Tips for Businesses to Get Off to a Great Start in the New Year

It’s that time again, when everyone looks back over the past year and decides what changes they must implement to better their lives. Maybe you are one of the masses flocking to the gym to improve your health this year. Or, maybe your goal is to add more leisure to your daily routine and help lower your level of stress.

If you’re a business owner, that might seem nearly impossible. But what if it’s not? Here are five tips you can implement right now, no matter the industry, which could make the rest of the year easier for you and your employees:

  1. Keep your business plan up-to-date. At the start of any business venture, a plan should be put together to help guide it towards success. Most companies forget to keep their business plan continuously updated. Updating your business plan regularly makes it much easier to implement new strategies and conquer difficult situations because you’ll be prepared to handle them.
  2. Take advantage of social media. It’s 2015 folks, and it is better to be late to the social media party than to never show up at all. For those business owners who have not been taking advantage of social media, I encourage you to seize this opportunity. At its most basic, social media is an outlet for free advertising and marketing. It is the most cost efficient way to get your brand and message out to your clients and prospective clients.
  3. Better serve your employees by monitoring your company 401(k) or corporate retirement plan. Taking a few easy steps at the beginning of every year in regard to your company’s retirement plan can save you a lot of aggravation later on. First, make sure that the advisor on the plan is a fiduciary. If not, seek an advisor who is immediately. Why? If the Department of Labor ever comes knocking, that non-fiduciary advisor may end up sitting across from you on their side of the table, not defending you. Second, make sure that your plan has been put out to bid at least every three years to ensure your provider is offering you the best rate, and isn’t overcharging you and your employees on fees. Lastly, make sure that your employees are receiving continuous education on the plan, either from the advisor or the record keeper. If they aren’t, you could be the one held liable in the event of a law suit.
  4. Make sure everyone on your professional team is working together. Most successful business owners have at least one financial advisor, a lawyer, an accountant, and maybe even a few consultants. It is a very good idea to make sure that all of them are on the same page. Find the one person among them who you trust or work with most often, and ask them to keep open lines of communication with the rest of your team so no one is left in the dark and no stone is left unturned. We call it “quarterbacking the team.”
  5. Don’t be afraid to seek help. You are a successful business owner because you know the ins and outs of your business. With that being said, any time wasted outside of your expertise is either costing you money or, potentially, putting you and your company at risk. Look to outside experts when it comes to matters of retirement accounts, sales consultations, and even the sale of your business when the time comes.