I can't believe it is time to start thinking about wrapping up my plans for the year and getting ready for 2023! Time just flies by faster every year. You might ask why I'm talking about year end in November, but now is the time to do it, not during the hustle and bustle of December.
These activities will help you achieve the last of your 2022 business goals and set yourself up for success next year. These activities - taking stock, dotting your i's, preparation, and planning - are key to running a successful business. After all, what you measure is what matters.
Wrap up Key 2022 Legal Activities
There are number of things you are legally required to do each year in your business, if you haven't done these yet, you'll want to get it done now.
If you are a corporation, you need to have an annual meeting to record any key activities for the year.
If you are a LLC or corporation, you need to pay the state your annual fee to stay registered. If you haven't done this yet, do it now to save paying fines or having your business dissolved by the state.
Review agreements that need to be updated for how you will change how you do business in 2023 or to align with how you've changed how you do business throughout 2022. These agreements could include:
Your customer agreement
Any refund or sales policies
If you are looking to hire in 2023, make sure you have everything in place you need to reduce your risk and increase the likelihood of success - employee agreements, independent contractor agreements, employee policies, necessary insurance, etc.
Determine if it is time to take any brand protection steps like copyright, trademarks, or trade secret.
If you are going to raise your prices in the new year, are there any communications you need to make with your clients?
Athena offers a Legal Check Up that reviews your top 3 goals and makes sure you are legally covered to achieve them. If you sign up for a quarterly check up in 2023, you can get four check ups for the discounted price of $1000 instead of $375 for each one.
Wrap up Key 2022 Financial Activities
To make 2022 tax time easier, it is important to wrap up key financial activities. These include:
Tracking any mileage through out the year
Collecting your receipts for business expenses
Review key financial reports to understand your financial picture and determine if there are areas you can improve or what activities are driving your financial results. These reports include:
The balance sheet report, showing all the assets, liabilities, and equity;
The income statement report, showing revenue, expenses, and profit; and
The cash flow statement report, showing opening and closing cash within a specific period, with inflow and outflow itemized.
Requesting and collecting W9s from any contractors or businesses you paid more than $600 in the last year.
Assess Your 2022 Goals
If you had specific goals for 2022, review that list and go over it. If you didn't, write down the goals you had in the back of your mind throughout the year. Here are some excellent questions you can use to review and assess your goals:
Were your goals achieved? Why or why not?
If they were exceeded, why? How?
What are the next steps for moving those goals to the next level?
If they fell short, why? How?
What are the next steps for getting these goals back on track?
Which customer success stories reflect how the business has grown in the last year?
What is one thing the business did best in the last year?
What has been one of the business' proudest moments?
What were some of business' unexpected wins?
What did we make happen this year that was outside of my goals?
What didn't go so well in the last year?
What is the one thing the business was worst at last year?
What lessons did you learn from any mistakes throughout the year?
What is holding the business back from achieving its goals?
What can each team member do to be more helpful to the business?
Plan Your 2023 Goals and Set Your BHAG
Now that you've reviewed what worked and what didn't in 2022, you can start planning for what you want to achieve in 2023. Using the information you gathered in reviewing what worked in 2022 and asking yourself these forward looking questions you can start creating your goals for 2023.
How will the business change over the next 12 months?
What challenges will the business face?
What do we want our customers to say about the business to their friends a year from now?
What do we want our business to achieve more of in 2023?
What's the main reason why we show up for work each day?
This last question lends itself to creating a BHAG. In their book "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, the authors share the concept of a BHAG. A BHAG—pronounced “bee hag”—is a long-term goal that everyone in a company can understand and rally behind. BHAGs are meant to excite and energize people in a way that quarterly targets and lengthy mission statements often fail to. Running a business is hard and a BHAG helps keep you motivated, stimulated and striving.
Plan Time Off
Too often business owners put off their own vacation until the year is totally over. Everyone needs time to recharge and relax. Plan NOW the time you want to take off between now and year end so you can move into 2023 fresh and energized. Also, depending on your business, it may be hard to get work done between December 25 and January 1 as many government agencies shut down for maintenance during that time.
Year end is a very hectic time so take the time now to set you and your business for success for the rest of 2022 and heading into 2023. The team at Athena Legal Solutions is here to help you along the way. Reach out for a free consultation to add a partner to your team who can help create success for this year and next.