Your New Year’s Housekeeping Checklist

Date: December 27, 2013

This is part four of MyBusiness’ four-part series on preparing for the new year. Check out our previous stories on how to create a mission statement, how to set and keep goals and five ways to improve your customer service in 2014.

2014 is right around the corner. To start the new year on the right foot, consider these housekeeping tips from business experts and small business owners.

General Organization

•Set the calendar for the upcoming year and think about ways to grow the employer-employee relationship with company celebrations/outings. —Anne Manners, vice president of My Back Office, a firm of human resources experts

•Clean out files, shelves and drawers to get rid of clutter. Plan to do this weekly or monthly to avoid big, productivity-sapping cleaning jobs later. —Marley Majcher, founder and CEO of The Party Goddess and business coach, speaker and author

Finances and Taxes

•Take a hard look at how you spent your time and money this past year, and create a cash flow forecast for next year. —Marley Majcher

•Get your books organized and ready for tax time. —Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com

•Ensure you have all the necessary information to generate any required 1099 forms for independent contractors. Reviewing company records now gives you time to gather additional information if necessary. —Michael Rockefeller, CPA, principal with Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors

Employees and Vendors

•Review employee information—handbooks/policies, job descriptions and compliance with current federal and state regulations. Think about ways to improve or amend your compensation and benefit practices to attract and keep quality employees. —Anne Manners

•Evaluate your existing service providers to determine whether you’re getting the service you expect for your costs. If not, you can make a clean break on Jan. 1. —Michael Rockefeller

Big Picture

•Look at what has and hasn’t worked this year, and determine what you need to do to make things right. —Barbara Goldberg, owner of Back on Track Solutions

•Plan an all-company session to map out your strategy for your clients and for building your business. —Marley Majcher

•Determine your ideal client: Create a profile of who he or she is, make a list of prospects and come up with a plan to target those clients. —Marley Majcher

•With any new plans and projects, set up the tasks and deadlines now so you can flesh out the details, test and prepare for any potential roadblocks before launch. —Ian Aronovich, president and co-founder of GovernmentAuctions.org

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