The New Year is when many of us attempt to revisit and revise our personal habits. It’s also a great time to do the same with business operations. Here’s a quick business health checklist of items to consider as you look forward to a successful 2022 for your business:
Check in with your BAIL team (banker, accountant, insurance agent, and lawyer)
Is this a good time to extend your line of credit for an expansion or a pivot? Should you consider renegotiating or shopping around your property, liability, or health/life insurance plans? Are there key financial ratios from 2021 sales figures to review for opportunities to increase profitability in 2022?
Review your annual credit card summaries for online subscriptions
Are you being charged for services or subscriptions you no longer use? Pick up some extra cash by cancelling those money wasters.
Put effective cybersecurity measures in place
Small business owners have identified cybersecurity threats as their number one concern to disrupt their operations. The beginning of the year is a great time to change passwords (or subscribe to a password manager service), make sure your antivirus subscriptions are up to date, and that your backup system is working properly.
Run and review monthly cash flow reports for 2021
Take time to review all your line items and identify possible leakages. Are you getting the best deal on your property maintenance contract? What price increases on supplies have happened and how can you rein in those costs?
Review or create HR policies
Even if you only have a handful of employees, you should have written HR policies to protect you from liability and ensure that your personnel decisions are consistently applied. One lawsuit from a disgruntled employee can be costly and incredibly time consuming. If you don’t have written policies in place, now is the time to do it. If you have written policies, review and revise them as needed (likely with input from your attorney).
Review or prepare your marketing plan and budget for the coming year
What opportunities or target markets may you have missed in 2021 that you want to address in 2022? What is your ideal advertising mix for the year and how will you allocate your budget to web development, social media advertising, and traditional media strategies? What promotions or sales do you want to run and when should you do them? This is a great time to create a batch of social media ads and emails and schedule them to post automatically over the coming months.
Of course, like New Year’s resolutions, the real challenge is to make the time to commit to tasks likes the ones listed. Try blocking out a traditionally slow day of the week and focus on setting yourself up for even greater success in 2022.
Business Health Help is Available
If you need help taking on any of these business health check-up tasks, contact your local Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network advisor by clicking here. All Wyoming SBDC Network services are completely confidential and offered at no cost to Wyoming residents.
About the Author: Paul spent 25 years with an entrepreneurial-minded small business in the educational publishing market that attained an international footprint and experienced sustained, substantial growth. As a long-time member of the executive team with LinguiSystems, Inc., he served as Editor-in-Chief and Chief Marketing Strategist. Johnson most recently held the position of Instructional Technology Educational Specialist with University of Wyoming Extension developing and administering all of Extension’s online programmatic and educational efforts.