Monday Challenge: End of Year Planning

Welcome to the final Monday Challenge of the year. Five more work days ahead for 2016, then this chapter is done and we collectively move into 2017.

What to do? Just like Santa, make some lists and check them twice.

List One: Do you have the opportunity to invest in your work life for 2016 tax deductions? Equipment, training, books, you name it. Certain items purchased before the end of the year can have a dramatic tax benefit. Have some holiday cash and considering a new laptop or phone? Do it now, not next week!

In the meantime check out some more info on legal deductions for salespeople, which has tips that apply to every level of our industry.

Note: Are you giving any thank you gifts to your customers this week? Be sure to give them to the company, and not just an individual, and keep all of your receipts and label them “corporate gift.” See the link above to learn why.

Note: even if you are a bartender or server, keep in mind that all the books you buy in relation to your profession are part of a professional library and are deductible. Did you take a wine class? That’s deductible too. Ask your tax preparer about deductions for all sorts of work related expenses (those pens and dry cleaning bills add up).

Very important: The cost of a good tax preparer almost always pays for itself in more deductions. Hiring a good tax preparer is what professionals do, and we are all professionals that read this.

List Two: If you are a wine sales rep, make sure you know your end of year numbers. Are you hitting all the goals that were set up for you? Is there one brand where one little push will put you over a goal? Are you getting all the bonuses you deserve?

If you are a retailer or restaurant, how is the year wrapping up and what is your plan for driving traffic in the next six days? Do you have all of your Facebook posts ready to roll? Do you have displays and silent salespeople (i.e. sell cards or shelf talkers) themed for the week? Does your staff know your go-to sparkling wines in all price categories for the New Years?

List Three: Who are you saying thank you to for your success in 2016? Who are you meeting face to face during the week to shake hands and let them know it would have been impossible without them? Note: this has less to do with dollars and sales and more to do with recognizing those that emotionally helped you over the year. The dollars are important (thank them too!) but don’t forget the little accounts that added up.

List Four: Not really a list, but more of a note taking exercise ahead of next week. Start thinking about 2017 and a few key goals you want to hit. Remember that goals are quantifiable, so it must be measurable. Jot things down as you think about them, and we’ll work on that list after the New Year.


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