4th Quarter Financial Goals

4th Quarter Financial Goals to Finish the Year Strong

4th quarter has arrived, which means that it is a great opportunity to assess your current business success. Are you on track to finish the year strong? Regardless of the financial success that you have experienced so far this year, there are a few things that you can do to wrap up 2017 and ensure that you are ready to make 2018 the best year yet. Our accounting team is looking for ways to support our clients in these efforts.

Here are a few things that you need to consider, so that 4th quarter doesn’t get side-tracked by the holiday season:

Leverage Your Busy Season

If you are in the retail business, then you are probably ramping up for a busy holiday season. It is common for retail sales to go up during this time of year because consumers are buying gifts for Christmas and other holidays that fall at the end of the year.

Not only do you need to make sure that your inventory is stocked, but you also need to be sure that you have the manpower to support the anticipated surge in sales. Failing to have the cash flow to support these efforts could result in missed opportunities for Christmas shopping.

One of the best things that you can do is talk to your accountant right now to assess your business financials. Look at your current inventory and your anticipated sales volume. Then, place orders right now so that you are ready for the busy November and December months. Don’t delay ordering the product, because you don’t want to be stuck without a product to sell when customers are looking for the products that you have to offer.

There is a reason why businesses often refer to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday.” This day is often the time when the annual sales go into the black. So, the rest of the sales for the year are just gravy to fatten your profits. Using the right marketing and promotion techniques can help you leverage your results even more.

Even if you don’t sell retail products, there are ways that you can use the holiday season to boost your business efforts. For example, some service-based businesses offer Black Friday sales with discounts on the services that are available. Get creative and look for ways that you can encourage your customers to make a purchase while they are in a buying mood.

Preparing for Tax Season

When taxes are filed in the spring, our accounting team will be working with the numbers from 2017. So, right now is a great time to make financial changes if they are needed. An accounting meeting at the beginning of 4th quarter is essential to ensure that you are on-track for optimal results on your next tax filing.

For example, if you can see that the profits are coming in higher than previous years, then you might consider the option to purchase equipment needed for the office. These write-offs can help you manage your tax burden so that the results are favorable to match what you need. But, you need to know the details before the year ends, so that you can make these purchases within the calendar year.

You can’t make these decisions based on current bank account balances. Instead, it is important to review Profit and Loss reports and anticipated expenses with your accounting team. These details will help you get a clear picture of the current financial health of your company. Then, you can make adjustments or changes as needed to set your business up for financial success in the future.

Don’t Go on Auto-Pilot

4th quarter can be challenging because it is a fun time of year. Some business owners buckle down to optimize their results. But, other people take time off because of the holiday season. While it is important to spend time with your family during this busy time of year, you shouldn’t let your business goals fall to the back-burner.

Don’t rationalize the idea that you will pick up your goals when the New Year starts. If you want long-term success, then you need to be willing to buckle down to get it done throughout the year. Instead of assuming that the holiday season is a time when you should relax and take a break from the business efforts, look for ways that you can maintain continuous efforts to achieve your business goals. Find a balance between work and personal life, allowing you to enjoy the holidays without making your business suffer.

Change Your Business Perspective

Staying aware of the financial health of your company is an important strategy to help you prepare for future growth in your company. It is essential that you spend time each quarter looking at the successes and failures of the previous quarter. Identify the things that are working, and look for ways to eliminate systems that are dragging down your profit margins.

Shining light on these trends and patterns makes it possible for you to change the negative habits so that you can eliminate the bad things before the year comes to an end. You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Instead, you need to keep your focus on the goals that you have for the future, then find ways to implement business systems that will make it possible for you to reach those goals.

In a Rut? Set New Goals for 4th Quarter

If you are a business owner who is repeating the same things over and over while expecting new results, then right now is the time that you need to make a change. Don’t let your company stay in a rut for 4th quarter goals! Instead, assess your current goals and efforts to see if any changes need to be made.

The New Year is approaching, and it will be here sooner than you know it. The work that you put in within the last few months of the year will set the tone for how your business will start in the New Year. Instead of repeating common failures, you can eliminate these bad habits to ensure that you are positioned for massive growth in 2018.

Here are a few questions that you can ask as you are evaluating your goals and success:

  • Are you on track to reach your target sales numbers for the year? If not, why?
  • What are the best activities that are bringing in more sales and revenue?
  • Where are the categories that are cutting into your profits?
  • Do you have an effective accounting system in place to show current financial reports?
  • What is working? What isn’t working?
  • Is your marketing plan bringing in the customers that you anticipated?
  • How can you leverage the holiday season to boost your sales?

Be honest with your answers so that you can see the areas where you are succeeding and failing. If you are coming up short in any area of your business, then it can be helpful to bring in an expert for advice. For example, if you are unsure about your bookkeeping and financial reports, then it is essential that you hire an expert accounting team to assist with this aspect of your business.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goals

Now that you are ready to make the 4th quarter the best quarter of the year, you are probably excited about setting goals for the last few months. While it is good to set goals, make sure that you are realistic about the goals that you are striving to achieve.

Business coaches often talk about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. This acronym means that your goals should be:

  • Specific: Lay out the details of your goals so that you have a clear measurement to see when you reach the goal. For example, set a specific dollar amount in sales that you want to achieve before the end of the year.
  • Measurable: Generic, unmeasurable goals make it hard to see if you achieved the results that you desired. Instead of saying that your goal is to increase sales, set a goal to boost sales by 2% compared to the previous quarter.
  • Attainable: Choose a goal that is attainable within a three-month It is good to reach for the stars, but don’t shoot so high that you face failure.
  • Realistic: Also, think about realistic changes that can be made in your company. For example, it might not be realistic to design and manufacture a new product line in this short period of time. But, you could have details laid out so that you are ready for the new manufacturing by the beginning of the year.
  • Timely: A three-month goal is a great timeframe. It gives you enough time to work on the goal, without making the deadline so far out that it will get kicked down the road.

Are you assessing your 4th quarter goals? We invite you to contact our team here at Easier Accounting for help! We will review your financial details and help you see the best ways to set your company up for success in the future. Call to learn more about the accounting and bookkeeping services that we offer: (888) 620-0770

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