What Should You Be Doing to Prepare Your Business for 2014?

By Nellie Akalp

What Should You Be Doing to Prepare Your Business for 2014? image New Year 2014

This time of year, it seems like work grinds to a halt, doesn’t it? But instead of playing Candy Crush at your desk, start being proactive and prepare for next year.

File Your Business Paperwork

If your Statement of Information, Board meeting minutes, or other documents are due in the first quarter of next year, why not get a head start on them now? Waiting until the last minute only increases the likelihood that you’ll forget to file them, and then you risk a big, fat fee from your state’s business agency. Typically, this paperwork is due on the anniversary of the date you filed your business structure, so check to see if that deadline is looming.

If you haven’t incorporated or filed as an LLC, now is a great time to do so. Look into getting the “delayed filing” option, which permits you to file your paperwork now, then it will be held and filed on the first business day of 2014. Doing so will simplify your tax paperwork, since your business will have the same business structure for all of 2014.

Get a Hiring Plan

Do you project that you’ll need to hire additional staff in 2014? Determine what roles you’ll need to fill, list out the responsibilities for each role, and consider starting the actual hiring process.

It’s smarter to hire an employee before crunch time so that there’s ample opportunity to train them and get them comfortable in their new roles. Don’t put it off until you’re short-staffed to hire.

File an “Articles of Amendment”

If you made any changes to your business this year, such as changing your business address, authorizing more shares, or the departure of a board member, you’ll need to file an official notification with your state.

Set Goals

Just like you would create New Year’s Resolutions for yourself, now is the ideal time to set business goals. What do you want to achieve in 2014? Consider:

  • How much you want to increase sales
  • New markets you would like to enter
  • How many clients you’d ideally like to take on
  • Ways you want to brand yourself and your business

The more specific you can make your goals, the easier it will be to achieve them. So don’t stop at “we want to increase sales.” Say “we want to increase sales 35% by December 2014.”

Clean Out Your Desk and Computer

You know how you’re always complaining that you can’t find anything on your desk or in your computer folders? Now’s the time to throw out useless files and reorganize so that you’ll be super-efficient come January.

Review Your Estimated 2013 Tax Payments

If you set up your tax payments to be due at the end of the year, you want to review what your business has made year to date and assess your estimated tax payments so that you don’t over- or underpay. You’ll want to adjust your final 2013 payment (which is due Jan 15, 2014).

Do a Little Networking

Everyone’s in a festive mood this time of year, which makes it perfect to invite clients, prospects, and industry contacts out for coffee or lunch. Don’t make sales your key agenda; instead, just listen. You might be surprised at what you can learn.

Write

You know that content marketing is important in branding yourself, but you never seem to have time to write blog posts or eBooks. If you have a few days over the holiday season, block off a few hours and just sit down and write. You can create enough content to use for the rest of next year if you put your mind to it!

Don’t fritter away the remaining weeks of 2013. Make them work for you, and make 2014 even easier to succeed in.

Image via Shutterstock

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