Small business financial planning for 2024

Small business financial planning for 2024

Meg Furey-Marquess
By Meg Furey-Marquess
Dec 6, 2023
1 min read

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from serving over 1,300 types of business owners it’s this: The sooner you can start your small business financial planning for next year, the better.

To get a jump on your to-do list for 2024, we’ve compiled a list of tasks to help you and your business get the most out of the next calendar year.

Our 7 financial planning tasks for small business owners include:

1. Create attainable goals for the year
2. Make a roadmap to scope out every goal
3. Add 2024 tax dates and deadlines to your calendar
4. Obtain or update your business insurance
5. Review your vendor contracts
6. Evaluate your staffing needs
7. Audit your equipment and inventory

1. Create attainable goals for the year

Take a bird’s eye financial view of your entire business. Identify goals that you feel confident you can achieve. The more specific, the better.

For example, many small business owners would like to grow their business. But your job here is to put specifics and numbers around that goal to make it actionable and attainable.

Look at your business’s past performance and its market potential to nail down some concrete numbers. Think how you can measure your success — by percentage, by number of sales or products, etc.

Your goals could look like, “Gain 15 more clients by June” or “Increase the number of subscribers by 5%.”

Learn more about creating a small business plan.

2. Make a roadmap to scope out every goal

Goal setting is all about planning the outcome you want to achieve. A roadmap spells out the actions or practices to help get you there.

Break each goal into smaller tasks. Identify what tools or resources and help you might need to complete each task. And create deadlines for every task. For example, if you want to improve your current tax prep process, break this goal into small parts.

1. Decide if you will file as a  sole proprietor, LLC, or corporation. Each designation has different tax implications for your business.
2. Research the tax dates and deadlines. Small businesses have different dates and deadlines than personal taxes.
3. Hire tax help, if needed. Sometimes it’s easier and more cost-effective to call a pro —  especially when it comes to taxes.

3. Add 2024 tax dates and deadlines to your calendar

Track major tax dates to make sure you set aside money to pay your business taxes and to complete your taxes on time. The IRS publishes its business tax deadlines every year. Be sure to find tax dates for your state as well, and add both to your calendar.

These are the tax deadlines that will affect most small business filers, including LLCs and partnerships and corporations:

January 15, 2024 – 4th quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due

January 31, 2024 – Employers send W2 forms to employees

January 31, 2024 – Some 1099 forms

March 15, 2024 – Taxes due for partnerships, multi-member LLCs, and S-corporations

April 15, 2024 – Taxes due for C-corporations

September 16, 2024 – Deadline for extended partnership and S-corporation returns

October 15, 2024 – Deadline for extended C-corporation returns

January 15, 2025 – 4th quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due

Learn more about small business taxes for beginners.

4. Obtain or update your business insurance

Business insurance can protect you and your business from an unexpected loss after an accident or mistake involving your business, employees or customers.

The end of the year is a great time to make sure you have the right coverage. If your business has changed, you might need to make some adjustments. For example, if you hired an employee, your state may require you to update your workers’ comp insurance.

Small business insurance can cover a variety of incidents and situations, including:

If you already carry insurance for your small business, the end of the year is a great time to make policy updates and check in on your coverage.

5. Review your vendor contracts

As your business changes year to year, so will your relationships with your vendors. The end of the year is a great time to review your inventory and vendor relationships.

Start by listing your current vendors and reviewing each agreement. Review your deliverables and costs, and try to close out open payments.

Ask yourself: Does the scope of work still make sense for your business? If not, negotiate a plan that works with the state of your current business model. And decide if it makes sense for your business to continue the relationship.

6. Evaluate your staffing needs

Financial planning for small business owners can mean increasing or decreasing staff. Should you add to your team for growth? Or cut jobs to allocate resources elsewhere? To help you budget for the year, take your staffing needs into account as you plan.

Learn how to make training new hires efficient.

7. Audit your equipment and inventory

Depending on your line of work, end-of-year is a great time to examine your office equipment, manufacturing facility, commercial kitchen or whatever is part of your production and workflow as a business.

Ask yourself and your team what you need and what you don’t. And don’t just limit it to equipment and machinery. Think about software and office supplies, too. Look to see what’s in good working order, what will need to be replaced and what it costs to keep everything running as-is.

If you know what you have and what you’ll need, you can better plan for your business’s financial future.

How NEXT helps small businesses grow

NEXT helps small businesses in 1,300 professions get the insurance coverage they need. We make business insurance easy with 24/7 access to your policy via the web and app to help you manage your coverage.

Start a quote, customize your options, and access your certificate of insurance online — all in about 10 minutes.

Start a free quote with NEXT today.

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Meg Furey-Marquess
About the author

Meg Furey-Marquess is an experienced writer from Austin, Texas. With a special interest in both small business and personal finance, she believes that big ideas often start small. With a knack for narrative and a relentlessly curious nature, her goal is to amplify the “little guys.”

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