With a new year upon us, it’s a great time to brush up on operations. Use your time early to take on these 8 things every business owner should do to give their business a leg up this year.
- Write a Business Plan. You may already have one in place, but if not, it’s not too late to build a plan. Given the current surge in Covid, the plan you built last month may need to be tweaked.
- Update your Employee Manual. The past two years have brought many changes in labor laws. Even if you updated your manual last year, changes in guidance and requirements under Covid may require updates. In addition, depending on where you are located, new laws affecting minimum wages, work rules, health care, and retirement plans have gone into effect as of January 1, 2022; all of which need to be updated.
- Update your Corporate Minutes. If you are a Corporation, LLC, or Partnership, you are required to hold and document annual meetings. Complete minutes are important not only to document key events and decisions of the past year, as well as, to provide recorded approval of the officers and directors. Also, if you are looking at selling your company, the minutes of these meetings are one of the first things a buyer will be asking for. Often, bank financing will require resolutions approving the loan before a bank will extend credit.
- Review your staffing. With the current labor situation, do you need to work on changes to retain employees? Are there opportunities (and need) to add staff?
- Meet with your managers and employees. Often innovations and improvements come from employees on the front line. They see what is working or not; and have ideas on what can be done to improve processes. They are also often the first to notice issues with customers or vendors and can provide an early warning system on potential problems. Encourage communication, both informally and through scheduled meetings.
- Contact your key Customers to see what challenges they are dealing with and how you can help.
- Contact your key Vendors to see what challenges they are dealing with, and to determine if you need to adjust your business plan; find alternate suppliers or adjust your purchase schedules to avoid inventory/material shortages.
- Calendar time, at least a half-day and preferably a minimum of a full day, to review your business plan at least once per quarter. Review progress, look for opportunities you can exploit and identify trouble spots early.