End of Year Checklist for Businesses

As the end of the year approaches, every small business has things they need to do to prepare for the upcoming year. Review your business’s activity and begin strategizing on potential changes that could help further drive your business’s success. This process may seem overwhelming, so here are five things to start with when compiling an end of year checklist!

Finances

Towards the end of the year is the perfect time to review your business’s finances. For instance, completing a profit and loss statement, balance sheet or cash flow statement. These documents help pull together the big picture of a business’s financial fitness. With this financial information, you can assess which times of the year your business performed the best and worst. Knowing this can help when strategizing next year’s goals for each quarter.

Employees

While revenue plays a significant role in business, it’s also important to reflect on your team and how they’re doing. This could be a good time to provide employees with feedback, as well as ask for any in return. Getting employee input on processes or projects may bring up ways to increase efficiency. Also, remember to audit personal employee information, as it is important to ensure this general information is always up to date.

Marketing 

Now is also a good time to review marketing efforts and impacts from the past year. Reflecting on past actions can help strategize and prioritize the best marketing efforts that can produce the biggest return on investment. For example, your business’s online presence is crucial. Ensure that your website and social media efforts are working the way you need them too. If they aren’t, then this is an opportunity to think about how to improve these channels and implement any changes. 

Achievements

Although taking note of administrative information is important for annual planning, it is also important to reflect on past wins and achievements. Celebrate and share these successes with your employees and customers. This could be a great way to end the year on a high note and get excited about your company’s future and goals. 

General Housekeeping

This could be a great time to make sure all the little things are in order. Conducting an audit over digital data could be a great start. This can mean filing information to ensure everything is organized or even backing up data. Additionally, conducting a physical inventory could provide insight on which products sell and which don’t. General housekeeping can offer a fresh start when the new year begins.

Along with completing an end-of-year checklist for your business, remember to also check in with your OKFB agent and review your Commercial Insurance policy. Many changes and updates can happen in a year, and as your partners in business, we want to help ensure you’re covered. Check out our Businessowners Insurance policy, specifically tailored for small businesses, as well as our commercial policies to ensure your business is protected.

Prepare the Farm & Ranch for Winter

As the temperature starts to drop this fall, it is a good time to begin preparing your farm or ranch for the winter. Along with taking care of the land and animals, it’s also important to ensure you’re ready to brave the colder temperatures and continue your important work. To help, here’s a guide to help you prepare your farm or ranch for winter!

Grounds

One top way to prepare your farm or ranch for winter is to build, repair or replace feeders, fences or anything that may take some time. Doing this now in the fall can help you avoid spending long hours in the cold later on. If livestock or crops will be in your barn or shelter during the cold winter months, now may be a good time to clean it out and prepare it. 

Equipment

Storing any equipment and tools that aren’t going to be used in the winter months is a good first step. Make room for machinery as well, especially if your farm or ranch is in an area prone to snow. Since these items are stored away and aren’t being used as often, schedule time to do maintenance to help ensure it stays in good working condition while it sits.

Animal Needs

Along with preparing the grounds for livestock, it’s important to have sufficient food and a large enough shelter for them all. Animals typically need extra food and water to maintain a healthy body temperature during cold days. Be sure to monitor needs of new mothers and babies going into the winter months. You may want to schedule time for a large-animal vet to provide check-ups and evaluate the overall health of the herd before moving them together into tighter confines. 

Work Conditions

Without the right precautions, working long hours in the cold could be detrimental to your well-being. Remember to take indoor breaks and regularly check your body as well as your employees for signs of cold stress. Before working outside or during an indoor break, drink or eat a warm and sweet snack. This can help re-energize the body and keep you from experiencing any issues associated with cold stress.

Workwear

In preparing your farm or ranch, it’s important to prepare yourself as well. Occupational  Safety and Health Administration recommends wearing at least three layers of clothing when working in the cold. Additionally, wear insulated gloves and boots to protect hands and feet. If possible, avoid wearing cotton in cold and wet weather. Cotton tends to absorb moisture and dry slower than synthetic fabrics like wool and silk.

