End-of-Year Housekeeping in Three Easy Steps

A woman in pink gloves holding a spray bottle and a green cleaning bucket containing various cleaning supplies against a pink background. She appears to be looking at the spray bottle.

Halloween marks the beginning of the end. No sooner have you recovered from your sugar high than you’re nursing a hangover on January 1st (just me? ok then…) But there are two full months between Halloween and New Year’s Day, and you’ll want to use them wisely. 

1099s are due in January, that doesn’t mean you should START them in January. 

Everybody knows (or should know) that 1099s are due at the end of January, but you’re also very busy in January, because don’t forget, you’re going to the gym every day.  Since clients might also not be around to answer your questions, request what you need now, in case they go AWOL in December and gather your info NOW instead of waiting ‘til the last minute.

People aren’t going to be around. Use this to your advantage.

Clients often ask me if they should close their business for the end of the year and give everybody time off. The answer is: It depends. (Isn’t it always?) A lot of the world closes down for the holidays. If it works for your business, and you’re tight on cash, giving people additional days off might be a good way for you to extend goodwill to your employees as a bonus without coming out of pocket. 

But please note: I said, “If it works for your business.” If you have end-of-year deadlines to meet or a busy workload, no, do not close. Make the decision that’s right for you. I don’t take on any new clients in December or January, because it’s a particularly busy time, and it’s difficult to get stuff done while onboarding a new client. That’s a decision that works for me, but you need to do you.

Use downtime for decision-making and information gathering.

Some client-free time also gives you a perfect opportunity to spend some time working ON your business instead of IN your business: clean up your own books, set a budget for next year, or put in that process you’ve always wanted to implement. 

By now, you should have a good understanding of where your business is going to finish for the year, so finalize bonuses or any last-minute adjustments, do it right this very second. 

And if you haven’t done so already, talk to your accounting and finance people to see if you need to do anything else before the end of the calendar year to make their lives (and yours) easier (more on that next month). 

Want to make sure you make the most of this time? Call me. 

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