Ten things every business owner should do to get 2019 off to a great start
Have you made New Year’s resolutions for your business? Sonya Bassett, Partner and Head of Corporate and Commercial at Coodes Solicitors, shares her top ten.
Many of us have made positive and achievable personal New Year’s resolutions, from getting fit or saving money to taking up a new hobby or spending more time with family or friends. However, we often forget to make New Year’s Resolutions in the business arena.
Reviewing and refreshing key areas of your business is a great way to start the New Year. Here are ten things business owners could do at the start of each year:
1. Review debt collection policies and procedures
Unfortunately dealing with outstanding payments is an issue for many businesses and can be a real strain on SMEs in particular. Spending a bit of time now ensuring your debt collection policies and procedures are fit for purpose could save you time and stress further down the line.
2. Assess the corporate structure of the business
Things can change very quickly in any business, so many corporate structures become outdated. Each year, it is worth discussing with an accountant whether the corporate structure of the business still works for you and the way your company is progressing.
3. Check your T&Cs
We know that many people ignore the small print on contracts, but it can really let you down if something goes wrong. That is why we recommend a regular check of your terms and conditions, with both suppliers and customers, to ensure they are fit for purpose.
4. Ensure you are making the most any available tax allowances
Discussing with your accountant whether you are making the most any available tax allowances could make a big difference to your company’s finances this year.
5. Review your employment contracts
Contracts are generally issued when new staff join a company but are often not reviewed. Of course, circumstances change so it is important to regularly review your employment contracts to ensure they are still accurate and up to date. This does not just affect new members of staff – existing staff who have become critical to the business may well need an upgraded contract, for instance with longer notice periods.
6. Consider how changes in your life might affect your business
Have you been through any major changes in your personal life? If so, this could affect your Wills or succession planning for the business. Things can change quickly so it is important to take a step back and check everything is in place.
7. Review employee handbooks, policies and procedures
Is your employee handbook gathering dust on a shelf? Are your staff aware of the policies and procedures that affect them? Scheduling an annual update is a good way of ensuring they stay up to date and are communicated effectively.
8. Check that you are GDPR compliant
In 2018 we were bombarded with information about GDPR. The new legislation has been in place for several months now, but are you sure you are compliant? If you are not 100% sure, my colleague Kirsty Davey’s blog would be a good place to start.
9. Overhaul your contracts
The New Year is a great time for decluttering. Overhaul all of your contracts, much as you would with a utility provider, to check whether you are in the best position you can be. This will help you clear the decks of contracts that are no longer needed.
10. Consider how you could improve work/life balance for your team
Many businesses are now embracing new ways of working, understanding that many employees have commitments outside work and being flexible can benefit everyone. New Year is likely to be a time when your staff are assessing all aspects of their lives and many may welcome the opportunity to make changes. This would be a good opportunity to check that your teams are happy with their working patterns and then see if you can accommodate any requests. Make sure you seek advice from an employment lawyer, should you decide to make any changes.
For advice on these issues, please contact Sonya Bassett at Coodes Solicitors on 01736 362294 or email@example.com , Philip Sayers on 01872 246200 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Abi Lutey on 01872 246200 or email@example.com