You go to the doctor for a physical every year, why shouldn’t your business also get a check-up? Just like your body, your business needs certain things to help keep it healthy and running smoothly.
Now that we’re well into the New Year, it’s time to give your business its annual exam. Here’s a checklist of all the things you should take care of if you haven’t already:
Do a SWOT Analysis
You likely performed a SWOT analysis when you first created your business plan. It’s an assessment of your brand’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s also likely, however, that those factors have changed quite a bit in the last year or two.
We recommend a SWOT analysis every year so you can fully understand where your business stands right now. Without this vital step, it is impossible to assess how your business has grown and changed or to plan for the future.
Renew Licenses and Permits
Now that we’re in a new year, it’s the perfect time to check on the status of licenses and permits. Contact your local city, county, or state offices to make sure your business is up-to-date (many allow you to check online now). If your business needs licenses or permits to legally operate, this is not something you want to allow to fall by the wayside.
Don’t have the time to keep track? Hire a legal filing service to submit renewals for you and you won’t even have to think about it.
Register Your Trademarks
You may not realize it, but in order to keep your trademark alive, you must file required maintenance documents at regular intervals. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of the U.S. trademark registration or invalidation of the U.S. extension of protection. Requirements vary, so check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for more information. You could also schedule a consultation with me and I’ll be happy to track down and manage your registrations.
Review Old Contracts
As a business owner, you should have clients sign an agreement or contract before you begin working with them. It is vital to review these documents at least once a year to make sure they continue to cover your needs. Any changes, including to terms of service and rates, should be made current and a new agreement signed whenever necessary.
Set Up Automation Tools
Want to save time in your business? Automate everything you can. Try tracking the amount of time you spend on routine tasks from answering emails to responding to voicemails every week, and you might be surprised at how quickly it adds up.
There are many options for automating your business, from specialized software to hiring a contractor, and many of them are priced quite reasonably.
Taking the time to perform a little “check-up” on your business doesn’t have to be a once-a-year event. It is always helpful to assess where your business stands and take the appropriate steps to keep it healthy (and profitable).
Looking for a business attorney to add to your team of trusted advisors? This is a great way to protect and care for your business. Would love to schedule a 30-minute phone or virtual consultation to discuss your needs.