• Concluding the Fourth Quarter with Your Addison County Small Business

    As the fourth quarter comes to a close, small business owners have a lot to think about. Evaluating your goal achievement for the year, drafting new year goals, stocking up on inventory, and preparing tax paperwork are just a few of the things on your to-do list. It can be overwhelming! But don't worry, the Addison County Chamber of Commerce is here to help. In this blog post, we'll go over some of the key things you should be thinking about as you wrap up the fourth quarter.

    Evaluating Goal Achievement for the Year

    The first thing you should do is take a step back and evaluate how well you did in achieving your goals for the year. Did you hit your targets? If not, what went wrong? Once you have a good understanding of what did and didn't work, you can start setting your goals for next year.

    Drafting New Year Goals

    Now it's time to start thinking about next year. What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? Drafting SMART goals is a great way to ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This will give you a roadmap to follow as you work towards achieving your goals.

    Setting Up a Plan for Holiday Marketing

    If you haven't already started planning your holiday marketing strategy, now is the time! The holidays are a great opportunity to boost sales and attract new customers. Start by thinking about what promotions you want to run and when. Then create marketing materials that reflect your holiday message (think: festive images, discounts, etc.). And last but not least, make sure your website and social media profiles are updated with your holiday messaging.

    One time-tested strategy that you should consider is creating a PDF gift guide full of eye-catching product images and sales info to help spread the word. And if you want to expand your customer base even further, use this free tool to split your gift guide into multiple PDFs that you can then send to different social media groups for more targeted marketing.

    Stocking Up on Inventory

    If you sell physical goods, now is the time to stock up on inventory so that you're prepared for the holiday rush. This includes everything from raw materials to finished products. Doing a thorough inventory assessment will help you determine how much inventory you need to have on hand. And don't forget to factor in lead times so that you have enough time to restock if necessary.

    Reassessing Your Accounting

    As the end of the year approaches, it's also a good time to reassess your accounting practices. This includes reviewing your financial statements, reconciling accounts, and closing out any open invoices or purchase orders. Taking care of these things now will save you a lot of headaches come tax season.

    Preparing Tax Paperwork

    Speaking of taxes… now is also the time to start getting your paperwork in order if you haven't done so already. This includes collecting receipts, invoices, bank statements, etc. Organizing your paperwork now will make filing your taxes much easier come the deadline.  

    Streamlining Your Business Structure

    The end of the year is also a good time to take a close look at your business structure and see if any areas can be streamlined or improved upon. This could include anything from streamlining your production process to streamlining your customer service procedures. There's always room for improvement!

    Improving Your Website and Social Media Profiles

    Last but not least, now is a great time to update your website and social media profiles with any changes or updates that have happened over the course of the year–including some holiday-themed content. This includes adding new products or services, updating contact information, etc. Keeping your online presence up-to-date is essential for attracting new customers and maintaining relationships with existing ones.  

    As we wrap up another year, there's a lot for small business owners to think about—from planning ahead for the holidays to evaluating goal achievement for the year to preparing tax paperwork. But don't let all this planning overwhelm you! Just take it one step at a time, and before you know it, you'll be ready to tackle the new year.

    If you’re ready to grow your business with the help of great local resources and partnerships, join the Addison County Chamber of Commerce.