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How to Audit Your Business for Next Year
  • 27 December 2016
  • Eric Michaels

How to Audit Your Business for Next Year

As a small business owner, you must constantly take stock of your strengths and weaknesses as a company. This process is particularly important at the end of the year, when you should analyze the major and minor decisions that affected your business over the past 12 months. By going through this process, you can make sure that you capitalize on your successes and do not repeat your mistakes. Here are some tips on how to audit your business for the coming year.

Revenue

When revenue is scarce, many new businesses can seem to hang on by a thread. Once you find your rhythm and have a steady income, you have to protect and expand these assets. Therefore, during your year-end audit, you must examine your most consistent sources of income and consider what it will take to maintain or grow these assets in 2017. As the answers may not be obvious, you will likely need to analyze each aspect of your operation.

If your company is not ready to handle new accounts, you may want to cut costs and seek out strategies that will allow you to be more efficient. For example, you should find out if there is a way to deliver the same product for less, or whether you can offer loyal clients more services. When a particular client seems like your lifeblood for the time being, you should strive to show this customer that you are the best choice to fulfill his or her service need.

Client relationships

In some internal audits, small business owners may realize that their biggest source of income is not worth the hassle. The signs are clear enough: If your team scrambles to correct the smallest complaint from a loyal customer or top client, it fails to capitalize on other opportunities. This vicious cycle puts your staff constantly on the defensive and wastes time that you could use for more productive endeavors. In this scenario, you might want to evaluate the client relationship and determine whether or not it is time to cut ties.

Technology

When auditing your business, you should also perform a full check of your office technology. Take the time to scrutinize everything from your computer systems to your company website. After all, employee frustration regarding faulty or outdated technology can hamper productivity in a big way, especially when you have younger staff members. You should aim to address these inadequacies whenever they appear.

When you decide to replace or upgrade your technology, you should make sure that the solution is a real fix. Before changing your systems, do some research to find the model that works best for your company.

Employees

Your yearly audit is also a great time to provide your staff members with their annual reviews. Study the strengths and weaknesses of your employees to understand how you can help them develop professionally within your company. Of course, you cannot complete an employee review without taking a close look at your own work over the past year. Ask employees to leave anonymous feedback if you feel uncomfortable asking them directly, but make sure that you start the year knowing how your staff feels about your leadership. After all, in order for your business to succeed, you and your employees must work together as a team.

As a small business owner, you must take it upon yourself to constantly strive to improve every aspect of your business. Therefore, at the end of every year, it is essential that you take the time to audit your business. During this process, you should take a closer look at all that you and your employees have accomplished, and all the goals you have yet to achieve. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a company, you can find the path to success.

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