Happy New Year! Whew. It’s a busy time of year. With all the busyness that comes with owning a business it’s important to take the time to plan for 2019.

I get all of the time consuming activities you are plagued with. As a business owner myself these last few months of the year including January is the most hectic time. There are many loose ends to be tied into a pretty bow before heading into the new year and starting fresh. For instance, you have health insurance renewals. Nailing down a health plan that will meet your employees and employers’ needs is a big decision. I spend hours going over the different health plans and then I pull out my crystal ball to see which plan will possibly best suit everyone.

Next is handling the worker’s compensation insurance audit that is done every year. Mine happens to be due the last quarter of the year. Since your worker’s comp insurance is based on the salaries of the year before – at the end of the policy period you must share wage reports to verify how much you have paid. In theory you want to owe more money because then you have been busy paying your employees more which means you have made more money. Which is what owning a successful business is about.

Along the same lines, you have a liability insurance audit. Your liability insurance is determinant upon your payroll expense just like your worker’s comp insurance. Therefore, if you have paid more in salaries, either due to raises or hiring more employees, similar to your worker’s compensation insurance, you will owe more money. Yes, the constant flow of money out can be a bit daunting and overwhelming, especially at the end of a year.

You can’t forget this is also tax time. Yes, I realize it is months before April. Even before the new year, you need to fill out papers way ahead of when taxes are due. Important forms required is whether you have paid an attorney through the year and then how much and what their FEIN number is. If you use vehicles in your business you must fill out a record showing how many miles driven were personal versus for business use.

And then starting January 1st you start the process of verifying your assets; what you identified as assets previously and what you still have. There is inventory to record. More tax information is needed to be collected as well as your quarterly records completed before handing it off to your accountant.

Even though it’s easy to get lost in all of this paperwork and have-to’s, don’t forget to take the time to plan for 2019. Without a plan you will find your business just moving along with the current – and not necessarily in the direction you want it to go and that meets the vision of your successful business. With a plan, you are guiding your business in a way that is effective for you and will optimize your business keeping you on track and doing what matters the most to you and your business’s success.

The most important part of a plan is knowing and focusing on what direction you want to guide your business in. And then actually doing what is necessary throughout the year to keep you on that track in the midst of distractions, challenges and your everyday business activities.

Here’s to 2019 and your success! May you have a healthy, profitable and enjoyable year.