Essential 50-Point Checklist for Product-based Businesses to Close the Year Successfully

Essential 50-Point Checklist for Product-based Businesses to Close the Year Successfully

As the year comes to a close, it's a great time to reflect on your product-based business and set the stage for a successful new year.

Here's a helpful 50-point checklist to guide you through the process. The list can feel a bit long, so I recommend carving out 30-minute work sessions to tackle any of these items.

And while I can't do the 50 plus items listed below, I can help you get on track to inject profit into your fashion and sewn goods business. Get my free 24-minute video training when you follow this link.

Items in the checklist are all essential, but not all are urgent.

Focus your attention on time sensitive and needle moving activities such as inventory counting, tax preparation and thanking team members and customers.

Marketing collateral and website review can be scheduled for your second phase of end of year wrap up.

Remember, each business is unique, so adapt these tips to fit your specific needs. 

Mission and Vision

Reflect on the Year

Conduct a team review session to gather insights from your team members to gain different perspectives on the year. Ensure that everyone feels they have an equal voice in the discussion.

Use group discussion techniques the limit interruption and encourage active and mindful listening.

A simple brainstorm that includes identifying the top 10 projects on the year and getting feedback on what worked and what needed work is a great way to kick this off.

Be sure to celebrate your team’s achievements too! Reward team members for their hard work and dedication to growing your business alongside you. 

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Set Next Year’s Goals

Use the SMART Criteria to set new year goals. Ensure goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Create team alignment and buy-in when you ask for input and then clearly communicate the agreed upon goals. Put these in writing on a white board that’s centrally located. Mark progress monthly or quarterly!

For team activation, break larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks for better execution. 


Review expenses to identify areas where costs can be optimized.

Revisit cash flow projections based on the current year’s data.

For tax prep, close your books and schedule a meeting as necessary with your accountant. If you’re not already using digital filing and data collection tools, consider an app to serve this important end of year function. 

Customer Experience

Spend time reviewing customer review, queries, issues and praise.

Break down these categories and attempt to pinpoint the why and what’s next for each category.

For positive outcomes, use these reviews in marketing and social media.

For improvement opportunities, work with your team to plan ways to tighten up the customer experience to delight with every sale and interaction.

Consider sending a customer survey to a subset of customers for specific feedback. Offer a benefit for their participation in a survey of no more than 10 questions and 5 minutes of time.

If not already operational, consider a customer loyalty program that incentives customers to:

  • Share content
  • Set up a gift registry
  • Join birthday bonus program
  • Submit a review 


Make a physical inventory count for tax and operations purposes.

Take it a step further and categorize inventory into A, B, and C groups based on sales velocity. Consider eliminating groups B and C, or at least C to streamline your operations. Evaluate the competitive landscape as well to see what is trending with consumers and follow competitors’ moves.

Take a look at sales to forecast production and inventory needs. Place vendor and factory orders based on this data.

Run promotions for any excess and slow-moving inventory. 

Review Sustainability Initiatives and Circularity

Plan new products with a strong environmental impact assessment. Ensure that products meet design, production and second use criteria that aligns with your brand’s values.

Share these values with customers in marketing materials, on social channels, and in product pages.

Continue developing your supply chain with sustainability-minded partners.

Advance your diversification to offset risk by identifying additional or replacement vendors for raw materials, packaging, transportation and other operational services.

Offset inventory risk, by testing new products with a sub-set of customers.

Set up an early adopter product review team to gather feedback on product use, benefits, and potential lifecycle.

Sales and Marketing

Update Marketing Materials

Refresh marketing materials with updated, but brand relevant colors, fonts, images. Consider a seasonal marketing calendar that rotates a brand accent color or theme for each quarter.

Update blog posts, social posts and product pages with optimized keywords.

Develop a networking strategy for business development and partnership opportunities. Remember that showing up is 90% of the work.

Website and E-commerce Check

Make sure that product pages are working for you and test mobile optimization for website too.

Conduct a security audit for fraud risk.

Ensure that your checkout workflow is easy for customers.

Social Media Review

Plan engaging and varied content ahead of time for consistency.

Interact with your audience through comments, polls, and contests.

Evaluate the performance of past social media campaigns to inform future strategies.

Review return policies for accuracy and fairness to both YOU and your customers.

Review and adjust your product prices to reflect cost of living adjustments and any increases that you have experiences in your supply chain.

Be transparent about these changes and communicate them to customers via email, on social channels and on your website. A nice place to put them is in FAQs under a ‘When and Why Do Our Prices Change?’

Team Effort

Conduct team performance reviews to ensure that the company is moving in the same direction as stated goals. Identify room for improvement and collaboratively make a growth plan.

Celebrate team member’s contribution through compensation and benefits. 


Read and file city and state mandated regulations related to people, product, and any other items of note.

Conduct a documentation audit to ensure all legal documents are up-to-date and accessible either digitally or in hard-copy format.

Celebrating success is not just a conclusion; it's an ongoing process that fosters a positive and motivated work environment. By acknowledging and celebrating achievements, you're setting the stage for continued growth and prosperity in the new year!

Get the Checklist

Click to download my 50-point end of year closing checklist in PDF format.

Photo of bath products on a table top featuring 50 point checklist of end of year


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