NOW that it's a new year. Here’s your chance to correct or change some lingering business issues you might still be facing in 2016. Like what? Here are my top 10 things that a small business owner may want to review before going into the New Year.
1. Price Increase. The New Year also gives you the opportunity to raise your fees for services or product prices (cost of living etc.). However, should you decide to raise your prices or fees, make sure you raise or maintain your level of service to match the increases. If your products or services revolves around gas prices so long as the gas prices remain low you may want to pass the savings onto your customers AND let them know you’re doing so. Should gases price go on the rise again your customers will understand your price increase(s) etc.
2. Repair Broken Business Relationships. Yes, we all make mistakes and ending business relationships good or bad does happen. However the start of a new year gives you an opportunity to go back and address any rifts that eventually lead to the damaged or ended business relationship with hopes of repairing such.
3. Review and Revitalize. Go back and look at your current in-use policies as well as failed one’s to see if they still make sense going into the New Year. When evaluating your current policies make sure they met or exceed your business goals and operations expectations when you first implemented them. And re-evaluate your failed policies and see if they can be revisited with a few alterations.
4. Seeking Professional Help. Going forward in the New Year reach out to other professionals who can help your business grow and or stabilize its current operation model. Remember if you continue to do the same things you did in 2015, it’s more than likely you’ll receive the same if not similar results in 2016.
5. Non-Profit Funding Increase. If you are a Non-Profit organization that wishes to increase its operation funding going into the New Year now would be a great time to invest into changing your funding solicitation practices! How? Simple. First, meet with your Board of Directors to discuss funding increase strategies [Board of Director Contributions Pledge] as well as implementing a Corporate Donor Solicitation Program “CDSP” and I don’t just mean going after the big fortune 500 companies; your organization needs to have a CDSP that includes your local business owners and surrounding neighbors. With a solid plan of action in place before you begin solicitation, funding increase is almost a sure thing.
6. Reinvesting Back Into the Business. In the New Year now is a good time to show your customers and your staff that you not only care about profits but you care about people. The simplest way to do that is to update your facilities, vehicle, marketing materials, website and other vital areas or things your customers come in contact with while you’re performing or delivering products or services. You don’t have to go and spend a fortune to do this simply, try to stick with a few cosmetic changes here and there.
7. Verbal or Non-Verbal. The New Year now gives you the opportunity to change any verbal contracts or agreements you currently have in place with your customers into written contracts. If you don’t use contracts, then think about designing a Service Form or similar; something your customers and more importantly you have that spells out the details of your business arrangement.
8. Independent or Not. The New Year also gives you the opportunity to bring on that one person who's been with you for three to five (3-5) years as an "Independent Contractor" to a "Real Employee" (Full or Part time). Don’t think you can afford it, think again, with the influx of payroll companies popping up in the last few years your business can hire a payroll service for as little as $25.00 a month. Also you can check with your accountant, many times they will provide you with similar payroll services for a nominal fee.
9. Time to Be Serious. The New Year also gives you the opportunity to take that leap of faith and become a legitimate business owner. You know what I’m talking about! For years now you've been knowingly operating as a "Sole Proprietor" with all the risk that come with that status. Take this time at the beginning of the New Year to grow your business and become a formal and legal business entity (Inc. or LLC.).Not sure which one is right for you, call me I’ll be happy to help you.
10. Pay Yourself. The New Year also gives you the opportunity to start an Owner's Draw “OD”. OD are withdrawals of a sole proprietorship's cash or other assets for the personal use of the owner. The owner's draws are not reported as expenses on the income statement of the sole proprietorship. Rather, the owner's draws are considered to be a direct reduction of the owner's capital and owner's equity. Talk to your accountant to see how an OD can improve your quality of life and business growth goals. If you're not sure OR have a legal question, call us (215) 774-1449 at No charge! And no charge means NO CHARGE! Happy "BUSINESS" New Year and good luck!
The Law Offices of Kawalski, Fletcher & Kirkpatrick, P.C.
4800 Street Road,
Feasterville-Trevose, PA 19053
Tel: 215 774-1449 * Fax: 215 774-1060
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