Make Your Hastings Small Business Ready for the Fourth Quarter
Well, the fourth quarter is finally upon us! For small businesses, that means it’s time to start wrapping up the year and preparing for the next one. From the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, here are some important things to keep in mind as you plan for the fourth quarter.
Revisit This Year’s Goals and Set New Ones
The first order of business is to take a step back and evaluate how well you achieved your goals for the year. This will give you a good starting point for setting new goals for the next year. To do this, you'll want to review your sales figures, marketing metrics, and any other data you have on hand. Make note of what went well and what could be improved upon.
Plan and Finalize Holiday Marketing
The holidays are a great time to boost your sales, but only if you plan ahead! Start brainstorming some holiday marketing ideas now so that you're not scrambling at the last minute. If you're selling products, think about running some holiday specials or creating gift guides. If you're selling services, consider offering discounts or running holiday-themed campaigns. Whatever you do, make sure your marketing stands out from the rest.
Updating Your Website and Social Media Profiles
Now is also a good time to update your website and social media profiles with any changes that have happened over the course of the year, as well as any holiday-themed content you’re offering. This includes updates to your product offerings, company news, contact information, etc. You should also take some time to freshen up your design and make sure everything is working properly. First impressions matter, so make sure your website is looking its best!
Look at Your Inventory and Supply Chain
The last thing you want to do is run out of stock when your store is filled with customers, so now is a good time to assess your inventory levels and make sure you have enough on hand to meet holiday demand. It's also a good idea to review your supply chain and make sure everything is running smoothly. If there are any potential issues, address them now so that they don't cause problems down the road.
Assess Your Accounting Practices
The end of the year is also a good time to review your accounting practices and make sure everything is in order. This includes reconciling your books, preparing financial statements, and filing any necessary tax forms. If you outsource your accounting, now is a good time to touch base with your accountant and make sure they have everything they need from you.
Prepare for Income Tax Season
Tax season will be here before you know it, so start getting your ducks in a row now! Gather up all of the necessary documents and start organizing them so that everything is ready when tax season rolls around. If you outsource your taxes, touch base with your tax preparer now so that they can get started on your return early.
Here’s another time-saving tip: scan all your receipts then convert them to PDFs using this free tool. That’ll make it easier to stay organized and save you a lot of stress down the road. The last thing you want to do is scramble at the last minute to find one or two receipts that appear to have fallen in a black hole.
Review Your Business Structure
As the year comes to an end, it's also a good time to objectively reevaluate your business structure. This includes things like your business model, organizational structure, operating procedures, etc. Take a close look at how things are currently set up and see if there are any areas that could be improved. If so, make changes now so that you can start the new year off on the right foot.
The fourth quarter is an important time for small businesses. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration as we wrap up one year and prepare for the next. By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure that your small business ends the year strong and starts the new one off even better!
Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.