Here’s a sampling of things I’m discussing with my business clients as we near the end of 2013.
One: Now is a good time to review financials and create a budget for 2014
Review of financials and budgets should, of course, take place throughout the year. But in the day-to-day struggle of running a small business, it’s easy for financials and budgets to take a back seat to working and keeping the bills paid. I know because I am guilty of sometimes falling behind on maintaining the books and budget for my own practice.
That being said, don’t let December end without at least pulling together preliminary numbers for 2013, and put together a budget for 2014 so you have one in place by 1/1/14.
You’ll probably want to enlist your accountant’s help on this. You do have an accountant — right?
Two: Review your operations
At the same time you’re reviewing your financials and your budget for 2014, it’s also a good time to review all of your operations. Identify problem spots with your business and think of steps to fix those problems.
It’s also a time to review your business entity selection — especially if you’re a sole proprietor and your business is profitable.
Three: Review benefit programs
If you have benefit programs, whether it’s health insurance, a cafeteria plan, a retirement plan or a health reimbursement arrangement, now is the time to review those programs.
As you review these programs, don’t just look at the mechanics and the cost, but also look at the wording of things such as employee notices.
For example, I’m helping a client review the language of the memo that’s given to employees regarding the company’s Section 105 Health Reimbursement Arrangement plan. The notice was accurate but needed some language tweaked to make certain provisions clearer, so I’m helping them get that done.
On Monday, I’ll have Part 2, with items 4-6 on my list.