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End-of-Year To-Do List for Small Business Owners

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season cause you to forget about your business. Crossing these items off your to-do list before the end of the year will help you not only close out 2018 but also get off to a good start in 2019.

Accounting

  • Generate a complete financial report that includes a profit and loss report, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. If your profits are higher than expected, consider making some large purchases for which you can record depreciation. (Check with your accountant and review depreciation rules first.)
  • Reconcile accounts receivable. Review your list of unpaid invoices and payment owed for work already completed and try to collect on them by the end of the year.
  • Schedule a meeting with your accountant and/or tax preparer.

Administration

  • Evaluate last year’s goals and set new ones. Use the information to plan for the upcoming year, including financial goals, budgeting, and staffing, as well as updating your business plan.
  • Make a list of the year’s accomplishments (and don’t forget to share them with your employees!).
  • Conduct an inventory count and update your records if needed.

I.T.

  • Back up your data and contacts (and make sure your employees do the same).
  • Audit your website. Go through your site and click every link. It’s also a good idea to send yourself a message from the “contact us” form and call the 800 number to make sure it works.

Human Resources/Payroll

  • Decide if you’ll offer year-end or other bonuses to employees. Distributing them in December versus January has tax implications because it affects the profits you report.
  • Check payroll and verify benefits and 1099 information. Identify any issues or corrections that need to be made before the year’s end and look for fringe benefits you’ll need to report on your W-2s.

If 2019 is the year you want to start or grow your business, why not add “join NaperLaunch” to your to-do list? In addition to coworking space, mentoring, and access to the library’s business resources and technology, we also offer the NaperLaunch Academy. The January 2019 cohort is forming now!

Posted: 
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 10:00am

Financial Wellness Series

Managing financial wellness can be a challenging do-it-yourself endeavor for many Americans. However, no one must do it all alone! Naperville Public Library’s upcoming financial wellness events provide the opportunity to learn from a financial expert about Social Security and Tax Planning. Dates, times and locations are listed below. No registration or library card is required to attend these programs.

  • Financial Wellness: Tax Strategies
    Date and Time: Wednesday, November 7th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
    Location: Nichols Library Community Room
    Presenter: Ray Kozicki from The Foundation for Financial Education
  • Financial Wellness: Advanced Social Security Planning
    Date and Time: Wednesday, November 14th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
    Location: Nichols Library Community Room
    Presenter: Ray Kozicki from The Foundation for Financial Education

The Tax Strategies presentation will review activities that make it easier to maximize the benefits of recent tax law changes. Financial planner, Ray Kozicki, will also address creating tax-advantaged streams of income.

Attend the second session to learn about Social Security planning. Learn how to calculate potential benefits and what the impact of Cost-of-Living adjustments could be to those benefits.

Ray Kozicki volunteers his time with The Foundation for Financial Education to help increase communal and organizational financial literacy. Read more about Ray on the Foundation’s website. The Foundation for Financial Education is a national non-profit organization that provides free financial education to the public.

Posted: 
Monday, October 29, 2018 - 2:30pm

Update Your Skills with Lynda.com

Naperville Public Library provides access to many digital resources, but a key one to update and learn new skills is Lynda.com. Lynda.com is an online learning platform that contains thousands of streaming videos that can help anyone learn business software, technology and creative skills.

Access is free for Naperville Public Library cardholders and easy to use. Just log in with a library card number/username and PIN.

After signing in users can search for specific applications such as MS Excel, MS Word or browse through a broad collection of videos using the menu. Access the Business collections by going to Library > Business > and choose a topic.

lynda example 1

The available business skills courses include learning how to sell into specific industries, how to use a business coach and how to consult other businesses. There are over 500 courses in the Business Skills category alone!

lynda example 2

Lynda.com offers transcripts of all videos, downloading for offline access, and access via downloadable apps on all of the major platforms – check it out today!

Posted: 
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 12:15pm

Take Advantage of the Small Business Resource Center

Whether starting a new venture or growing a current business, entrepreneurs need access to information and planning tools to help them achieve their goals. Small Business Resource Center covers the major areas of starting and operating a business, including planning, financing, accounting, taxes, management, human resources and marketing.

This online resource brings together hundreds of sample business plans and the content of 300 small business journals. The content now also includes a wide range of other media and sources:

  • Audio—Listen to or download podcasts and radio shows.
  • Video—Watch videos from CriticalMention, Inc., Press, Inc. and other providers.
  • News—Find content from over 120 local newspapers.
  • Directories—Locate listings for thousands of trade associations, consulting organizations, trade shows, etc.
  • Glossary—Define key business-specific terms for quick reference.
  • EBooks—Browse thousands of topical overviews from over 80 small business reference eBooks from Gale, Wiley, and other publishers.
  • Websites—Access vetted, authoritative and topically relevant links from outside sources.
  • Legal forms—Link directly to small business forms available through Gale LegalForms.

Small Business Resource Center is a comprehensive and useful source for entrepreneurs. You can access it here.

Posted: 
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 9:45am

NaperLaunch Entrepreneurs Week 2018

The fall season at NaperLaunch is a time to celebrate entrepreneurship! The fifth annual Entrepreneurs Week will come a little earlier this year -- September 25-27.

The program offerings at this year’s E-Week will also expand in scope to include guidance for not-for-profit organizations and franchising. NFPO’s have always been entrepreneurial in nature and what could be more entrepreneurial than franchising? As always, E-Week will offer some marketing guidance and insights for all entrepreneurs. Three evening programs are planned and open to the public.

To start the celebration, E-Week kicks off on Tuesday night with a Women Founders Night. Three successful women founders who have started three distinct enterprises will talk about their experiences and insights gained when they started up a new franchise, a for-profit business from scratch and a not-for profit organization. All three have overcome challenges to make their enterprises thrive and in their own way each has impacted the local community for good.

All startups and experienced entrepreneurs will want to enhance their marketing plans and strategies. The Wednesday program will highlight using video in a promotional campaign. Three experienced marketers will identify specific ways to economically create and use video.

For those considering starting up or wanting to improve their already started NFPO, don’t miss Thursday night’s program presented by Wayne Schreiner. He will address the ins and outs of organization structure and set up. There are legal issues to be addressed and Wayne will give a good summary of how to prepare and improve a new NFPO structure to have the greatest impact on the mission.

The full slate of events and speaker bios are available on the NaperLaunch website.

Join us in September!

Posted: 
Monday, August 27, 2018 - 5:15pm