MBO Partners‘ blog provides a helpful checklist for independnet contractors to use as the end of the year approaches. Here are are some of the checklist items:
Wrap Up Financial To-Dos
If you operate your own business, you probably keep an eye on your finances throughout the year. While MBO Associates enjoy the benefit of hassle-free filing thanks to our back office services, it’s important to take time this quarter to reflect and look back on how much you’ve spent. Many credit card companies provide helpful “year-end” statements that wrap up how much you’ve spent in various categories. If you find yourself over-spending, see how you can scale back or re-negotiate bills for 2017.
You may also wish to:
- Organize receipts, expenses, W9s and other income and deductions for tax purposes.
- Schedule time with your accountant for annual tax return preparation and to learn how changes in the tax code will affect your business next year.
- Review your financial documents and evaluate results. How did your business perform this year? Take a close look at your cash flow statement, income statement and balance sheet to determine where expenses can be cut and consider if you need to raise billing rates.
Set Your New Year’s Resolutions Early
Once you have reviewed your financial outcome, solidify your plans for next year. Writing these goals and plans down can help you stick to your resolutions, but it can also prove useful to see where you might have “holes” in your current thinking.
- Write your business plan. Whether you’ve been in business for several years or hope to start a consulting business in 2017, you need to create a business plan. If you’ve already created one, consider revising and updating to reflect your 2017 goals.
- Flesh out your marketing plan. Your business plan should include an overview of your marketing plans for next year. Review past marketing efforts closely to see where you realized a good return and where you wasted money. Take time to research new ways, such as social media, to get your story out there.
- Review expected expenses and ways to save. From saving money on office supplies or your utility bill to estimating necessary equipment purchases or new expenses, the year end is a great way to see what you’ve spent, as well as where you can save in the coming year. Not sure how to cut costs? This blog posts details great ways to save both time and money.
- Look for and eliminate activities that don’t benefit your business. Look closely at the time you spend on certain activities associated with your consulting business. Do these activities help your business grow? Can you eliminate anything (too much time online) or revise your approach (consider different networking opportunities).
See the updated year end checklist at Solopreneur’s End of Year Checklist | MBO Partners