Three Business Resolutions for the New Year
When we have grown our businesses organically, we started with just ourselves. Over the months and years, we have been joined by others – a relative, a friend from college etc. They took some of the burden as we grew. Later we took on proper employees. Now there is a mix of the formal and informal. It is time to grasp the nettle and grow your business up.
Firstly, formalise all job roles (including your own) so that people understand what is and what isn’t their job. Make sure the company is the right kind of legal entity for what you are doing. Untangle personal assets and business assets and make them separate. If there is two of you, enter into an owners’ agreement and get the appropriate insurances in pace.
I spoke with a business owner who had lost his business partner to a heart attack. The partner’s wife inherited his shares and therefore had claim on half of the company’s profits for the following fifteen years even though she contributed zero to the company. Look for any oral agreement that you have made and formalise it in writing.
Everyone talks of working in the business vs working on the business. This is definitely ON the business stuff, and we never give enough time to reviewing things. Programme time to review crucial contracts and make sure firstly that you understand them fully and secondly that they are fit for purpose (make your lawyer work), and you are not bound by anything that you do not find acceptable. Review your insurance policies to make sure that you are not overpaying, inappropriately insured, or both. Have a look at the financing you have in place – is it the right price, is it appropriate to support your growth plans? A great time to dig this out is when you are doing your GDPR information audit – but of course, you’ve already done that right?
Surround yourself with the best advisors, whether it be your accountant, your financial advisor and of course your Business Doctor! Make sure you are engaging with people that will help you to plan your business. Look at your Business Plan! Was it written to get finance or as a temporary measure, or is it a living and breathing document the contents of which are familiar to all of your people? If not, get your Business Advisor to help you create a true plan that leads to your own personal definition of success, and then use the professionals to structure the detail to support YOUR plan.