Business planning always evolves. What works one quarter may not work for the next. That’s why you need to keep abreast of your KPIs and metrics so you can make informed decisions as your business grows. As such, today’s blog from LongSchaefer talks about strategic business planning for the last quarter of any given year.
Did your workload increase towards the end of the year? Does your business pick up or decline during the winter holidays? How many workers do you plan to retain going into next year? If growth continues, do you have enough resources to hire more people?
Labor is the single biggest expense for small and medium-sized businesses. Optimizing your labor costs can make a huge difference when it comes to business planning in the coming year. Knowing what staff you need to have on hand going into next year will help you to plan your budget.
Budgeting for various departments must be precise while leaving some wiggle room. If revenue dips, can you reallocate funds to other departments or reduce profits temporarily until the situation resolves? Do you see room for improvement in HR, marketing, or management? How about investing in tools to make your existing departments more efficient?
Revenue forecasts should be realistic based on the data you’ve collected over the past year. Also, the IRS may give you tax advantages if you make capital investments before the end of the year.
Goals for Next Year
Never forget SMART goal setting. SMART is an acronym describing the characteristics of each goal to set on your way to success.
Specific: Write down your specific goals for the coming year.
Measurable: Achieving a specific goal is only as good as the analytics used to measure it. The more data you collect, and the more incremental goals you have, the more accurate your numbers are in terms of reaching a goal.
Achievable: Lofty goals are nice to have. However, they must be achievable within a specified timeframe.
Relevant: Is your goal relevant to your business? What department does the goal belong to?
Time-Bound: What’s the timeframe for the goal? The end of the first month? The second quarter?
Think about how these goals affect your budget. Will you have to hire more people, invest more in marketing, or make capital improvements to achieve these goals?
Accurate accounting is crucial when it comes to business planning for the next year. You need as much data collection as possible, and then the proper analytics software to interpret the data points. That way, you can make an informed decision about your coming year’s goals. Hiring an accountant might prove useful in this regard.
Related Post: 5 Ways Accountants Help With Business Planning
Business Services From LongSchaefer
The accounting pros at LongSchaefer can tailor a business services plan for your exact situation. Contact us or call (513) 245-0300 for more information on our business services.