As you take steps to prepare your farm or ranch for the upcoming winter season, remember to contact your OKFB agent and review your Farm & Ranch policy. We’ve got you covered and are here to protect your farm and ranch needs.

OKFB Coloring Pages

About:

We know parents, grandparents and caregivers are looking for ways to occupy the kids right now, so we have designed coloring pages to help entertain and teach kids a simple lesson. Check out our double-sided coloring sheet for elementary-aged school children. One side of the page teaches a lesson about storm season safety and the other side teaches a lesson about helping your fellow Oklahomans/being a good neighbor.

Download the coloring pages here:

OKFB Coloring Pages

Share your masterpiece with us:

Once your child designs a coloring page, we’d like to see it! Share your student’s masterpiece with us by tagging us on Facebook – @OKFBinsurance. We may share some of the photos on our official Facebook page!

Safety Tips for Recreational Vehicles

Some of life’s greatest joys happen while sitting around a campfire, making a wake on the lake or cruising down a backroad. Whether you own a boat, motorcycle, off-road vehicle or motorhome, recreation insurance can help protect you and your vehicle from the unexpected. In addition to this insurance safety measure, you need to practice extra caution when operating any of these vehicles. Here are some of the safety tips to keep in mind for each recreational vehicle: 

Boat safety

Time spent on the water can leave you with lasting memories. Relax without worry, knowing you have taken these steps to ensure a safe boat ride or activity. 

  • Equipment: Everyone on board must have a life jacket of appropriate size available to them. Other equipment, including oars, a bailing bucket, a whistle, visual distress signals, navigation lights, a fire extinguisher and an anchor are also required by the U.S. Coast Guard to have on board while you boat. 
  • Operating tips: Make sure the person steering the boat is aware of the rules for safe boating. A few of the major rules to follow include: Check the weather beforehand, don’t exceed the boat weight or passenger limit, don’t drink and steer the boat, follow wake zone speed limits and always be aware of nearby swimmers. 

Motorcycle safety

Whether you’re taking your motorcycle for a long road trip or a short joy ride, it’s important to take steps to ensure a safe journey.  

  • Equipment: Always wear a helmet and limit the number of passengers to the number allowed on your specific bike. You should also consider wearing gear that protects you from debris, potential accidents and the weather. Leather jackets, sturdy boots and protective eyewear are all great items to help shield you from possible dangers. 
  • Operating tips: When driving a motorcycle, it’s always recommended to drive defensively. This means never assuming other drivers on the road can see you, since motorcycles are much less visible vehicles. To make yourself a little more visible, avoid driving in blind spots or driving too closely to other vehicles. Also, as with any other vehicle, check for weather that could cause hazardous driving conditions.

Off-Road Vehicle safety

Your weekend getaway may include straying off the main path and getting some mud on the tires. For your next off-road adventure, follow these safety tips: 

  • Equipment: Just like motorcycles, helmets are always a must on an off-road vehicle. Driving an open vehicle through rough terrain at accelerated speeds means there’s a great risk for head injury. Wearing gear like goggles, long pants and boots is also recommended to help protect you from flying debris or tall grass, limbs or rocks that could injure you. 
  • Operating tips: Never drive your off-road vehicle on highways, streets or paved roads. Regularly check your vehicle’s functions like steering, brakes and tires. Also, make sure you’re operating an off-road vehicle that’s right for your age and never allow passengers on a single-rider vehicle. 

About Recreation Insurance

Following these safety tips can help reduce your chances of an accident, but a small chance will always remain. Whether you have a boat, motorhome, motorcycle or off-road vehicle, recreation insurance can help cover your vehicle and passengers if something unexpected does happen. To learn more about the features offered in our recreational policies or to get a quote, contact an OKFB agent near you.