The fall is the perfect time to tune-up your small business. The season is changing and so are your work load and employment needs. This is why it is a good time to evaluate what changes your business needs to make for the new fiscal year.
Tip #1 – Evaluate Your Business Position
A good place to start is your business position. To do this you will want to examine how well you have done so far this year in terms of cash flow, profits and debt. This evaluation will look at if your business is struggling to keep its head above the water in a slow economy, if it is struggling to keep pace with new work demands or if it is just treading comfortably in the water. This information will help you to determine what changes or tune-ups you need to make to your business to improve its position during the next fiscal year.
Tip #2 – Talk with Your Financial Planner
In addition to evaluating your business position it is also a good idea to talk with your financial planner. At this meeting you will want to address several issues. First you will want to look at the financial position of your company and make changes based on the needs of your situation. For example, if you are struggling with cash flow issues then you may want to work with your financial planner to determine if you can open a line of credit that can be used to supplement your cash flow when it is low. You will also want to address your retirement planning. If you own your own business then your retirement planning is all in your hands. Finally, you will want to address the financial concerns of your employees, such as insurance and retirement planning. You can also discuss alternative benefits for employees like profit sharing possibilities.
Tip #3 – Get Rid of What Is Not Working
During the fall many people hold garage and yard sales to get rid of the clutter in their homes before the winter. This is a good practice to follow for businesses as well. First of all clean out your office and storage of old office equipment and furniture that is no longer in use. Donate these items to a charity and you can write off their value from your tax liability. Next evaluate the jobs and employees in your office or store. If the job is not necessary or if an employee is not meeting the minimum standards for the position then now is the best time to act. However, you do not need to go on a firing rampage. Instead reclassify jobs so that employees remain busy all day long without being overworked. Also work with those employees that are not pulling their weight or who are faltering with their job responsibilities. The problem may be easy to correct such as by offering additional training or offering the employee the opportunity for career advancement.
Tip #4 – Look for New Business Opportunities
As you streamline your small business you will notice that there is plenty of room for advancing your business activities. You can accomplish this by looking for new business opportunities. These opportunities may come from problems that your locality is having, they may come from new governmental programs or they may come from the identification of a new niche that your business can fill.
Tip #5 – Update Your Company Documents
The final thing that you will want to do in the fall is to update your company documents. You do not need to rewrite everything, but it is important to regularly read through your documents and to revise them as needed. The revision process will include identifying out-dated policies and wording and updating policies based on new laws that have passed. The documents that need annual attention include your employee handbook and your business continuity plan.