A Small Business Owner’s Beginning of Year Checklist

A Small Business Owner's Beginning of Year Checklist

We’re more than a month into 2018. Have you already forgotten your resolutions and goals?

As a business owner, you could set yourself and your company a resolution this year. But, instead, it is much more valuable to create a checklist which will help evaluate where your business stands at the beginning of 2018. From this checklist, you can then set goals you want to reach by the end of the year.

So, instead of just a random resolution, you have a set of realistic and attainable goals. With that in mind what should be on your beginning of year checklist as a small business?

Evaluate Your Team

A smooth running business relies on its employees more than anything else, so evaluating your team to ensure everything is ship shape is a vital thing to do at the beginning of the year. Check that everyone is happy, performing to their best ability and there isn’t some gaping inefficiency in the process that runs the team.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your employees for suggestions! They know more about the day to day running of your business than anybody else, so they may have some greatly insightful tidbits for you to work from.

The beginning of the year is also a great time to do a little recruitment, to help fill in the spots in your team that may be currently lacking. Or if you are considering expansion in any way. Lots of people start looking for a job at the beginning of the year – in a fit of New Year, New Career – and so you can catch some of the best talents at this time.

Trim Expenses

A new year is a perfect time to evaluate where your money went in the previous period. Was your biggest expense paper last year? Then why not consider going paperless in 2018? Likewise, if you find that a lot of your money is drained on expensive branded software then you should consider free alternatives. After all, Google Docs does the same job as Microsoft Word at a discount of 100%.

Of course, not every business expense can be cut away completely. But, you might be surprised by how much money you can save just through a few trims here and there to your budget.

Be More Social

This can mean sending brand ambassadors to more networking events or actually being more active on social media, depending on your preferences. The fact is that it matters who you know as a business, as much as we wish it didn’t.

So, this may mean attending more industry events, networking groups and even offering to be an expert speaker in some cases. The more you put yourself as a business owner out there, the more exposure your business will also receive. Always an important part of a good beginning of year checklist.

Likewise, you may wish to grow your customer base via social media this year. In which case, now is the time to commit to more posts and time dedicated to social media. Spend time crafting expert blogs to share, put some money into boosting your Facebook ads or Tweets, even be a better brand ambassador on your personal accounts. The more you do on social media, the bigger a reputation your will grow as a business owner for your brand.

Commit to Training

Training of your staff can be the difference between moving your business forward or staying the same. Skills become stale over time, especially in this current climate of fast-moving information. Having yourself and your team on the ball when it comes to training, then, is vital.

Whether you set aside time in the workday for free online courses, hire external trainers or offer an incentive for employees to learn in their own time is up to you. But, it is important that you demonstrate a commitment to their improvement. As the more your employees grow in 2018, the better your business will grow as well; making this a must-have checklist component at the beginning of the year.

Set an End-of-Year Goal

Do you want to increase your revenue this year by a set goal? Hire two more employees? Or would you like to sit down and develop a brand new product? While your beginning of the year checklist can help to create a number of short-term goals, you should always have another bigger goal in mind.

We don’t always achieve our biggest goals. But, even missing the mark can be a good thing! You can evaluate why you didn’t meet your big goal in 2018, then put the necessary changes in place in order to do so in 2019 instead!

And there you have it! Five checks you need to tick at the beginning of the year as a business owner. In order to achieve business growth and further your success moving forward, you should always be evaluating your business, but especially at the beginning of the year. This is the perfect time to implement any necessary changes and set your priorities moving forward.

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By Alice Porter

Alice Porter is an employment professional and is a Tier 2 Visa specialist from Manchester. Her aim is to inform employers and business owners on business and employment standards in 2018. She works closely with international professionals who are seeking to work in the UK.


  1. This is such a useful list and I will definitely be taking some pointers from this as I should have done a checklist at the beginning of the year. Love the idea of having a big dream goal to complete this year and am going to work on that today, then tomorrow I am going to look at how I use social media! Thanks so much.

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  2. I agree with your way of thinking, in reality it is a very good plan to follow. Here the only difference or rather in what we get stuck is how to start and there we stay, we lack the decision to start and restructure our faults along the way, the important thing is to start.

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