End of Year Checklist Revisited

I thought I would revisit a post I first did back in 2008, in 2015, and will do again this year, 2023. Hard to believe I have been posting like this for 15 years!

With the year winding down, there are things to do before the end of this year to get ready for next year especially if this is a slow time for you. Do a Business Wellness Check.


First, take a look at the cost increases you had during the past year and make sure that your prices are still in line with the changes. If not now is the time to make the rate changes for next year. You may be able to use a sales pitch to lock in next spring’s contract now, allowing them to lock in today’s pricing before next year’s price increases. Just be sure you can still make a modest profit at the old price. It never makes sense to work just for work’s sake, you must be able to make a living at this.

In fact, price adjustments are something that you may need to do twice a year or quarterly depending on how volatile the year is for your vendors. And everyone knows since Covid pricing has been very fluid and seems to only go up and never back down. Even if the new pricing is just for your new customers during the year you need to let the old customers know that you are holding current pricing for them but it will be changing later.

You need to see where your major cost increases were and make the needed adjustments now. If it was in chemicals are there ways you can save? Can you make better purchase decisions that will help you next year? For example is there any way to maximize your purchases? Can you buy 3 or 4 kits of product instead of 1 or 2 at a time and save some on shipping costs? Are there more affordable options for your supplies? Have you been using your disposable items at their optimum? For example are you sure you are using the right concentration of chemical for the job or are you using more than you need and therefore have been wasting money? Are you able to buy in bulk for consumables at discount or bulk shopping locations like Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s, or similar companies?

If your higher costs were with labor was everyone used the most effective way? Can you tighten up your schedule, fit more jobs in, and work faster while still maintaining quality? Do you just have too many employees or too few and are paying too much in overtime?

Next, evaluate your equipment needs. If you have had to make repairs repeatedly on a piece of equipment during the last season, now may be the time to consider replacing it, or buying new and keeping the other just as backup. Many times Winter is the time of year when equipment vendors have sales or have lower prices for the end of the season to save on the price of taxes carrying that inventory over into the new year. It is hard to stick to a busy schedule when equipment failures put you behind and possibly lose you jobs and money. Would a newer piece of equipment make you more efficient thus saving you time and labor costs? Can you have a tax saving by purchasing a new machine and spreading the cost over the next few years?

What about the services your business uses, can you save there? Check your phone, insurance, accounting, and any monthly bills. Check prices and look for less expensive options.

One thing to not forget to put on your business wellness checklist is to make sure your business stays in compliance with your local, state, and federal wastewater regulations.

Here is a link that I think will be helpful to many of you: http://www.washwater.org/. This will allow you to find links and the information you need at one site. Increased awareness of droughts, water restrictions, and tighter regulations you need to be in the know instead of on the receiving end of a warning or worse a heavy fine.

These are just a few items to put on a checklist. Make yours as long or short as you need but be sure it covers all of the areas that affect your bottom line. Every cost to you and your business makes a difference in the end.

I hope you had a good 2023 and will have an even better 2024.