Planning for next year is daunting. Each year, we know it’s time to create that budget, think about what we’ll do differently, and make sure we’ve got the processes and people lined up to do what needs to be done. But planning doesn’t have to be all at once. Some things have a year-end deadline, but many do not. Here are a few preventative steps for your business’ health that you can fit in any time:
- We’re more than half way through the year. It’s a good time to look at how your actual performance has compared with your budget and plan for 2017. With that insight, think about why the business performed as it did and look forward to what you’ll do in planning for 2018. Begin building your budget based on the known changes your business will make and the goals you have in mind.
- Corporate governance. Be sure you’re in good standing with your corporate records. Take a look at your recent annual filings with the State and their website. Ensure the people who are listed as governing people are still at the company and in the correct roles. If you are a corporation, review your corporate minutes and make sure they are up to date. You must have an annual meeting of Shareholders and an annual meeting of Directors and certain decisions must occur – yes, even if it’s just YOU. The meetings are legal requirements and if you have trouble keeping this on the front burner, consider a Corporate Secretary service.
- Your people are the heart and soul of getting things done in your company. Stories abound as to the ways to “engage” employees and make them “happy” at work. What works for one, however, will not work for all. Consider asking employees why they work at your company and what could make it a better place to work. If you have contractors, consider whether they should be employees. If you haven’t yet looked into or implemented the newly mandated Washington State sick and safe time law, you should do so – it becomes effective January 1, 2018. Even if you offer more time off than is required, there are specific rules you still must implement such as the amount of time they can take at once and for what purposes as well as accrual and carry forward requirements. If your employee manual hasn’t been reviewed in a couple years, now would be a good time to dig into it given the many employment law changes that have come into play recently.
- How effective are your sales efforts? What more could you do and do you have the resources to accomplish these activities? Yes, this might be too much to ask for a summer afternoon –but maybe just take a look at some best practices for your industry and take note of one or two things you might try to implement in 2018.
These are some basic areas to keep an eye on for the health of your business as you move into the fall and plan for 2018. Don’t wait until year-end when life and business are busy; take advantage of the time now to get it done.