HOW HEALTHY IS YOUR UTAH SMALL BUSINESS?
The health of your Utah small business is a reflection of how well you manage all aspects of your company. Avoid problems by making smart decisions that affect your success and the bottom line. By conducting a small business checkup, you can identify areas of weakness. And much like your own annual physical, a small business checkup can quickly pinpoint concerns.
NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO DO A SMALL BUSINESS CHECK-UP!
First quarter of a calendar year is a good time to evaluate the health of your small business and examine critical areas by performing a small business checkup. Be careful – – Focus on the business as a whole, not just the financial health. Try a self-assessment as the new year picks up speed. Here are the important things to look at in order to quickly get a pulse on how your Utah small business is doing.
- Management & Operations
- Who is your sounding board? Smart business owners build an advisory team of business professionals, including a lawyer, banker, accountant, insurance advisor, and others who can offer an expert opinion when needed.
- When did you last update your written operations plan, including contingency measures? Systems change, old procedures are discontinued and new practices develop. Your operations plan details the how-to of your day-to-day activities. A well-crafted plan means nothing should fall through the cracks. Are there any gaps in yours?
- How will you handle a disaster or crisis? Important, but often overlooked, is the need for a contingency plan. This addresses emergency situations and is created after a risk analysis of all systems, procedures and practices.
- Business Classification
Is your business classification still the best fit? As profits grow, many sole proprietors move to incorporation or setting up a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”). If you have incorporated, are your minute books and shareholder agreements in order? If you have an LLC, are you following the terms in your operating agreement? When was the last time you reviewed your Bylaws or Operating Agreement? Are you documenting decisions and/or purchases by members of your LLC or shareholders? Make sure you understand the full tax and legal implications of a corporation or LLC by setting an appointment with your accountant and your Utah small business attorney.
- Business Owner Legal Responsibilities
- Human Resources
No Utah small business runs without people power. Employees are considered to be a Utah small business owner’s greatest asset. For some Utah small business owners, human resources management often takes a back seat to more pressing matters. However, the effort it takes to develop clear policies and procedures pays off the first time an employee issue arises. Consider these areas when completing a small business checkup:
- Are roles and responsibilities clearly defined? Nothing is more confusing and frustrating to employees than being unsure of their job requirements and responsibilities. Up-to-date, written job descriptions protect you and your staff from misunderstandings and possible legal issues.
- Are the right people in the right jobs? Ensure your interviewing skills and hiring practices result in a good fit for both the organization and the candidate’s skills and ambitions.
- Do you have a written Human Resources policy and procedure guide? Documenting everything from time off entitlement, hours of work, compensation practices, plus terms and conditions of employment establishes orderly and consistent administration of your human resources. By creating and fostering guidelines, you build a venue for effective working relationships at all levels of your Utah small business. Don’t wait until you have an issue before you implement a policy.
- Have you provided expert training to your management team? Conflict resolution, bullying, abuse or addiction, are all real issues in today’s workplace. How equipped is your key staff in dealing with sensitive concerns, and are they aware of the management resources available to them?
THE NEXT STEP
Action brings results. Once you’ve completed your small business checkup and identified challenges, make a plan and work it. Much like starting a new health regime, long-lasting and effective changes tend to be those you take one step at a time and involve the development of new practices and habits. In some cases, you’ll want to take care of a situation immediately, especially if it has legal or financial implications. Other challenges may take longer to resolve, and will require considerable effort.
If you are ready to make sure your Utah small business is strong then take that next step and complete a small business checkup now. Prevent threats against your Utah small business by scheduling an appointment with your Utah small business attorney today.