All ready to wind down for the festive season? Not quite yet! Rather than getting ready to hibernate over the next few weeks, you should actually be pretty ready right now making sure your business is ready to hit the ground running once the new year is here.

Even though you might think your company will be able to smoothly transition into next year, there is actually plenty that you can do to ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible. After all, there are lots of trends that you might need to quickly get on board with.

So, ready to get your company 2018-ready? Read on to find out exactly everything you need to do!

Get your taxes in order

Once we’re in 2018, it won’t be long before it’s time to do your annual taxes, so now is a good time to get all your books and paperwork in order. Otherwise, you will find that you are hugely stressed out trying to rush around and get everything ready in the immediate run up to filing your taxes. Now is the best time to check in with your accountant to see if there is anything else that they might need from you to sort out all your bookkeeping in time. You will also have time to find all of your receipts so that you don’t miss any expenses that you could claim.

Sort out your data

As well as reviewing all of your accounting paperwork, you should take a look at your online data and digital files as well. It’s important that you regularly take a look through all your data as it can quickly build up and clutter your online servers and hard drives. Ideally, you should be reviewing this once a year. As you check each file to see if you need it or not, it’s also a good idea to double check your digital contracts and vendor agreements to ensure that they are still valid and current.

Consider your goals

When was the last time you thought about your business’s goals and annual targets? If you haven’t thought about them for a few years, now is a good time to take a look at them and review them. You should think whether or not your goals are still aligned with where your business is currently at and where it looks set to be in the next couple of years. As a business grows and develops, it could outgrow its goals or they might start to appear a bit too unrealistic. So, sit down with your heads of department and see if there are any adjustments that need to be made to your company’s goals.

Review your SEO

With a new year also comes new reasons to review your website’s SEO as well. After all, there are always some new trends that will affect the SEO of a particular year. It’s a good idea to speak to some search engine consultants to see if they are aware of any new trends or SEO practices that you will need to adhere to in 2018. There will also be some brand new strategies to focus on in 2018. For instance, long tail keywords look like they are going to have a bigger part to play in good SEO than ever before. It also looks like businesses are going to have to come up with ways their SEO can keep up with the new trend for voice searches.

Send out a festive greeting

Before the year is out, you should send out a quick festive greeting to all of your clients and customers. This isn’t something that you absolutely have to do, of course, but it’s just a nice little gesture that will put you in their good books. It’s nice to send a personal Christmas greeting to your clients, but when it comes to customers, you can send out a mass greeting in your newsletter. I’m sure that all of your clients and customers will really appreciate the sentiment and will be sure to return to your business in the new year!

Take an inventory

It’s important that you take an inventory at the end of the year, whether this is of all the products that you sell or the equipment and items that allow you to offer your services. That way, you will then know exactly what your company has to begin the new year with. It also gives you the chance to ensure that your stock numbers match up with the numbers you have on your records. You will also be able to look for any damaged items or out-of-date items that need to be replaced.

Update your online security

Hackers and computer viruses are getting more sophisticated with their means for getting into online systems and software. And that means you need to put in a lot of effort to ensure that your company’s computer network is suitable to withstand any security breaches and attacks. There are often new anti-virus and malware software released every year, so it’s worth looking into getting a new one for 2018 now. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your computer won’t lose any sensitive data and information from a potential attack!

Create a narrative for next year’s content

These days, a company’s content marketing needs to have a story behind it, as it is this story that keeps customers hooked. And this is going to become even more important in 2018 as narrative is set to be a huge trend in online marketing. So, when you are coming up with new advertising and online content strategies, think beyond a single piece of content or advert so that you can set up a bigger narrative that can take you through the year.

As you can see, there is a lot for you to do before the clocks strike midnight on New Year’s Eve. It’s time to get to work then and set your company up for a brilliant 2018!