This time of year a lot of handmade businesses are at the highest point of the busy holiday season. We can understand how time is precious during this period. That being said, it’s important for you, the handmade business owner, to set aside time at the end of the year to take care of some tasks. Obtaining an end of year checklist for handmade businesses can position your business for a strong finish.
We understand after all the crazy holiday sales, the only thing you truly want is to rest. However, we truly believe by completing an end of the year task list, you will set yourself up for a good start to the new year. The Inventora team has created an end-of-year checklist for that will help you review the most important things about your business. Let’s get into it!
As business owners, we know you start every year by establishing the revenue goals you wish to achieve. We recommend you review those goals every quarter to determine if you’re going in the right direction, but especially in an end of year checklist for handmade businessesYou should also be determining if you need to change some things in order to be able to achieve your set goals. This will allow you to go into the last quarter of the year with a clear vision of whether or not you’re going to reach the standards you’ve set for yourself.
It’s important to note that this is key to taking a peak into your business plan. With acknowledging these achievements or errors, you’re able to recognize if you need to adjust your 5-year goals. You will also be able to see if the goals you achieved are helping you reach your long-term goals. It’s all about being able to assess the progress you’ve made to help you on the right path.
This goes hand-in-hand with looking back on last years goals. While reflecting on your previous goals and what the outcome of your performance was, you should be considering a new budget for the upcoming year.
Looking back at prior years will give you a good understanding at how much you can feasibly spend in this upcoming year. Make this goal extremely realistic. This is not a time to shoot a little bit higher in hopes you’ll make up for it somewhere, or some how.
While considering this new budget goal, you should also establish a profit achievement to hit for the upcoming year. Like we said before, make this obtainable. We all would love to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, the likelihood of achieving that is fairly low. Especially within the first 5 years of being in business. Look at last years profit margins, and make an achievable goal based off those numbers. This is a key component to the end of year checklist for handmade businesses.
Consider conducting quarterly checkins with yourself to see where you are in terms of reaching your new goals. This will keep you on track better, and keep you accountable for the accomplishments you’d like to achieve in the next year.
If you have employees, during the completion of an end of year checklist for handmade businesses, is the perfect time to do an audit on the information you have for all of your staff. For example, review the documents you have and update any phone numbers, addresses, and payroll information. This also gives you an opportunity to update the status of new hires and former employees. Be sure to check with your staff members that the updated information is correct before going through the filing process again.
You should also be making an effort to review the performance of your employees over the year. Take some time to write down the positive and negative things in the mouths leading up to the end of the year. In January you can sit down with each employee to give them their early review. Share your feedback, both good and bad. Layout your expectations for the new year, this way you both start the year fresh and with the same mindset.
Keep in mind, depending on how many employees you have, your sit down reviews could take more than a day or even week. Allow yourself this time, as it’s essential to the functionality of your business. Employee reviews should absolutely be a priority for the new year.
While it’s important to give your employees an evaluation, it’s also important to give a self evaluation as a leader. There are leadership assessments you can take online, however, this can be a good opportunity to seek input from your employees. Consider an anonymous survey from your staff to see where you thrive and where your weaknesses are.
Typically, your HR department would give you this review. However, we understand most small businesses don’t have a means or funds to hire someone for that position. Therefore, a survey is your best option. It’s important to be open minded when receiving any and all feedback and to be appreciative of your staff’s honesty.
You should also take some time to do a self evaluation. Sit back and think about the last year. Try to remember the moments you are really proud of, and the moments you’re not so proud of. What did you do in those succeeding moments that made you proud of yourself? What didn’t you do in your failing moments that you could have done differently for a better outcome? These are the end of the year questions you should ask yourself as a leader. This should be a priority for an end of year checklist for handmade businesses.
With your vendors, you should take a moment to verify that their contact information, including phone number, email address, and contact name, are still accurate. Look to see if you have any inactive suppliers, or inaccurate information. If you have extra time, evaluate your relationship with your suppliers.
