Mid-Year Check In for your Best Business Outcome
Mid-Year Check In
A year is a long time. Things change, probably multiple times. To avoid stress, anxiety, and a general feeling of overwhelm, I recommend a mid-year check in for your business.
Time flies when you’re busy running a business. So. it’s important to occasionally pause and assess. Otherwise you’re likely to be surprised by your year-end results or even worse an unexpected tax bill.
How are you tracking against those goals you set back in January? Is there an opportunity to save more money or minimize taxes?
Summer is in full swing, and generally most business schedules are slower this time of year. This means it’s the perfect time to review your accounting and get ready for the fall, because when school is back in session and people are back from vacation, year-end activities aren’t that far away.
Here are a few things you could do right now to minimize your fall workload:
1. Start by asking yourself What’s worked so far this year?
It’s always good practice to begin with the positive. After all, if your business is still running, you’re doing something right. Make a list of your successes so far this year and how you achieved them. Writing down the practices that worked, the goals you met, the customers you made happy, and the revenue you created will help you recognize the positive patterns you want to repeat and translate into the next steps for your business.
2. Which leads us naturally to the next QUESTION What hasn’t been successful this year?
This part of the process is probably why you put off a mid-year business review in the first place. While it can be difficult to acknowledge the things that didn’t work, it’s a necessary step toward correcting patterns and improving future results. Look at mistakes made and any areas of your business that aren’t performing well. Then, it’s time to concentrate on understanding the underlying reasons for these issues.
If your business is losing money, now’s the time to drill down through your numbers and see where the problems lie. Also look to your employees and customers as valuable resources in your quest for answers about why things didn’t work as well as you’d hoped.
Your staff can shed light on blind spots you may not be paying attention to, while customers can provide feedback on potential new revenue streams—and the reasons why purchases from your business may be down from previous years.
Put everything that you see as a problem down on paper, along with potential corrections you can start making now to put your business in a better position.
3. Catch Up On Entering Information
Take a moment to make sure you have all the correct dates on everything and verify that all of your transactions (to date) have been entered. Mid-year is a good time to make sure everything is up to date. Entering your information means your taxes and financials are easier to maintain.
4. Review Expenses
In today’s world, monthly subscriptions are taking over many services. While they’re seemingly inexpensive on their own, these subscriptions add up. Use your mid-year check in to review what subscriptions you currently have and which ones you’re actively using. Cancel the rest.
If your business uses contract employees or vendors, make sure you are collecting W-9 forms from them so you can file 1099s on time next January. Year-end comes with a big enough to-do list—you don’t want to be left scrambling for this information as well. I recommend requesting a W-9 anytime you begin a relationship with a new vendor.
6. Review Accounts Receivable
Do not let outstanding customer invoices remain unpaid for too long. Instead, stay on top of your clients so you don’t lose any profits.
7. Review Financial Statements
Ask yourself if you are sticking to your desired budget goals so far. If not, now’s a good time to make the necessary changes to get yourself back on track to finish out the year strong.
8. Plan for Savings
Your original yearly financial goals can change quickly depending on how your business is doing. If you anticipated a slow year but ended up with a more successful year than anticipated, you’ll need to re-evaluate your savings.
9. Evaluate Any Desired Midyear Changes
This is also a good time to do some broad evaluating of everything in your organization. These may include using different accounts for certain transactions, performing budget updates, making employee changes or job description changes, etc.
Whether you decide to implement some, or all of these recommendations remember it’s not always going to be as slow as it is now, so take advantage of it while you can. You’ll thank yourself in the fall for getting ahead while you could.
To make sure your new vision and goals are always accessible and at the top of your mind, post them in places you frequent at work and home. Read them out loud each day as a reminder of the commitment you’re making to positive changes in your business.
This is how you can continue to “grab life by the bottom line”!