Here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business that will get this year off to a great start!
- Be clear and concise about company policies. Review your employee manual and other policies for any necessary updates. If you don’t have one to review and update, set a firm deadline for drafting one.
- Green your business. Find sustainable practices and implement them to save money and improve social responsibility. Easy places to start are recycling programs (paper, plastics/cans, and electronics), buying re-usable, recycled, and/or biodegradable kitchen supplies, turning lights off and unplugging unused devices, printing only when necessary, and sharing documents and information electronically.
- Stay on top of things. Verify (and calendar) renewal dates and needed updates to your business filings. These include registrations in all of the states where you do business, intellectual property protections, professional licenses, etc.
- Be in compliance. Check to make sure that your state and federal labor posters are current and properly placed at all covered worksites. Make sure that all employees are properly classified and update personnel files and tax and benefit records as necessary (an employee’s classification may change over time). Think also about whether any new or refresher trainings are needed for safety, sexual harassment prevention, CPR/AED procedures, diversity, or conflict resolution.
- Get paid. Make a plan to address and collect any unusually large or aged accounts receivable that may still be lingering. Improve billing and collection procedures if necessary.
- Cut costs. Review your service contracts for upcoming renewals, needs changes, and untapped discounts. Negotiating rates isn’t just for your cable bill at home. Memberships in professional and trade organizations often include group discounts.
- Save everything that you need, but nothing that you don’t. Review your email and document retention policies to ensure that you are adequately protected in the event of dispute or litigation.
- Be more prepared. Identify major problems or emergencies that happened in 2011 and determine how to prevent or, if unavoidable, better plan for such occurrences that may happen this year.
- Brainstorm new marketing strategies. Implement the best one on a trial basis and calendar a date to evaluate it. If it worked, make it a permanent part of your marketing plan. If it didn’t, move on to another idea.
- Be healthier. Emphasize employee wellness to promote a healthy work environment and keep healthcare costs down. Hand out re-usable water bottles (that’s green too), swap out candy for fresh fruit, organize a lunch-time walking club, connect employees with information on local activities like yoga classes, or set up a corporate membership at a nearby gym. Weight loss, nutrition, and fitness challenges can help increase wellness and morale with a little healthy competition.