It’s now the middle of January 2022 (already?!) and a lot of us started the month with some New Year’s Resolutions we are determined to keep. The focus is often self-improvement in particular on health and fitness – think New Year, New You. But January is also the perfect time to look at improvements you can make to boost the health of your business and put it in a stronger position.
At Better Business at Hand we specialise in giving small business advice. We thought we’d kick off our blogs this year with a Small Businesses Owner’s Checklist to help you get organised and check that all is tickety-boo from legal obligations to finances and everything in-between.
Small business advice: Small business owner’s checklist
Use the seven steps in our Small Business Owner’s checklist to get organised and improve the health of your business in 2022. At Better Business at Hand we give small business advice so that business owners can solve their business pains.
Meet the team to find out how we can support your business.
- Small business advice: Check your legal obligations
Whether you’re starting your business or are well established, it’s crucial that you satisfy all the legal requirements mandated for your industry.
Do you have the right business insurance and adequate professional indemnity cover? Having the correct cover in place will protect your business against everyday risks including mistakes and damage to premises, and in some cases also provide support for legal costs.
If you employ people, make sure that your HR Policies and employment contracts are in order. Do you need to make any updates to reflect changes brought about by the pandemic? For example, add clauses on hybrid working and IT security to your contracts and staff handbooks.
It’s also essential that you take the right steps to protect your business and customers from cyber attacks and that you have a policy in place to report any data breaches to the right governing bodies. If you do not follow correct procedures, you could face a hefty fine and legal action.
Check that your marketing is GDPR compliant. For further information see the Information Commissioner’s Office website https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/
This may all sound like a lot of work but you just need to check that you dot the i’s and cross the t’s. If you need any guidance, contact the Better Business at Hand team.
- Small business advice: Review your Business Plan
The Business Plan is a vital tool for businesses big and small. As a small business owner it’s vital that you have a solid plan in place and revisit it annually.
Ask yourself if your customer’s needs or market have changed and adjust your plan accordingly.
Set aside time to check that your Business Plan and Strategic Plan are still in line. If your plan was developed during the start-up phase several years ago your direction may have changed.
If you need help with planning, book an appointment with small business advisor Maria Pombo.
- Small business advice: Evaluate your business operations
Small business owners are super busy. With so much to do just running a business day-to-day there is often little time to stand back and evaluate operations.
Try blocking in time to review the way your business operates. If as a result you can streamline your processes and make operational improvements any time spent will pay dividends.
Better Business at Hand Consultant Ivelina Delcheva is an Operations Improvement professional and can advise you on how to optimise business performance. Book an appointment with Ivelina.
- Small business advice: Carry out a website audit
Your website is your shop window to the world. It’s essential that you check your site is in good working order from both a content and a technical perspective.
Creating a website is often one of the first things we do when starting a business. It’s super exciting when the site is live; you feel like you’ve got a proper business! But sometimes we can neglect a website.
It really pays to do an annual content audit to check that your website keeps pace with any developments in your business. Add details of new products and services and post news about your business. Update any incorrect or out of date information.
Check that your website is functioning properly and look for any broken links.
It’s essential that your website is optimised for mobile and that your pages load fast enough as this impacts on search engine ranking, site visitor numbers and customer experience.
For help with website troubleshooting speak to Better Business at Hand Consultant Stirling Austin who runs a Business Development and Web Design Consultancy.
- Small business advice: Understand your finances
As a small business owner, the buck stops with you so it’s essential that you understand your business finances.
You may have a book keeper or use an accountant but you should have oversight of what is happening when it comes to finances and figures.
Make sure you understand your cashflow and keep on top of your tax and VAT.
Knowing your numbers will make it easier to plan for business growth and help you understand when your business turns a profit.
Are your finances in order for the imminent Self Assessment deadline? For small business advice book an appointment with Chartered Accountant Tim Vogel.
- Small business advice: Take action when a problem strikes
When a problem strikes, it’s really tempting to ignore it and sweep it under the carpet. But we all know that ignoring a problem won’t make it go away.
Facing a problem and taking action will help you solve it sooner and put you in a stronger position to deal with any fallout.
For example, if you act on any debt demands you can often arrange a payment plan to ease the financial burden and prevent legal action. We provide small business advice on debt and insolvency matters should you need a helping hand.
At Better Business at Hand, solving problems is what we do. Our consultants are on hand to help with practical solutions and can help take the worry away. Choose from 15, 30, 45 or 60 minute virtual appointments to suit your needs and budget. You are in control!
- Small business advice: Look for opportunities
One of the best pieces of small business advice we can give at Better Business at Hand is to look for opportunities and have a forward planning mindset.
We see problems as opportunities. When things go wrong you can unravel all the stages and find ways to make improvements. So problems are not the be all and end all but can be the beginning of something better.
Take some time this January to think about where your business will be in 5-10 years. None of us have a crystal ball but you can monitor trends in your industry and anticipate growth areas. You might identify a growth market.
Better Business at Hand Consultant David Peddy has 50 years’ experience building, growing and selling small and medium sized businesses. Speak to David about general business issues, there isn’t much he doesn’t know!
We’re on hand to provide small business advice
Running a small business can be challenging but you don’t have to do it on your own, the Better Business at Hand team can step in when the going gets tough. Our consultants help to solve business problems and provide advice on general business issues.
How can we help? Book an appointment today to ease your business pains!