As the calendar flips its final pages, small businesses across the land gear up for the ultimate sprint: year-end prep!  It’s the time when spreadsheets become our best friends, and coffee turns into our constant companion. But fear not, for amidst the chaos and the spreadsheets, lies the art of wrapping up a successful year in style!

From balancing the books to tying loose ends, this is the moment where dreams meet deadlines…

We may not be able to prepare you for those family dinners and holiday parties, but we certainly can help you enjoy the season  by easing your end of year worries. Here are our top ten ways to stay stress-free:

1. Schedule time to focus on year-end tasks

You can’t tackle a project without first allowing yourself time to prepare. Year-end should be handled similarly. From 1099’s and budget to your year-end review and goal setting, setting time aside specifically to take a look at the previous year is a must. Get it on the calendar. Label it. Prepare for it. Not only will the process go smoother with time and preparation, but you’ll allow yourself time to also think ahead to the coming year.

2. 1099’s

We know tax time seems far off, but it’s not. The deadline to get your 1099’s out is January 31st – so now is the time to get your affairs in order! And speaking from experience, almost everyone has questions about 1099, so if you do, too – you’re not alone. If you need to learn more about 1099’s and would also like to learn the due dates and processes, visit our 1099 Guidelines Page now and get yourself ready!

3. Budget

How did your financials fair this year? Quite a loaded question, we know. When you schedule your time for year-end, looking back on your financials and how well you stayed on budget is a top priority. Get those hard numbers, take a good look at them and see what happened this year that you can improve next year. Figure out what worked this year and plan to expand upon that in the next. Numbers don’t lie, and that’s the truth of it.

4. De-clutter your workspace

Love that fresh-clean feeling? Well, so does your mind when it comes to your workspace. Now’s the time to throw out the clutter and to make room for all things new and wonderful to usher in the new year. Studies prove that a tidy desk helps boosts productivity. And who doesn’t love that?

5. Get Organized

What better way to capitalize on a decluttered workspace than to get organized! Organization is key to productivity. Whether it’s your desk, your computer files, your schedule, or even your own headspace, organization is one of the common-denominators of success. There are many ways to incorporate organization into your business, so take time to find out what works best for you.

6. Plan Time Off

It’s a busy time of year, yes. But allowing yourself a day to breathe is vital, especially when the schedule gets hectic. Don’t wait for burnout to allow yourself time off. Burnout is a huge problem for business owners and is detrimental to progress. Plan ahead and allow yourself time to decompress. And don’t feel bad. It’s a necessary part of being a business owner.

7. Ask for Help (if you need it…and you will)

Year-end is a perfect time to measure your productivity. If you’ve been tracking your time (T-Sheets, anyone?) then you’ll know exactly where your time went over the last 12 months. Analyzing that data is also exactly what you need to decide whether your business is ready for the next step of a hire (or additional staff hires, if that’s what the numbers say). Remember, if you’re unsure of where to start, a remote assistant is the perfect way to start small. Delegate a small task, see how it fits, and then work up from there.

8. Year-End Review

Asking yourself questions about the previous year, quantifying the data from sales and spending, and giving yourself a clear view of the last twelve months is the only way to have a solid plan for the year ahead. Have you asked yourself the hard questions? Have you really taken a look at your numbers? If not, we have a great place for you to start.

9. Write down the goals you didn’t get to this year

It’s hard to be honest with yourself sometimes. But there’s no way to better ourselves without honesty. Goal setting is a useful tool because you can look back on what you were able to accomplish. And, more importantly…what you weren’t. It’s OK if you didn’t get to everything you had planned. But do not let that stand in the way. If they didn’t happen this year, there’s no reason why they won’t next year. Which brings us to…

10. Start making plans to reach those goals in the new year

Once you’ve gotten through the priorities of year-end and are settling in to spend the holiday season and new year with friends and family, allow yourself the jolts of excitement that accompany plans and big ideas. Give yourself time to smile and look forward to the moment when that clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

Here’s to small businesses everywhere—may your spreadsheets be error-free, your receipts be organized, and your ambitions soar even higher in the year to come! Cheers to wrapping up the year with a blend of fun, professionalism, and a touch of entrepreneurial sparkle!

From our C3Workplace family to yours, we hope you enjoy the holiday season and all the little joys that come with it. Dream big, everyone! We’ll be with you every step of the way.