Year End Business Planning – 5 Things to Consider

The end of the year is rapidly coming at us, so lets look at laundry list of items business owners might consider:

  1. Tax planning – Timing of cash flows is the most underutilized tax planning tool. Deferring income to 2011, or for that matter accelerating income to 2010 is may save you a considerable amount of taxes in 2010. Accelerate deductions by paying items just before year end. Remember, most of you are on a cash basis for tax purposes, so plan accordingly.
  2. Can you save money by moving some of your functions to the Click here “clouds”? What are you running on your servers? Is is cheaper to move that email function to the clouds? What about online storage? How much money can you save using the cloud and not a server? By the way, its probably not a bad idea to see how much money you can save outsourcing or re-biding your IT function. You’d be surprised how cheap these fees have become in the last couple of years.
  3. Can you save money by moving to free work tools? I’m typing this article on Open Office’s document writing tool. Its every bit as good as Word, but its free! Those of you looking to expand may consider foregoing the additional Microsoft license fees and use something like OpenOffice.
  4. Evaluate your data storage and recovery system. Until recently most data storage consisted of putting files in boxes and the boxes in off-site storage. Scanning those docs, or better yet, printing them in pdf format to begin with, is a great way to save money by eliminating that off-site storage site. There are many online storage sites with great pricing and functions. The hidden benefit of online storage is the use of the data by workers, at someone where other than your office.
  5. Safety and Disaster Plans. This overlaps the data storage issue. How soon can you operate after a disaster? We learned after 9/11 that we were not prepared to operate in the face of our nation’s aviation fleet being grounded. This spurred many companies to turn to scanning documents must faster than they otherwise would have, just so documents can be transmitted by email or file sharing. Do you have a fire evacuation plan? How about something as simple as a first aid kit? Do your employees know how to give directions to your office? (You’d be surprised how many youngsters are directionally challenged).

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