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The Entrepreneur’s End-of-Year Checklist


It’s that time of year: the time to enjoy hot cocoa by the fire, build a snowman with the kids…and square away the loose ends of your business. Doesn’t that sound fun? Well, if you define “fun” as being prepared for 2011 then, yes, it will be fun.

Here are four end-of-year tasks that will help you start 2011 off right:

1. Revisit that classic holiday tale: your 2010 financial documents.

Let the ghost of business past guide you through a review of your 2010 cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet. If you don’t have the time to prepare these documents, consider hiring someone to prepare them for you. Here are the lessons you’ll learn…
A) …from your cash flow statement: whether your business’s net cash flow went up or down, and where the money went
B).…from  your income statement: get a snapshot of the year with this simple formula: Revenue minus Expenses = Profit (or Loss)
C)…from your balance sheet: a summary of your business’s assets, liabilities, and equity.

2. Spruce up your website.

Some elements to consider:
A)Is your contact information current?
B)Do your links and contact forms work?
C)Is your domain name in need of renewal? !
D)Is your site’s content fresh?

3. Shovel the snow off your online doorstep.

Don’t cut yourself off from the world by failing to have an online presence. Now is a good time to ensure that your business is listed on Google Places and Maps, as well as in directories like Open Directory, Business.com, and Yahoo! Directory.

4. Bake a tasty year-end survey to send to your customers.

The end of the year is a good time to inquire into how you can better serve your customers in 2011. But instead of asking a general question, like “How are we doing?” try to find out whether they have any unfilled needs or undiscovered issues.

Happy end-of-year planning!

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