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Category: Brand · 3 min read

It’s Time for a Year-End Financial Review and New-Year Plan

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on November 12, 2019

author profile photo

on November 12, 2019

Financial professionals discussing budgets on a laptop

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: financial review and budget planning season. At least, it’s one of my favorite times, but I don’t know about you.

As 2019 ends, it’s helpful to pause, take a step back, and view where your business is at and where it’s headed. Think of it as a time of reflection. The last couple months of the year may be slower than the others, which makes this a great time to assess your current finances. As you do that, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.  

 

Look Back at Your 2019 Goals 

We talk a lot about setting goals and resolutions, but following through on them is a completely different story. In theory, the goals you set were attainable and reachable, but reality can sometimes be unkind. How did you do this year? Did you hit your goals, or were you off the mark? Take the time to look back at the goals you set and give them a completion percentage, or a simply yes or no.

If you didn’t hit a goal, that’s nothing to beat yourself up about. Instead, learn from it. Maybe the goal was unrealistic from the start, or things changed along the way that you didn’t expect. Maybe it means that you need to think smaller and create micro-goals, instead of large goals. That’s okay!  

 

Look Back at Your 2019 Budget 

Hopefully you’ve been doing this throughout the year, but now’s the perfect opportunity to see where you’re at with your 2019 budget. Did you stick to it? Or were there some surprise expenses or payments that you had to make? Obviously, the goal is to be below or at budget, in a perfect world, but things happen. If you went over budget, make sure you know why. Where did it go wrong? Your budget can show you what’s important to your business and what you’re prioritizing, so it’s a good reminder of what you’ve accomplished over the past year.

Take it a step further by reviewing your overall financials. Are you in a good spot? It may be helpful to start by looking at your cash flow.  

 

Look Ahead to Your 2020 Goals 

With your 2019 goals in the rearview, it’s time to look ahead to what your 2020 goals should be. What do you want to accomplish this year? Where do you want to grow your business? What will help you get to where you want to be? Let those questions shape your annual goals and guide your thinking. Again, it may be helpful to think small at first and set micro-goals that build to help you reach a larger goal. Be realistic in your thinking, and set steps that you can achieve in the time frame.  

What do you want to accomplish this year? Where do you want to grow your business? What will help you get to where you want to be?

Look Ahead to Your 2020 Budget 

If you haven’t determined your budget for next year yet, it’s now or never. Your budget is like your roadmap. The same way that a roadmap helps you make decisions to reach your end destination, the act of setting a business budget can help you figure out what your yearly goals are—and how you’re going to reach them. For example: Do you need to plan for additional investments in terms of staff and funding to hit your goals and make the impact you want? Then put it in the budget. It may even be beneficial to break it down by line item. For example: Say you budget $2,000 for a specific technology you want to purchase, or $200 for a specific ad spot you want to buy. Having this “forecast mindset” can help keep you on track and make you think of the bigger picture up front.

Take the time to determine your budget for 2020. It can make or break your goals. And, while financial reviews, planning, and budgets may not be the most exciting thing for you, it’s worth it to make sure your business is on the right track for the new year.

#19-0745-110820 

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Written By

John Vogelaar

Chief Financial Officer

John Vogelaar is the Chief Financial Officer of Brokers International. John has more than 20 years of experience in finance and operation executive leadership roles. He has a proven track record of updating financial infrastructure and aligning financial and business metrics to support corporate strategy.

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