As the year draws to a close it’s only natural to daydream about your holiday plans and goals for the new year.

But before jumping ahead to plan your next 52 weeks of hustle, there are a few key tasks that you should consider to tie up loose ends and get your business ready for the year ahead.


Get your finances in order

Audit your expenses

Did you buy a few things that you thought you’d use later this year? If ‘someday’ never came an audit of your expenses is definitely in order. Begin by taking a close look at your monthly and annual expenses or subscriptions for your business to identify if you still need them. Conducting a detailed audit can help you figure out if you’re overspending, confirm if an expense is still required and when to eliminate it if it’s not.

Resource: To stay on top of your expenses year round, check out Wave. This free accounting software is designed for solopreneurs, side hustlers and small business owners and can help you virtually keep track of your expenses and cash flow with ease.

Get a head start on tax time

Although April is a few months away, the end of the year is a great time to start organizing your receipts and tallying your business income and expenses. Remember that even if you’re a side hustler, you’re not exempt from reporting your earnings so getting a head start will help you avoid searching for receipts or figuring out what to expense before the deadline. If you consult a financial professional to get your taxes complete, right about now is a great time to book your tax appointment in their calendar as it tends to get busy in the first three months of the year.

Resource: Curious about how to report your income and what included an off limits for business expenses? If you’re a Canadian Side Hustler, check out the Shannon Lee Simmons New School of Finance which provides informative e-courses to get financially fit as a side hustler and solopreneur.

If you’re based in the US, Carrie Smith of Careful Cents has a great tax checklist for freelancers or check out this post from Kali Hawlk.

Review your Income

When you look at the projects that generated income for you this year and also the ones that didn’t, how do you feel? Money can be an emotionally charged subject so it’s normal to feel uncomfortable or disheartened if you didn’t reach your targets, but it’s something that you can’t ignore if you want to grow your business.

If you didn’t meet your money goals this year, take a moment to audit your actions and routines this year to see what you can do differently. In addition to this step, identify the other ways that you were ‘paid’. I recently learned an amazing tip from fellow side hustler Jahmeelah Gamble that payments can also be provided in the format of blessings and opportunity. Think through your year and think how you’ve also received payment in these forms.

Resource: If you want to break through your blocks about money check out Denise Duffield-Thomas of and Money A Love Story by Kate Northrup.

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Nurture Your Relationships

Check-in with past clients

Nurture your client relationships by checking in with past clients to see how they’re doing and how you can provide value. If you hosted event or offered products this year, create a thank you note to express your gratitude to your community for their support or to wish them a happy holiday.

Resource: For more tips on how to deliver kick-ass customer service, check out Delight: The Digital Biz Owner’s Guide To Creating A Pro Client + Customer Service Plan by


Follow up with your maybe’s

Do you have some folks that were on the fence about working with you this year or projects that didn’t pan out? Circle back to check in. You never know if that individual may need assistance and perhaps you can help!

Resource: Not sure how you can follow up with an old prospect, check out this article that shares a few tips on how to re-engage in conversation.


Self Reflection

Conduct a year in review

It’s tempting to skip over reflection and admin tasks but success always leaves clues. The things that you’ve done or perhaps didn’t do this year can help guide your goals, intentions and routines in the upcoming year. A few questions to consider:

  • What worked for you this year?
  • What are proud of?
  • What do you want to start and stop doing next year?
  • Where were your biggest lessons learned?

Resource: Download our free checklist which also contains a section to complete your year-end reflection.



Plan your future


Set your intention and create your new year goals

What is your big vision for the upcoming year? How do you want to feel and what are you prepared to do to tackle action? Identify how you’ll hustle with intention in the upcoming year by spending time reflecting on your goals. Resource: Check out the replay for our Hustle with Intention Webinar that outlines how to create a plan for your year

Plan your vacations

Don’t get so caught up in biz plans that you neglect how you’ll rest and unwind. Review how much time you allocated to self-care this year and how can you step it up if needed. Remember when you pull double duty as a employee and entrepreneur taking care of your health needs to be a priority so think about planning some time off next year and don’t treat it as an afterthought. Resource: To make vacation planning an experience, check out Bruce Poon Tip’s awesome new book Do Big Small Things. It’s a creative workbook to create your personal travel bucket lists.  


How are you getting ready for the new year? Share your strategies below in the comments and download our checklist to help you stay on track as you complete the 8 tasks shared in this post.



Founder + CEO at Secrets of a Side Hustler
Chivon John wants to live in a world where individuals feel empowered to create their own opportunities instead of waiting for them. In 2014 she founded the Secrets of a Side Hustler community to inspire, educate and connect individuals who have or want to start a business in addition to their full time employment. You can connect with her at @chivonjohn