Here we are again just past the October 15th deadline! It has amazed me the number of people who were still racing to make that deadline. As small business owners it is important to be using this time of the year for looking ahead to plans and projections for the New Year. Growth in any business challenges your skills as a business manager and your financial resources, putting you on a tight rope.

One step on that tight rope involves a comprehensive plan that clearly outlines where your business stands now (not last year), its assets, debts and the current and future profit opportunities for your business. Those profit opportunities often get you out further on the tight rope as your accounts receivable and inventory costs begin to increase. Or perhaps with service businesses, marketing costs increasing.

Projections are often behind schedule of the goals you set and take longer than you initially planned, putting stress on your finances as well as managing the balance between growth, collections, higher credit requirements as well as sales, pricing and your personal involvement and time spent in the business.

This is the time of the year to do some tax planning (not tax filing), like identifying the needs for business equipment (a good tax deduction) and purchasing and using it this year based on the taxable income of the business. To monitor the progress of your business and manage it accordingly, begin now to catch up on this years accounting and prepare a spending plan for next year. In order to make it to the other side of the tight rope, an accurate budget is key to determining how much spending you can safely afford.

Managing your resources is important to the growth and stability of your business. Plan now to come into the New Year with a handle on growth, instead of behind it. Keeping your balance requires persistence, stay on top of your finances, it will give you the an excellent screening device for setting and achieving your goals for profitability and growth in the coming year.