The looming fiscal cliff has business owners in a panic. Day by day they are glued to their mobile devices reviewing lawmakers ‘progress’ as the end of the year approaches. Rather than becoming paralyzed by fear, take a pro-active approach that will prevent your company from going over the edge. The following three strategies will help secure your company’s success and your economic future.
1. Trim Excess Baggage.
Is anything bleeding away your precious hard earned dollars? It should go without saying that every business owner should periodically review vendors and suppliers to make certain that they are giving competitive prices and delivering quality service. Sometimes trying out a new vendor provides you with leverage over an existing vendor.
Make sure you include your insurance vendors here. Companies grow. Has your company taken on any new assets (computers, office equipment, furniture, stock) or business interests that haven’t been accounted for and protected by existing policies? Is your company adequately covered in terms of liability, fire and health insurance?
2. Update your Professional and Corporate Image
Your Personal Image
What is your image saying about you? Is it time to update your wardrobe, hair, makeup? This can be a lot of fun to try something new. Take a friend along for a free make over.
How is your health? When was your last pap or breast exam? If it’s been more than a year, schedule one now. Teeth should be cleaned twice per year. Schedule your regular medical checkup as well.
Are you happy with your weight? If not, what are you going to do about it?
Your Corporate Image
When is the last time your website was updated? This should be done at least once per year or every time you have a new offering. Your website is your ‘face’ to the world. Is your website easy to navigate? Does it captivate your target market? Does it have the ability to capture leads? Does it have video? Do you need to update the testimonials? Start off the new year with a new look. It will energize your existing client base.
Does your social media reflect your company message? Perhaps I should ask, “Are you active on social media?” If not, make it a goal to either hire someone to help you or teach you how to do it yourself.
3. Play it forward
Regardless of the economic climate put a little away for a rainy day and also invest in your retirement. Do you have an emergency fund? Office equipment, etc. breaks down and usually at the most inopportune moment. Prepare in advance by creating an ‘emergency’ fund.
Do you have a plan for retirement? Even if you may only put away a small amount do so each month. Even a $20 monthly investment in a Roth IRA will pay of BIG in the long run. Businesses looking to set up a 401K, SEP or other retirement plans should do so as early as possible during the year. Setting up a plan early on can permit employees to take full advantage of their annual allowed pretax contributions. Theoretically, the more time the money is growing on a tax-deferred basis, the larger the nest egg. For those as busy and confused about this I highly recommend the book “You’ve Earned it. Don’t Lose it” by Suze Orman.
Longevity is the greatest challenge in business. Proper planning creates an environment for productivity.