It's December and the year is wrapping up. Maybe you are still swamped and handling some more events right up to NYE or maybe you decide to shut it down for the last 2 wks of the year to spend time with family or traveling. Whatever the case, there are some things you should consider doing or keeping track of before that 12/31 rolls around.
1. Know your Financials
Do you know your financial results for the year? Are you making a profit this year? You should know this before year end so you can take advantage of tax planning strategies to help offset your income and increase your tax deductible expenses.
If you have been swamped and can justify the need for another photo booth or printer, now is a great time to buy. With Section 179 you can elect to treat the cost of any section 179 property as an expense which is not chargeable to your capital account. Any cost so treated shall be allowed as a deduction for the taxable year in which the section 179 property is placed in service. Also consider purchasing supplies like albums, back drops, media, and you can also prepay some of your expenses like your building rent, your cell phone bill, storage space rental, etc.
2. Prepare your tax documents
Too early - ask your accountant. It's never too early to get yourself organized. If you have the time, catch up your bookkeeping and have your documents ready to roll - trust me your accountant will love you for this. Now, if you are looking at paying taxes and not getting a refund (probably most of us, right ?), then you may not want to file till the last possible minute -so keep an eye on 3/15 or 4/15 or you may want to file an extension but make sure you have paid in your estimated tax payments so you don't get hit with additional tax penalties and fees.
3. Thank those that helped you have a GREAT year
Its a great time to have your own outing with your staff, to thank them for all their hard work. Perhaps you have some sort of profit sharing bonus or some other incentive compensation to give to your team - this is a great time to do so. But don't forget the others that helped your business succeed. Consider the personnel you work with at your favorite venues, the other DJ's or photographers that refer you out to their clients, your key vendor and suppliers that always come through in a jam for you. Did you know you are allowed to give up to $25 per customer or vendor as a business gift and that its a tax deductible expense for your business? Need my address - just kidding.
4. Plan for Next Year
How many of you have a business plan? Do you check it regularly to see how your progress is doing against your plan? Business owners should have a business plan and should be able to use the prior year results to determine a budget for the new year. Businesses should review this plan at least once per year if not more and gauge their financial reporting against their budgeted results. How else would you know if you are having a break out year? "Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan." (Norman Vincent Peale)
5. Rest, Relax, Take Time Away
Finally, this is a great time to step away from the business and spend time with the reason you push all year long - your family. Detaching oneself from the business is tough (trust me I know) but is also a necessary endeavor. "No rest is worth anything except the rest that is earned." (Jean Paul). And I am sure that you earned it. Great time to recharge the batteries for January 1st is quick on your heels and it starts all over again.
With that being said, my wife Kay and I would like to wish all of our customers, vendors, and friends a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year.
Gary and Kay McGee