New Year, Old Business: Tying Up Loose Ends
In the time it has taken to run your business and get it going, you have learned that keeping it on track doesn’t stop Friday at 5 o’ clock, it’s a 24/7 process, unlike what some other people think.
Though 2016 has come to an end, you probably still have 2016 business to settle, and before the new year’s business gets too crazy busy, you will need to take time out to tie up last year’s loose ends.
Doing It Right: How to Get Your Business in Order
When you’re hit with new business in your inbox every morning, it’s understandable that you would think that should take priority, so you put other, smaller projects on the back burner. Doing things this way however can come back to bite you. If you aren’t consistent in your communication, document filings, or finance books, you’re more likely to make a costly mistake, one so big that it could put your business in jeopardy.
Here are four tips to follow to keep your business from falling behind, or worse, shutting down.
- Organize Your Paper and Electronic Files. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Professional Organizations, it takes the average employee over four hours a week to find the document they need to aid them in a meeting, project or other work. That is equal to half a work day. This can affect your work with your staff and clients, ultimately leading to terminated contracts and lost business.Keep organized paper files (filed by topic and color) in a file cabinet accessible to employees who need to reference the information regularly. For your company’s electronic files, set up a cloud storage account to save electronic documents and share easily with staff. This will cut down on confusing email chains and lost attachments.
- Meet with a Tax Advisor Before the Filing Deadline. Tax season is largely forgotten until it arrives again in the new year, sending you into a frenzy to tally your books, look over your receipts and double and triple-check that all of your employees’ addresses are current.Set up an annual appointment early in the year with a tax advisor to discuss your company’s finances and where you qualify for breaks. If you’re company is expanding, Small Business Trends suggests protecting your personal assets through a formal business structure.
- Send Personalized and Detailed Employee and Client Newsletters. Sending emails back and forth and having regularly scheduled meetings with clients and staff isn’t enough; things can get lost in translation.So that each employee and client knows their standing, such as with project deadlines, pricing agreements and pending action plans, write a newsletter detailing where you and the client or employee are at in each stage of the process. By keeping all parties involved up-to-date there is less chance of something falling in the cracks.
- Update the Company’s Insurance Account. State law requires that small businesses carry a certain amount of insurance. Speak with your small business insurance agent to make sure your policy meets your state’s requirements and protects your business if a client should sue, and employee get hurt or your equipment stolen or damaged. Updating your insurance account will also help you to see if the underwriting has changed, affecting the premium. If you think your current insurance company is price gauging you, visit comparison websites like CoverHound to find affordable business insurance quotes that will protect your company and keep money in the bank.To keep your business thriving, your employees and clients need to be happy. When you take care of business, you are giving them reason to trust you. There is no better business than one with a loyal staff and customer base.
Start off the beginning of the year with all options considered!