How you can Create an Finish-of-12 months Enterprise Guidelines
A checklist is a way to get your priorities in order, and a good checklist makes sure you don’t let go or miss something important. When you’re in business, having a year-end checklist is critical to a good year-end and a more profitable New Year.
If your new year has already started, you still need a checklist to make sure you don’t let anything fall through the cracks. If your New Year starts after January 1st, you have more time than the rest of us – but don’t hesitate.
6 tasks for your year-end checklist
Some companies will expire by the end of the year. The people are gone. Everyone celebrates. It’s hard to get motivated. Other companies, especially retailers, are rushing to the end of the year. It’s time to start making a profit. The focus is on selling, selling, selling. But there is more to a profitable business.
Both perspectives are understandable, but they don’t do much to prepare a company for the next year – and beyond.
Make sure the following tasks are on your checklist. Each one focuses on improving one of the six essential parts of any business:
1. Books and records
Complete the year by preparing your books for an audit and fixing any issues from that year. You may not get audited, but if you do, you will pay more attention to the processes you are using and find better ways to track time and costs and sales.
2. Recruitment and training
Review and improve your management processes for hiring, onboarding, training and retaining employees. Start the year hiring the new hires you need. At the end of the year there are many people looking for a better future and you might find some real gems.
Review and learn from your sales plans for this year and last to set more specific goals for the next year. Also take a look at your sales processes. See if they match, then make adjustments. Learn how to reduce your sales cycle time from contact to close and add value to every sale by developing better ways to prequalify prospects, sell to existing best customers, and resell to former platinum customers who are no longer with you to buy.
4. Marketing plan
Customize your marketing plan to support your sales plan. Make sure you have plenty of checks and balances included. It’s easy to fall in love with marketing, but not see those efforts result in profitable sales.
5. Business processes
Compare what you do and how you do it with your platinum competitor that you want customers to compare your business with. Yes, you want customers to compare. If not, they usually don’t buy. Identify more efficient processes that will maximize the differences and make them more apparent to customers, influencers and other stakeholders, and leverage what you are already doing.
Put this last on your list, but first on your priority list. Adjust your cost and revenue projections to align them more closely with the goals and plans of the other five business areas. Re-examine your long-term goals and finish the strategy for the company. You never know. This could be the year someone offers you a deal to buy your business – a deal you can’t refuse!
Here’s how to see your year-end to-do list
Look at your successful competitors. You will see that they have used the end of the year wisely. Do it better. Make your end of the year more efficient with the next year in mind and you will become more profitable too. If it takes a little longer, it’s okay. Just do it!
If you’re looking for a good book on checklists, I always recommend Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto to my clients.
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