6 tips to prepare for the end of your first year as a business owner

By Henry Brown

If you’re coming to the end of your first year as a business owner, congratulations! You’ve done a lot of the hard work, and things should get easier from here. You’ve also learned a lot during your first year in business, meaning you’re more prepared to handle everything and more next year.

But just because things are going well doesn’t mean you can take your foot off the gas. There are plenty of things to sort out as you reach the end of the year. If you want to continue with the positive momentum, you need to ensure you’re prepared for the end of the year so you can start the next year the right way.

Settle your accounts 

Money is perhaps the most important part of running your business, so settling your accounts is vital. If there are any payments you haven’t fulfilled yet, make sure you get those out of the way before the year’s end.

This enables you to catch any missed payments and fulfill them, especially if you have needed to pay suppliers or even give refunds to customers. What’s more, you can get a better idea of how much you’ve earned and the amount of business you are doing, especially with specific clients, making it easier to anticipate what to expect next year.

Chase up clients 

The end of the year can be stressful, so there’s a chance that any non-paying customers could be too occupied to send you the payment for that invoice you delivered a month ago. You don’t want to irritate your clients, but you still need that money. When looking through your accounts, double-check if there are any missed payments and send the client a polite reminder email.

In most cases, they have just forgotten to pay you. It happens, and it is usually rectified quickly. However, if your clients ignore you, you may need to take more extreme measures and reconsider whether you want to work with them in the future.

Prepare for tax season 

Tax season is also just around the corner, so you may as well prepare for that when you’re going over your accounts. You can start by obtaining a tax ID number for a small business that you’ll need to provide when you file your taxes.

Depending on how much you’ve earned and how organized your invoices and other financial details are, you should have a decent idea of what you’ll need to pay. If things aren’t organized, get on with that immediately to make things easier before the tax deadline.

Look through financial reports

Your financial reports will also help you determine where your business is and whether it is on the right track. These reports will offer information on how much you’ve earned, how much you’ve spent, and where the money has gone.

It is also an opportunity to discover who was your most regular or high-paying client and what sort of projects you completed for them. All of this information is vital to set you up for further success in the coming years, so don’t ignore the data that is so easily available.

Identify ways to improve 

This data can help you in many ways. You can see the good and the bad you experience throughout the year, which means you can also contemplate and plan for the future.

You always need to make your business more attractive to potential customers. This will not only keep your current customers happy, but it will also increase the chances of attracting new customers. If there were common complaints or issues surrounding specific factors, such as product delivery or website issues, now is your chance to fix the problems to ensure your company grows and fulfills the promises you want to make to your customers.


There is plenty to do at the end of your first year, but you also need to find the time to celebrate.

A business anniversary celebration is something you have worked hard for and deserve, so think about ways you could promote your success. Your employees may need a bonus, or you could offer a giveaway to celebrate your anniversary. If you want to keep things lowkey, treating yourself and your family to a fancy dinner is always a winner. Thank-you notes to members of your network who have offered advice and support are also a nice touch.

One down

One down and hopefully many more to go. Your business has impressed plenty of people so far, but there are still many more things you’ll need to do. Whether you have a plan for world domination or are happy to continue just the way you are (at least for now), it’s an exciting time for you to be a business owner.

Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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