As if small businesses don’t have enough going on between year-end reports, holiday parties, and tax planning, it is crucial that business owners find time to reflect on the past year in an effort to improve the upcoming year. In just 5 steps, you will better understand your company’s financial performance and increase operational efficiency. 1. *Compare 2014 and 2015 FYE financial statements*- Recognize areas of success and identify those that need improvement. 2. *Research your industry peers*- Utilize ratios to benchmark financial performance against competition. 3. *Understand cash flow*- Review your cash flow cycle to ensure you have sufficient working capital. If not, make a plan to alleviate the short fall. 4. *Time to S.W.O.T.* - Write down strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. CAPITALIZE on them! 5. *Set goals for 2016*- Use findings from the above steps to identify measurable goals and monitor them to ultimately improve the bottom line. While these steps are just a few year-end considerations, you’ll be thankful you took the time to complete this brief checklist to keep your business on track. Some of these concepts might be new to you, and that is okay. There are a lot of free resources available to you including your friends at First
Bank of Wyoming
and the Small Business
Development Center .
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