How to Conduct a Mid-Year Check-In for Small Business Owners

July 18, 2023

When it comes to the calendar year, it’s important for business owners to review their financial situation before it’s too late to make impactful changes. I recommend doing a quick ‘financial check-in’ during the month of July or August, so if you find things that need to be fixed, you have plenty of time to resolve them before year-end.

Revisit Your Business Plan

A well-structured business plan serves as a solid foundation for your company, guiding you every step of the way. It not only aids in forecasting and budgeting but also proves essential in presenting your ideas to potential investors for future sales. Writing down a comprehensive business plan is crucial, as it provides the necessary information for your day-to-day operations. Collaborating with a CPA and financial advisor can greatly assist in constructing this plan, including developing financial statements, projections, and market analysis.

Take the mid-year financial check-in as an opportunity to reassess your business goals and strategies from your business plan. Are your financial goals aligned with your overall business objectives? Have there been any significant changes in the market or industry that require adjustments to your strategies? Analyze the financial implications of any necessary adjustments and ensure that your financial plans support your broader business plan.

Develop a Succession Plan

Succession planning is often overlooked by many small business owners, but it is crucial for long-term sustainability. A succession plan involves identifying and grooming potential successors who can continue the business’s legacy. Whether you intend to pass the business to family members, key employees, or sell it to a third party, having a clear succession plan ensures a smooth transition and preserves the value you have built. At Wymer Brownlee, we can help you through every step of the process – from analyzing the value of your company to facilitating an acquisition.

Check in On Your Taxes

Let’s face it, no one likes dealing with taxes. It’s not just the payment that’s painful – the entire process can be a headache. However, many small business owners and entrepreneurs make the mistake of putting it off. By now, you should have already made two quarterly estimated tax payments.

If you expect your revenue to increase in the second half of the year, now is a good time to adjust your 3rd and 4th quarter estimated payments. If you haven’t made these payments yet, it might be wise to schedule an appointment with your tax professional.  Procrastinating on tax payments only adds unnecessary stress. Thankfully, this is a problem that can be easily solved by calling on professionals to handle it.

Prioritize Risk Management 

Does the insurance that you currently have still meet your needs? If your company is successful and growing, make sure your insurance grows with you. If the valuation of your business increases, you need even more protection from loss. Additionally, if you’ve added more staff, you’ll need to consider increased costs for updating your workers’ comp policy and health insurance.

When you run a business, risk comes with the territory, but it can be managed with the right plan. Consider all scenarios – from fires to data breaches to financial trouble – and plan for the response, business impact, and recovery for each situation.

Keep Good Records & Review Your Financial Statements

This may seem obvious, but it’s often neglected. Your business plan and financial statements are only as good as your data. If you’re working with incomplete, inconsistent, or inaccurate information, you cannot analyze where you are or where you’re going. Remember to keep comprehensive, consistent records, and if you don’t have a system in place to do this, make it a priority.

Lastly, get a clear picture of your financial situation by reviewing your profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements from the beginning of the year until June 30th. These documents will reveal if your bookkeeping is in good shape.

If anything seems off during that six-month period, investigate further to understand what caused any irregularities. Additionally, consider comparing your current financials to those from the same time last year. This will help you identify any patterns or trends that can guide you in making smarter business decisions.

As a business owner, you might have set your sights on success, whether it’s increasing your monthly revenue or expanding your services. Take the opportunity to course correct and pivot if needed. But first, assess your current standing to ensure you’re on track to reach your goals. When it comes to tax advice and how your business profitability affects your personal income and financial plan, be sure to talk with a financial professional to understand your opportunities best.

As always, if you have any questions, I’m just a phone call away.

Blog by Aaron Waters, Wealth Advisor, Shareholder

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