Take time to review the health of your business
As an owner and/or manager, you probably spend a lot of time monitoring business operations and dealing with everyday problems. But a longer-term approach is also useful. Just as an annual checkup from your physician helps monitor and manage your personal health, an annual checkup can do the same for your business.
Here are tips to get started.
- Insurance coverage. Instead of automatically writing a check to renew insurance policies when they come due, sit down with your agent. Review your business operations, focusing on any changes. Discuss types of risk that could arise. Ask about new developments in business insurance. Use your agent’s expertise to identify risk areas and suggest suitable coverage.
- Tax strategy. Consider adjusting taxable earnings for the year, perhaps by accelerating expenses or delaying income at year-end. If your business reports on the cash basis, you could boost 2015 deductions by declaring and paying bonuses in December rather than in early January. Deferred invoicing or early purchases can also reduce your 2015 tax bill.
- Customer survey. Track customer satisfaction with an online survey. Focus on questions that reveal how well your company performs in areas such as prompt service, staff responsiveness, and understanding of customers’ problems. Ask your customers for insight on potential new products or services, and let them know how much you value their business.
- Marketing review. Are your current methods and channels working well, or are you simply doing what you’ve always done?
- Succession planning. Do you have a specific plan for each key managerial position, including yourself? Are you prepared for a short-term absence or a permanent vacancy? Your plan might point out the necessity of promoting from within or recruiting externally.
- Banking relationships. Meet with your banker. Ask about new products or services that could help your company. Address service concerns or problems that occurred during the year. Look for ways to reduce idle cash, boost interest earned, and improve cash flows.
An annual business checkup can help you evaluate current performance, better manage and execute future operations, and provide a plan for keeping your business on track. If you need assistance, give us a call.