End of year check list revisited

I though I would revisit a post I did back in 2008 for the end of this year 2015.
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. CheckingCosts.jpg

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 the sales pitch to lock in next Springs contract now allowing them to lock in today’s pricing before next years price increases. Just be sure you can still make a modest profit at the old price. It never makes sense to work just for works sake it, 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. Even if the new pricing is to just to your new customers during the year.

You need to see where your major cost increases were and make the needed adjustments now. If it was in supplies are there ways you can save? Can you make better purchase decisions that will help you next year? For example is there anyway 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 products at their optimum? For example are you sure you are using the right concentration for the job or are you using more than you need therefore have been wasting money? Are you able to buy in bulk for consumables at discount or bulk shopping locations like Sam’s, BJ’s or similar companies.

If the higher costs came with labor was everyone used the most effective way? Can you tighten up your schedule, fit more jobs in, 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 maybe the time to consider replacing it. Many times Winter is the time of year when equipment vendors have sales or give discounts for end of season and 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 savings 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, any monthly bill. Check prices and look for less expensive options.

One thing to not forget to put on your business wellness check list is to make sure your business stays in compliance with your local, state and the federal waste water 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 with 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 check list. Make yours as long or short as you need but be sure it covers all of the areas that effect your bottom line. Every cost to you and your business makes a difference in the end.

I hope you had a good 2015 and will have an even better 2016.

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