The end of the year is the time to take a look at how your online business has done and decide how you’re handling things next year. Most of it is things you can do at any time of the year, but the end of the year is when most people have the motivation to get things done. Here are a few year end tips for online businesses that you should consider.
1. Think About Taxes
Making the most of tax deductions and reviewing your income is important to do at the end of the year. There are a number of steps here you should take. If you aren’t certain of anything, talk to your accountant to get the best advice for your situation. They will know far more than you or I about what the best steps to take in a particular year are.
First is to look at what you can do now to reduce your tax burden for the year. Have you contributed as much as possible to your retirement account? Does it make sense to fit in an extra mortgage payment on your home? Have you paid all your employees or contractors if you have them?
There may also be things you can buy for your online business that can be deducted on your taxes. Think about what your business needs. When possible, buy new equipment and supplies for your online business before the end of the year.
Don’t forget your quarterly tax payment is due January 15.
You also want to start getting your paperwork together for tax time. Make sure all your paperwork is in order so you can have your taxes prepared easily when the time comes. If you’re expecting a refund, filing early makes a lot of sense. If you’re expecting to pay in more, filing closer to the deadline makes sense. It’s hard to know which situation you’re in, however, if you don’t take a peek early on.
2. Review Your Year
In general, how has the past year gone for your online business? Has it been a good year or a bad one? Somewhere in between? What would you like to do differently in the coming year?
There are almost always changes you want to make in your online business. The sooner you make an improvement in how you do things, the sooner it will help you.
A good year can make you feel as though you don’t need to make any changes, but that doesn’t mean you can let things slide. Online business can change rapidly, and what works well now may not work as well later. Pay attention so that changes don’t catch you off guard.
3. Plan For Next Year
What are your big goals for the next year? What about your little goals?
The size of the goal doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have them and have plans to reach them. Figure out what actions you will need to take to reach your goals. A goal is nothing without action.
You may notice that some of your goals will be hard to reach because of your current limitations. Take action to handle those limitations. Sometimes this will be best handled by hiring a virtual assistant or contract employee to take care of things for you. Other times, you can learn a new skill on your own to grow beyond your current limitations.
4. Clean Out Your Computer
Odds are good that you have downloaded a lot of information you’re never going to act on during the past year. There’s always tons of free information out there. While you don’t see it sitting on your computer most of the time, it’s there, and when you notice it, it becomes a distraction.
All those things you thought you would read but really won’t – delete them. Don’t waste any more mental energy on thinking that you will get to them. Keep anything you are confident you will refer to later and ditch the junk.
5. Clear Out Your Mind
Don’t start the new year full of last year’s frustrations or ideas you aren’t going to implement. Work on having a clear plan on how to move forward.
Start thinking out more of what you can do with the time you have. Most people waste a lot of time thinking about what might be and not how they can get there. Having goals is important, but planning how to get there is more important and more productive than just saying “I have a GOAL!”
Don’t sink into negativity if you’ve been having a hard time lately. We all get frustrated by our businesses at times. Things never go entirely perfectly. But that’s not what you should focus on.
When you have a problem, focus on the solution rather than the problem. If you don’t have enough traffic to your website, you shouldn’t think about that as much as you should think about how to bring in more traffic.
The more you can focus on what you can get done and will get done, the more productive you have the chance to be. Give it a try and head on to a productive new year.