In the wedding industry, winter is often referred to as “slow season” but if you’re a business owner, you know it’s anything but slow. Winter is the time of the year when we have to take care of all the back-end administrative tasks we don’t have a chance to do during busy wedding season. January is an especially busy time because it’s when we refresh our businesses and update everything for the new year. Here’s a checklist of just some of the tasks I recommend doing for a fresh start in the new year:
The Small Business Owner Slow Season To Do List:
• Box up/scan all 2018 receipts + create a new box for 2019 receipts.
• Finish up/proofread 2018 bookkeeping records – make sure categories are accurate and no expenses have been missed.
• Record your Jan 1st odometer reading (& subtract your 1/1/17 reading to get your 2018 total miles driven). Finish up mileage records for 2018. Start a new log for 2019.
• Update website – change any copy that needs updating, change pricing/upload new package PDFs, add new “best of 2018” photos, remove any “less favorite” photos.
• Update photos on online storefronts such as The Knot, WeddingWire, Yelp, Google Maps, etc.
• Send images to your favorite vendors you worked with throughout the past year so they can cross-promote you during their booking season.
• Use this time to network and actually go on those coffee dates with industry peers that you didn’t have time for during “busy season”.
• Update contracts – add/modify any clauses that need changing, make sure all contact information is up to date. Create new contracts for any new offerings + delete any contracts for services you no longer offer. (Archive all old contracts just in case.)
• Update packages – consider raising your prices, adjust your package structure to accommodate any common requests/trends you’ve been seeing. Create new packages for any new offerings + archive any old offerings.
• Backup & create an organized archive for all past documents – past client galleries, past contracts, past invoices, obsolete templates, etc.
• Backup & delete all unused files from your phone.
• Delete any phone apps you infrequently use.
• Delete unused/temporary files from your computer (ex: CleanMyMac 3).
• Update/change passwords, especially for high-risk sites.
• Send out 1099-Misc forms to any contractor who earned $600+ from you in 2018. Due by Jan 31st to recipient, due end of Feb to IRS.
• Submit 2018 Q4 Estimated Taxes by Jan 15th.
• Remit 2018 Q4 Sales Taxes, if necessary by Jan 22nd.