As 2017 approaches right now is a great opportunity to look at some New Year resolutions for your business. Like personal resolutions, the suggested resolutions below consider what your business can improve on from the past year, and what you can do to anticipate the changes of the New Year.
First, you should look back at what worked for your business and what needs improvement. An easy way to evaluate your business’s successes and failures over the past year is to look at your business plan’s goals and projections. Updating your business plan based on your reflections of the past year is a great way for your business to transition into the new fiscal year. Don’t have a business plan? Right now is a great time to create one to help chart your business’s course towards success.
Have a meeting or touch base with your accountant, financial adviser, attorney, or business consultant. These business professionals can help you better identify what was successful for your business over the past year, spot hidden weakness, and planning opportunities.
While you are reviewing the other aspects of your business now is a great time to put a succession plan in place. Do you know who will run your business if you or a business member becomes disabled, retires, divorces, or dies? Are you thinking about stepping back from your role, or thought about the future role family members will play in your business? The best time to plan for both the foreseen and unforeseen changes for your business is right now. A succession plan and an estate plan can help minimize disputes and provide a path for your business to continue to operate successfully. Succession plans can range from basic to complex depending on your business’s and personal needs. Already have a succession plan? Review it along with your estate plan to identify needed changes.
Minnesota law requires businesses filed with the state, such as LLCs, to keep current records of their business. Make sure that your filings with the Minnesota Secretary of State are current and accurate. Importantly, make sure you are following the required formalities when conducting your business. Even small businesses and family businesses are required to follow certain business formalities, such as holding official meetings and documenting these meetings. Not following the required formalities can cause your business to lose its limited liability protection making your personal assets liable. (See our post on properly maintaining your LLC). Additionally, the start of the year is the best time to look at how your business will function in 2017 by reviewing the bylaws, operating agreement, buy-sell agreement, and other important documents.
Adopting these four resolutions is a great way to help continue or improve your business’s success into the New Year. Ward & Oehler wishes you a happy New Year and continued success for your business!
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