We all know that new year’s resolutions are made for breaking – eat less, do more exercise, visit the in-laws more often… all good intentions that often don’t make it to Spring.
But if you’re in business, there are few New Year’s Resolutions you really should be making, and sticking to, to ensure continued success throughout 2018…
The start of the year is always a good time to set yourself some new goals – with the dawn of the new year comes renewed enthusiasm for the 12 months ahead.
Review your business plan
A business plan isn’t something you make once and then discard in a filing cabinet never to be seen again. It should be a ‘living document’ that you continuously monitor and review to ensure you are on track in terms of your finances and your plans for growth.
It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, so if you are planning to grow your business throughout 2018, it’s worth checking that you aren’t falling into this trap.
Develop your staff
The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay. These wise words were once said by none other than Henry Ford, and we couldn’t agree more. Investing in your staff is not only vital for ensuring they continue to be ‘up to the job’ but also fosters loyalty and motivation – meaning your employees are more likely to work hard on your behalf, with the knowledge that their effort are valued.
Take time in the new year to audit your in-house skills, identify any gaps and establish a training calendar for your staff to take part in. Not only will they thank you for it, but your bottom line will too.
Improve your tax planning
Whilst you may already be knee deep in preparation for your 31 January and April tax returns, it’s advisable to use this time to review and optimise your tax planning processes in general. If you are reviewing your business plan as a whole, think about whether you are working as efficiently as you should be.
Are you taking advantage of any tax breaks you may be entitled to? Are you maximising your personal tax allowance, or do you need to make adjustments to dividend payments? If you are not VAT registered, should you be? Make an appointment with your accountant now to review your situation.
Tighten up your contracts
The new year is the perfect time to reflect on the previous 12 months – have you had any difficulties that could have been avoided with more robust contracts? Do you have the right safeguards in place to limit the impact of any late payments? Do your client contracts include the correct provisions for collecting late payment charges or enable you to recoup costs from any breach of agreements?
The rules on debt collection protocols for businesses dealing with individuals (which includes sole-traders and partnerships in the eyes of the law) have recently been updated – introducing additional steps and longer timescales that could prevent you from collecting any money owed to you when you need it.
At Burnett Barker Solicitors we are here to help your business grow – whether you need legal advice about any aspect of running a business or would like us to refer you to one of our recommended partners, give us a call.
We work with a number of trusted professionals including independent financial advisers, accountancy firms and experts in specialist areas such as branding & trademarks and are happy to put you in touch!