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#4 Important Things to Add to Your End-of-the-Year Checklist This is the best time to ascertain your startup's position in the market

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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End-of-the-years are special to all for more reasons than one. For entrepreneurs, it is the time to sit back and reminisce the year that was, reviewing their business growth and operations before setting fresh goals for the next year.

Setting budget for the business and making tax planning for the new year are some of the things entrepreneurs mainly focus on.

Entrepreneur India has drawn up a must-do list for business founders before 2017 ends. Startups must follow the list to welcome the next year in the best of spirits as it will ensure growth and prosperity.

1. Business Planning for the New Year

For Deepak Baid, Founder and COO of ZAPR Media Labs, year-end is the time when his company dives deep into an extensive business planning across all verticals, involving all the teams.

"We reflect on our performance over the last few quarters and plan out specifics around the technology roadmap, revenue targets, business verticals, marketing plans and team headcount planning. We take a lot of effort in abiding by tax, regulatory and statutory compliance requirements as we believe that this helps build a strong foundation for a small startup, looking to scale at an accelerated pace," said Baid.

2. Writing Down Your Goals

With winters setting in and Christmas cheers in the air, productivity in the later part of December always remains low and slow in terms of productivity.

It gives everyone an opportunity to look at the passing year in the rearview mirror and plan for the coming 365 days.

Gagan Vermani, Founder & CEO of MYSUN, said for a startup it is a crucial period as it is the time when the first stones of a bridge that is being planned are laid.

He advised entrepreneurs to write down goals —as a company and an individual — on a paper, because it helps.

"Being a festive time, it is a good time to get in touch with your customers and take a feedback on your services or simply ensure that they remember you in their celebrations. It goes a long way in ensuring a positive recall for the brand. If you are a reasonable sized startup, a get together to bond with your team should also be on the cards. Work is slow, the weather is good, it sure calls for a collective, quality time to ensure all hands are on the table and working in the same direction," he stressed.

Vermani also emphasized that this is a great time to refresh relationships and set sail with a positive frame of mind.

3. Prepare End-of-Year Performance Review

According to Jimeet Modi, Founder & CEO, Samco Securities, the year is a great opportunity for startups to review the year that just passed and plan for the forthcoming year.

"The end of the year could be a great time to write a newsletter to customers, highlighting key achievements of the past year and also giving guidance and quick insights to customers on upcoming products, services, offers, etc for the new year. It may also be a great time for startups to review their books and compare actuals v/s beginning of the year estimates," said Modi.

4. Define Strategic and Business Priorities Separately

Startups operate at an exceptionally fast pace to capture every opportunity that exists in their domain. It is therefore very important before the year ends to define strategic goals and business priorities that will define the sustainable growth of your business

Tarun Joshi, President and CEO of Interflora India opined that it should be a top priority of the senior management at every startup to look back and plan their efforts for the upcoming year.

"It is that time of the year when every startup should reinforce its achievements and brand for its employees, shareholders, customers and business partners. This could be done by personal phone calls and by sending exclusive personalized gifts for your stakeholders. These softer initiatives deliver long-term benefits to every startup," he added.

Towards the end of the year, all employees are busy finishing their deadlines especially in startups, where efficient systems are always lagging the growth in the business. Joshi added that it is a very good time for all startups to initiate a more systematic 52-week calendar-based approach, which should define the goals for the next week or quarter.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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