Ask yourself if you should be looking for different opportunities, or if you should be negotiating better deals in the new year. It is okay to part ways with suppliers who are no longer benefitting you in the same way they once were. Do your research. This could save you valuable time and precious dollars.
You should also be taking note of new suppliers who were not previously available to you in the recent years. What are they doing that could fulfill a need you’re currently not receiving? Are their prices better or worse than what you’ve been paying? How is their shipping speed? Review these questions and more when considering if it’s time for you to part ways with your current vendors, or when considering a vendor to your rolodex.
It’s safe to say that many of us, as handmade business owners, appreciate the value of our website as a sales and retention tool. However, once it launches, we can tend to not put as much attention to it. That’s why adding this to our end of year checklist for handmade businesses is so important.
We often assume it will do it’s job on it’s own without our additional efforts. We are convinced that our website should be a living income tool that we must regularly revisit to maintain a fresh appearance. While also staying relevant to our customers and potential customers. Something as simple as updating images or headlines can keep your site looking up to date and concise to what’s going on in the world.
With this being said, completing an audit at the end of the year while reviewing your website is essential. At the end of the day, our website is the best direct contact tool to the customers and potential customers whom you have interested in your business.
Review your SEO efforts and images. Use Google search console to gain access to the deep analytics of your site. Review all of your links to make sure they are working, and analyze any pop-ups or subscription buttons to confirm their functionality.
A physical inventory analysis is crucial if your business is operated on a calendar year basis. However, that’s not the only reason to do it. Conducting an annual physical inventory check is not only important for tax purposes, but it’s a great way for you to evaluate what products tend to sell. While also identifying which products don’t do as well.
This can be one of the most challenging times of year for businesses, because it is the period just before the start of the New Year. This typically will frequently require the completion of physical inventory counts. Although, you’re not in this alone. Inventora is a perfect tool that you can use to make a successful end-of-year inventory audit.
If you’re already an Inventora user, you already have the chance to have your inventory automated. The first thing you need to do is to create an audit and check what you have in stock with Inventora. You will see a visualization what you really have on your shelves. Inventora will detect which products are the slow-movement products, which supplies are the ones you really need, and what products you should always need to have in stock. For this, you should grab your phone and walk around the room to confirm what your data is showing you.
After you finish your audit, you can go to Inventora and review your reports. You are going to be allowed to review your most popular products, your total sales by the e-commerce platform, retail, wholesale or general, your materials and products inventory value, plus more!
The goal of this end-of-year inventory check is to look for proper cutoff, correct quantities, and completeness of counts. As well as indications of obsolete or damaged items. If you use the help of Inventora for this task you can go a long way toward streamlining your inventory count process. In addition you can now report accurate numbers, and have less headaches with your year-end audits.
Last but not least, one of the most important tasks on your small business end-of-year checklist, is to take a moment to reflect on your business successes this year. You just might be surprised by all the great things that happened within your business this year. It can take a little bit of time. However, collecting, sharing, and celebrating your business’ achievements with your employees, family, and friends that have been helping you over time is a acknowledgement you deserve.
Be sure to thank all those who have helped you throughout the year. Small deeds of thankfulness go along way. If you need ideas on how to repay your employees and helpers with thanks, you can get some low cost ideas here.
Take a moment to reflect on what didn’t go as planned this year too. Do not look at these moments as failures, but as learning periods for you and your business. Each failure comes with success if you allow it to teach you what you’ve done incorrectly. When you’re recognizing a better understanding of the functional aspects of your business, it’s something to celebrate.
Closing out the end of the year can unfortunately be a daunting task. However, we hope you’ve learned from our end of year checklist for handmade businesses, that it is manageable. If you keep and follow a checklist, you will have a better likelihood to get things done. Not only does it keep on on track, but it will keep you accountable for your actions. After you finish with these last tasks your next step is to plan the vacation that you’ve been waiting for so long!
Download our end of the year checklist below to start you 2023 new year with a bang!
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Happy New Year from the Inventora Team!