So little time before the end of the year, and so much to do! Before you close up shop and start the holiday partying around the office, check these six things off your to do list so that you roll into 2015 compliant and set up for success in the new year.
For Business Operations
Several of these tasks fall under operations:
1. Select a Business Structure
If you haven’t yet chosen a business structure, now is the time to do so. Remaining a sole proprietor makes your personal assets vulnerable, since they can be seized should your business be sued. A corporation or LLC separates you from your business, keeping you and your assets safe.
Additionally, choosing a business structure before 2015 can create a clean slate under your new corporation or LLC in the new year for tax purposes.
2. Make Sure Your Corporate Details are Updated
If you’ve already formed a corporation, it’s important to ensure all your company details are accurate with your Secretary of State. If your company has moved, elected new Board members, or added shareholders, make sure you file your articles of amendment with the updates.
3. Dissolve an Inactive Business
If you closed a business in 2014, it’s imperative that you dissolve the LLC or corporation before year’s end to avoid paying additional taxes or fees next year. It’s not a simple matter of stopping operations; in addition to paying any outstanding invoices you owe on and closing your bank accounts, you need to let your Secretary of State know that the business is defunct.
4. If You’re in Bad Standing, Catch Up
Maybe you’re behind in paying taxes or fees, or didn’t get around to filing that federal paperwork you needed to months ago. Get off on the right foot in 2015 by taking care of these details now. That way, you will be eligible for tax credits come tax time.
For Marketing and Sales
You want 2015 to be a killer year, right? Start with these tasks now:
5. Determine Your Marketing and Sales Goals
How much more business do you want to do in 2015? Set that as a goal now, then outline how you’ll accomplish it. You may want to try new marketing strategies, pull back your spend in areas that haven’t netted results for you, or experiment with new tools.
Make sure for every goal you set, you assign activities to specific people. Get your sales and marketing team in on the planning so they feel vested in achieving results.
6. Get Your Content Marketing Plan in Place
Commit to writing more great content in 2015! It’s definitely one of my company’s best marketing tools. You can start by creating an editorial calendar now to cover the next 12 months. Fill in what you know is happening, such as your annual Valentine’s Day promotion or charity fundraiser in July, then decide what other types of content you want to include.
For example, you could release a whitepaper a quarter, and write blog posts to support the campaign to boost downloads. You can even add guest blogging to your calendar so that you’re contributing your knowledge on other great sites that cater to your audience.
Don’t wait until January 1 to start making great changes for your company. Tackle this list now to ensure that 2015 is better than ever.