Unless you’re the Miami Marlins, nobody really plans to fail.
So, assuming you’re not a baseball team that tries to lose, you’re going to need some kind of map to make sure your small business stays on top of its success. And while you probably have less time to do that than you do to do stuff like shave, without at least a rough outline for the year, you may find some very important things pushed to the last minute.
Or, worse, forgotten.
Even though most of these dates aren’t hard and fast (except the tax deadlines), here’s a helpful calendar to keep your business on track for success in 2015.
2 - Start on your Q4 taxes from 2014: Since you’ll be sleeping until noon on the 1st anyway, wait until the second day to start putting this together.
5- Plan out conferences for the year: Take a look at industry publications and guides and see which ones will be beneficial/financially feasible/dare-we-say fun.
10 - Map out how you plan to achieve your New Year’s resolutions or annual goals: If applicable, sit down with employees to figure theirs out too.
15 - Get first quarterly tax payment in: Yeah, you have to pay 4 times a year now. WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF SMALL BUSINESS!
20 - Start planning Valentine’s Day promotions: Also, start planning your own Valentine’s Day. The consequences of slacking there might be worse.
25: Send out W2s (or 1099s) to employees/contractors: This really should be done earlier but the latest is the end of the month.
1 - Start promoting Valentine’s Day specials.
5 - Start getting together business taxes: Never too early to start on this barrel of fun.
14 - Make President’s Day Schedule: if you’re giving anyone President’s Day off.
5 - Spring cleaning: It sounds cliché but chances are you haven’t organized/cleaned out your workspaces since last year. Clean out the whole business and give employees time to clean out their personal spaces.
10 - Clean your books: In addition to physical cleaning, take the middle of the month to review what unneeded costs you’re amassing and cut them.
15 - Start putting together Q1 taxes: Noticing a theme here?
30 - Have Q1 taxes complete: Saving taxes for the last minute makes final exams look easy.
1 - Play a joke on your employees: But don’t make it too obvious. And pretending to lay everyone off isn’t funny.
10 - Look at your Q1 goals: Did you accomplish what you’d set out? Was it realistic or too easy? Adjust accordingly and set goals for Q2.
11 - Set Q2 Goals: And set this same deadline for your employees.
15 - File taxes for Q1: Or maybe do it even earlier. The IRS has no penalty for that.
1 - Plan your Memorial Day promotions/events: If you’re a bar or restaurant, figure out how you’ll get people in. If you’re a business that can close on Memorial Day, give people the day off.
8 - Take a Day off: Seriously. You need to schedule these things. Find someone who can watch the fort for a day and take a 3-day weekend.
11 - Start putting together Q2 Taxes: IT NEVER ENDS!!
15 - Start scheduling employee reviews: You can do these all year, but start lining them up for June so you’re halfway through the year and employees have the summer to work on goals.
20 - Put together summer schedule: Hopefully your employees know what they’re doing for summer. Start scheduling the whole peak vacation time now to avoid shortfalls.
25 - Have a Memorial Day Event: That thing you planned on the 1st? Do it now.
1 - Plan for summer slowdown: Not sure how to do it? Here are some tips.
2 - Start Employee Reviews: Based on their summer schedules, start talking one on one with employees about how to continue their success and/or improve.
15 - Get Q2 Taxes in: Earlier if possible.
16 - Start planning July 4 promotions: Here are some ideas if you don’t have any.
20 - Review first half budget: Did you successfully stay within your budget?
22 - Examine your insurance broker: Are you happy with who brokers your company’s insurance and benefits? If not, start shopping for a new one now and have in place by July.
25: Promote Your July 4: People start planning early, so should you.
30 - Have Q2 taxes complete.
4 - July 4 Promotions: Or, if you can afford to be closed, give everyone a day off.
15 - Review Q2 goals: Again, assess to see if you need to adjust your budget or recalibrate what you’ve done. Set goals for Q3.
20: Plan new products for fall: Some of the upside of the summer slowdown is the ability to plan new stuff for fall. Take this typically-slow time to do that.
25 - Start planning Back to School promotions: Kids won’t like it, but your bottom line will. Here are some tips.
1 - Shop insurance companies: Find which company is going to give the best deal for your company. But try not to switch every year or you’ll look like the insurance equivalent of a job hopper.
5 - Promote Back to School specials: Two weeks until school starts!
15 - Start putting together Q3 taxes: Didn’t we just pay these guys?
20 - Map out your budget for Fall: Things are going to start getting hectic again real soon. Get your financial ducks in a row now.
25: Plan Labor Day specials: It’s the last stand of Summer. What can you do to get people in the door?
1 - Have Q3 taxes complete.
7 - Labor Day: Take the day off if you can.
10 - Start tweaking your insurance plan for next year: It can take a few weeks to figure out exactly what’s best to offer your employees. So start doing it now.
15 - Q3 taxes due.
20 - Start planning year-end taxes: This includes payroll and other tax-related issues you need to close up for your employees.
25 - Plan Halloween promotions: It starts earlier every year. Here are some ideas.
1 - Start Halloween Promotions: Or just give out candy. People will never mind when you hand out candy.
10 - Assess Q3 Goals: Recalibrate and set goals for Q4.
15 - Submit taxes if you’ve filed for an extension: Remember back in April when it seemed like 6 months was forever? It’s not.
20 - Start planning holiday promotions: You already saw a Santa display at the grocery store. Now it’s your turn.
25 - Start scheduling for the holidays: Get everyone’s holiday travel plans NOW. If you’re expecting a rush, start recruiting temporary workers. If it’s a slowdown, figure out who to schedule when.
1 - Benefits info session: With open enrollment right around the corner, take time to educate your employees about their benefits options.
5 - Begin your holiday promotions: This can be Thanksgiving or Christmas. But you’re probably best to do both. You’ll be doing this in July soon.
10 - Open enrollment: This is not a hard and fast date, but consult with your benefits providers and find the best period in November for open enrollment.
15 - Start putting together Q4 taxes: You’ve got Thanksgiving to try and forget about it.
26 – Thanksgiving.
1- Start processing benefits: This shouldn’t take all month but your goal should be to have everyone set up with new cards by Jan 1.
5- Set goals and budget for 2016: Give your employees two weeks to get their 2016 goals together.
15 - Assess employee 2015 goals: Give bonuses accordingly.
20 - Have Q4 taxes ready: Because nothing ruins Christmas more than spending it with your accountant.
30 - Asses Q4 and annual goals/budget: How’d this year go? Do you need more money for next year? Planning an expansion? Have a new idea? BFS can help you!