding the past 12 months and the year ahead.
Plan for the future: Outline the roadmap for the coming year, incorporating suggestions and setting collective milestones. But we’ll delve deeper into this in our data-driven strategy section below.
Optimize Your Workspace For Enhanced Performance
A cluttered desk can often reflect a cluttered mind. So, to boost performance in 2024 and reduce the risk of procrastination and workplace stress, it’s time to declutter and get organized. By investing in desk accessories for you and your team, you can provide a clean and minimalist work environment to give your company a fresh new start in 2024.
When you consider the fact that workplace stress is said to cost American businesses up to $190 billion every year in healthcare costs alone, optimizing your environment is certainly a worthwhile investment. Remove unnecessary paperwork and books from your office, and keep decorations at a minimum. While you need to enhance the look and feel of the office, getting carried away can quickly cause distractions and clutter.
In fact, according to research by Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, clutter can significantly disrupt our concentration and ability to process information. Conversely, a tidy workspace can increase productivity and focus. ³
At Deskka we provide plenty of ways to organize, optimize and declutter your workplace, so why not try;
Ergonomic desk accessories: Add elegant monitor and laptop stands to create a more organized and ergonomic workspace. They can also help to prevent lower back and neck strain as they can lift screens to an individual’s natural line of sight.
Aesthetic office improvements: We also provide minimalist planters and pen holders to enhance the visual appeal of an office, which can lead to increased workplace satisfaction.
Use A Data-Driven Strategy In 2024
As we get nearer to 2024, a data-driven approach is not just a luxury but a necessity for business success. Data can help companies to better understand their customer personas, and 86% of businesses acknowledged the direct correlation between self-service data strategies and business achievement in a study by Forrester. So, thinking ahead and using data to your advantage at the end of 2023 will help direct and influence the next 12 months for your company. ⁴
Top Tips for a Data-Driven Approach:
Invest in self-service analytics tools: In the last couple of months of 2023, you should be looking to invest in software and tools that empower your employees and help them make more informed business decisions.
Foster a data-centric culture: You should also be actively encouraging your team to utilize data in everyday decision-making, promoting a culture that is collaborative and well-informed.
Use data to identify opportunities: Another piece of business advice is to regular analyze business data to uncover hidden opportunities for cost savings or efficiency improvements.
By following this end-of-year checklist for small businesses, you’re not just wrapping up another year; you’re getting ready to ring in a new and highly successful year!