Want to make the most of Q4? Of course, you do. Let’s make sure this becomes your best Q4 ever! Officially, Q4 is the period between October and December. For some, Q4 is the best time to increase your revenue and finish the year with a bang! For others, the last quarter of the year is the ideal timing to get your ducks in a row for next year so that you are well prepared for 2022. We will walk you through everything you need to know to handle the fourth quarter like a pro.
1. Reflect on the past year - what did you learn?
What went well? What needs improving? Where do you need help? Categorize your actions to such that you should continue, some you change, and some you should stop doing. The last being at least as important as the first two. Then think about what you want to achieve next year. Do you need to adjust your focus?
We have yet to meet a company that does what they thought they would be doing when they started (including ourselves). Now is the perfect time to reflect and draw conclusions - just look at the data. While your reflection is important and you should consider your gut feeling, looking at data is just as crucial. You may e.g. think that you personally didn’t like a social media campaign that your company ran, but chances are that your audience did. You might think that your customers love what you do as you got many new ones, but how many returned? Always look at the data.
2. & 3. Annual and sustainability reporting can already be started
Sustainability reporting enables you to consider your impacts on a wide range of sustainability issues. This enables you to be more transparent about the risks and opportunities you face. Sustainability reporting is the key platform for communicating sustainability performance and impacts. For smaller companies, the sustainability report can in a slightly modified format also serve as a mini version of an annual report. Reporting about sustainability is also one of the increasingly important aspects that investors look at, no matter how early-stage the company is.
An annual report is a comprehensive report on a company's activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested people information about the company's activities and financial performance. Annual reports are a must for any listed company, so if you run a small company and feel that an annual report is a bit heavy, you should consider a lighter version of it, an annual review, or the above-mentioned sustainability report.
Feel unsure about how to get started? Book a 15min virtual coffee with us to discuss your annual and sustainability reporting.
3. Making an annual review? Start well in advance!
If left to the last minute, this can seem like an overwhelming task, so starting well in advance pays off. Social media is a great place to start jogging your memory on what has been going on this year. Check your company's profiles, as well as your own. Speak to colleagues and partners - have you enabled something awesome for them that you could share as proof of your offering?
Next year, you can even start already in January to prepare for it by writing down things along the year that could be interesting information to share later. This way nothing will slip your mind and you will not have to try remembering everything at once when the deadline is approaching.
4. Do your budgeting
Look at your numbers from this year, and evaluate them closely. Where was the money well spent with a good return on investment (ROI)? Where could you have been smarter with spending? Understanding the ROI for every cent spent is very important, how else can you know if you made the right decision?
Think about the investments will you need to make next year into your business, and how you will finance them? Do you have the necessary funds and other resources to reach your goals? Do you need to hire more people? Of course, you will look at your own business in this process, but don’t forget to consider the macroeconomic aspects of your industry, too. This may have a significant impact on your opportunities and risks.
Having a solid strategy, plan, and clear objectives and key results (OKR’s) is key. But does your bank account and projected cash flow allow you to reach them? If not, you will either have to go back to the drawing board with what you want to achieve, or you need to figure out ways to generate more revenue.
5. Can you do something to prepare for taxes, reporting, etc. already?
Are you doing your accounting yourself? Filing of taxes, too? Many entrepreneurs and start-ups do. This is naturally one way to save costs, however, remember to consider the complexity of those and evaluate if that is the way to go. Chances are that neither you or anyone on your team is a financial expert, so having a good accountant can pay itself back (and more!) quite quickly. A professional will be able to advise you on things like tax benefits, deductions, depreciation, etc. All things that can save you money and taxes or increase your profit. To us, those seem like pretty good reasons to hire a professional.
Next week, we will share six more tips, so stay tuned!