In December of 2011, I listed five issues you should address with your accountant before January 1 (read article). These need to be reassessed (briefly listed below) on a yearly basis, regardless of the size of your business or how long you've been operating; and there's no better time to talk to your accountant than at the close of the year.

Five topics to address with your accountant before the end of the year:
Evaluate your business entity/tax-filing status
Assess your tax planning and projections
Get a check on your real costs
Understand, analyze and scrutinize your financial reports
Assess your accountant

Here are three additional end-of-year to-do's that will set the pace for your business in 2015.

Nail down your best client-generating strategies and know your retention numbers
Hopefully you've been tracking how you get new clients as well as how long you retain clients. You should be able to determine which marketing campaigns, advertising or social media strategies or referral programs are driving the most new clients to you. Focus on the top 3-5 strategies (or it may be more if you're a more established business) that work best and continue to automate these so you can then experiment with new ways to attract new clients.

Secondly, be sure you know your retention percentages and correlate how you attracted the client and how long they stay with you. For example, if referred clients generally stay with you longer than clients from a daily discount/promotion site (i.e. Groupon), focus more of your resources on referral programs since they tend to be the most loyal.

More importantly, if you're not tracking these numbers, start tracking now! Create a simple spreadsheet where you can track all new clients, where they came from and how long they stay with you.

Evaluate your programs and services
Take some time to evaluate your current programs, products and services. Hopefully you or your accountant have setup your accounting system to divide out all of your services, products, programs, etc. so you can easily run reports on what percentage of your business each represent (this is simply done for any size business in a system like Quickbooks). If a program or service makes up less than about 10% of your total revenue, unless it requires little to no energy or cost on your part, you may consider nixing it from your menu of services and focus that additional energy on a revenue stream that is one of your more profitable.

List out potential new revenue streams for 2015
A key to growing your business is to build your business to a point where you can have multiple streams of revenue. These additional streams of revenue need to make sense and align with your business. Different streams of revenue can include personal or group training, online programs, health coaching, selling products, commission for referring clients to massage therapists or nutritionists, corporate programs, body composition analyses... the options are endless.

Go into 2015 with a firmer grasp on your business and continue to fine-tune the systems you have in place. The more you are aware of the inner-workings of your business, the more confidence you™ll have and as you feel a greater confidence in your business, the possibilities for growth really are limitless. Good luck in 2015!


How much of your time would you estimate you spend growing your business?