Your year end report is a reflection of your company’s performance over the last 12 months and gives a picture to potential investors, partners and clients of where you stand and where you’re headed. Naturally, then, you want to show an upwards trajectory and end the year on a high, with the promise that the best is yet to come! Here are some tips and tricks for making the most of your 4th quarter and getting on track for end of year financial success…
1. Don’t Let Q4 Creep Up On You
Now’s the time to make a plan and set realistic goals and deadlines. What numbers are you trying to hit, and what is the best approach to achieving these specific targets? Make sure everyone on your team knows that they have a role to play in your year end financial stats, and set Q4 processes and procedures in place for dealing with last-minute deals, offers or orders so that everyone is handling end of year transactions in the same way. You can’t do everything, and you don’t want the end of the year to be a mad scramble, but there are opportunities to be seized if you approach it strategically.
2. Know Your Audience
Q4 means something to your suppliers, clients and customers, too. Buyers might be on the lookout for a deal, or keen to max out their yearly budget so that they don’t lose it in the coming year. Make yourself visible and accessible, with relevant and targeted offers and promotions, so that you are the obvious choice for these extra dollars! Similarly, suppliers might be keen to sign you up or renew a contract before the year ends, so be proactive about seeking out deals and comparing offerings that you can leverage to your advantage, for big savings in the months ahead.
3. Use The Holidays To Your Advantage
For most businesses, the financial year end coincides with the holidays, and this is a ready-made opportunity to connect and build on your relationships with customers and clients alike. Something as simple as a holiday greeting and personalized special offer can help to drive a little extra 4th quarter revenue, generate leads for the future, and keep you at the forefront of their minds as you tick over into a new financial year. Take advantage of promotional opportunities, or the fact that people are in a mood to celebrate!
4. Don’t Neglect Marketing
Many businesses will neglect marketing efforts in Q4 as they are busy evaluating the year’s efforts and performance, and planning ahead, which means that you have an opportunity to make some noise, build momentum and get that all-important competitive edge before the next financial year even starts! Use social media and promo videos to give a sneak peak at what you’ve got coming up in the new year, and to build anticipation, and leverage case studies and client testimonials that you have accumulated over the last 12 months to generate future business. Just make sure that your communications are strong, clear and relevant, and that you target customers and prospects appropriately.
5. Do Your Housekeeping
Finally, a vital key to 4th quarter success is to get your accounts in order and do your due diligence. Make sure that there are no errors or omissions and that everything is up to date. Review your cash flow, and your debt-to-income ratio, and shop around if you think you might be able to get a better deal on regular contracts, such as utilities. Be proactive about chasing down unpaid invoices so that your financial position looks as healthy as possible when it comes to your year end report.
Maximizing your 4th quarter is great for ending the financial year on a high, and for getting ahead as you move into next year’s Q1. But remember that the best way to avoid a 4th quarter panic, and to end the year in a healthy financial position, is to take a year-round approach to your budgeting, cash flow and marketing efforts so that it doesn’t all come down to a Q4 boost!