Organization is one of the biggest factors affecting the success of your ecommerce business. The more organized you are, the more likely you are to get things done effectively and achieve success.
To help you get organized for the next year, we put together a checklist of the tasks you need to complete to be prepared for the year ahead.
Tasks to Finish Out the Year for Ecommerce Businesses
There are a number of tasks that, when completed, will ensure that you’re organized, ready for the next year, and know what your business goals for the next 12 months are. Let’s take a look at how to prepare your inventory, analytics, revenue goals, budget, and taxes for the year ahead.
Depending on the type of ecommerce business you’re running and whether you sell products or services, some of the items on the checklist may not apply.
- Do a physical inventory of your stock to determine quantities of every product.
- If an item is sold but hasn’t been shipped, don’t count it.
- If you’ve ordered new inventory that hasn’t yet arrived, do count it.
- Determine the value of your inventory.
- Reconcile your physical count of inventory with the amount shown by your system.
- Set goals for changing or modifying inventory management processes for the coming year. This may include:
- Upgrading to an inventory management solution because your operation has grown.
- Automating inventory reports, product listings, and other tasks to free-up time in the next year.
- Review the metrics you’ve been tracking for the past year and determine whether you need to need to make any changes.
- Set your goals for the coming year.
- Determine if there are additional metrics to track to achieve those goals.
- At the very least, you should be tracking Average Order Value (AOV), Repeat Customer Rate, Website Traffic, and Cart Abandonment Rate
- Determine the time frames you’ll use for tracking – daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
Prepare Tax Information
- Know all the applicable tax deadlines for the year.
- Organize and categorize receipts for business expenses.
- Make sure your accounting and bookkeeping is up-to-date.
- Submit 1099s to any contracted workers and to the IRS.
- Calculate deductions:
- Mileage deductions
- Home office deductions
- Phone and internet costs
- Web hosting fees
- Travel expenses
- Vehicle deductions
- Travel expenses
- Meal and entertainment deductions
- Any other deductions applicable to the business
- Prepare reports:
- Income report
- Expense report
- Balance sheet
- Profit and loss report
- Inventory valuation
- Total Cost of Goods (COG) for the year
- Sales tax report
- Payroll report
- Asset depreciation report
- Find the right accountant or tax preparer.
- File an extension, if it’s necessary.
Set Revenue Goals for the Year
- Calculate your goal for gross revenue including all revenue streams.
- Determine the individual revenue goals for each stream.
- Determine how you’ll support revenue goals with marketing strategies.
- Choose the metrics that will help you improve where needed.
Calculate Your Budget for the Year
- Approach your budget paying extra attention to on-going and new business needs so you have a strategic mindset.
- Identify goals for any new items or equipment to be purchased in the coming year.
- Prioritize spending in all areas/departments to help with the allocation of funds.
- Define a marketing budget for the year.
Start Your Next Year Strong
Preparing for the next year can be a time-consuming endeavor. However, when you have a plan – and a checklist – the task can be made much easier. Use the above checklist as a starting point. You know your business best, so you may want to eliminate some items on the list or add to it.
Whatever you do, stay organized, stay motivated, and stay on-task to close out the current year and get ready for the new one.