But you might want to consider putting together a short, 1- to 2-page concise document that includes the basic components of a typical business plan: mission, vision, strategies, and objectives.
A mission statement describes what the company is in business to do. And while you could simply state a mission similar to “Our mission is to sell our products and services,” you may want to think bigger than that in terms of how you want to be known or to impact more than your customers.
A vision statement describes your company’s future position. It’s what you aspire to be. It could again be, “Our vision is to sell more products and services than any other business.” Or it could be more inspiring and uplifting.
Business Strategies, Goal and Objectives
Your business strategies support how you’ll get from where you are to what is stated in your mission and vision statements. While there may be many ways to accomplish your mission and vision, strategies are the approaches you’ll take to get there.
Goals are measurable destinations with a timeline that are created from your strategies. Objectives finally get down to the nitty gritty and state the tactics and action plans you need to execute to put all of this work into play.
Each of these items can be written out on a few lines, taking up all together no more than a few pages.
The benefits of having a concise business plan are many: if you think of an idea you want to do, you can check the plan to make sure your idea falls under your vision, mission, and strategies that you’ve laid out for the year. If it doesn’t, then you’ll know that your idea would take you off track from your plan, and you know how easy that can happen these days with all of the distractions and options available to us.
You may want to add additional sections to your plan depending on your strategies. If you plan to launch a new product or execute new marketing strategies, you might want to add a Market Summary section. If you seek new funding, you might want to have a section on funding options. With business planning, it makes sense to do what’s relevant, and nothing more or less.
We wish you the very best in 2019, and if we can help you with the financial management side of your business, please reach out.
This is general information and should not be acted upon without first determining its application to your specific situation. Please contact your CPA or tax advisor for additional details.
Catch up on your books
If your books are behind, the first step is to get everything recorded so that your tax return will be accurate. With automated bank feeds and data entry automation, this is easier than it’s ever been before. If you have cash transactions or receipts lying around that your accountant doesn’t know about, be sure and get those pulled together so nothing is left out.
Make year-end changes
Some companies may need additional year-end adjustments, and now is the time to make them. These include items such as loan balances if the interest adjustment has not been booked every month, depreciation and amortization, accounts receivable write-offs, accrual vs. cash basis adjustments, and possibly clean-up work. These entries should be made by a qualified accountant.
Double-check vendor documents
If you hired contractors and sent them 1099s, make sure you have the proper onboarding documents for these individuals which includes a W-9. If you did not obtain a W-9 from them prior to paying them for services, request it now to avoid a late filing. (Talk to us about how to better manage the W-9 collection process.) You may also want to have a worker’s compensation certificate from them in order to avoid paying it yourself.
Get clear on the deadlines for your corporate, franchise tax, individual and any other tax returns that are required. Even though you might hire someone to complete and file your return, you’ll want to make sure the deadline has been met.
As you receive your 2018 tax documents, keep them all together in a special place. Download them or scan them in and keep them all in one folder. If your tax accountant has a client portal, upload them as soon as you get them.
Your tax preparer appreciates getting your information as early as possible. The sooner you get the documents to them, the sooner the whole process can be complete. Even if you owe money and want to file at the last minute, you can still be complete with the process except for the filing which can be deferred.
Try these tips to reduce tax stress this winter and spring. And, as always, please reach out and let us know how we can assist you in preparing for tax time.
The information presented is of a general nature and should not be acted upon without further details and/or professional guidance. For assistance in identifying and utilizing all the tax deductions to which you are entitled, please contact your CPA or tax preparer.
Many facets of a business can trigger the IRS' interest. Identify five key areas where your business could be at risk in an audit by watching this video.
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