Productivity and sales may be slow at the moment but that does not necessarily mean that you should hit the breaks on everything in relation to your business. The fact that things are a little slow from a day-to-day workload perspective means that you have more time to step back and take stock of all those things you always mean to do, but never seem to get to.
Taking the time to review and make changes to the way your business functions could prove to be beneficial both now and more importantly in the long term, as the economy picks up again.
There are numerous facets of the business that can be addressed from financial considerations to trading terms and operations/procedures. Following are some helpful questions you may like to consider to prepare your business for the tough year ahead and put it in an optimal position for when the tides turn and business is on the up!
Ask yourself the following questions. Once you have ascertained the specific areas of your business that require attention, ensure that you speak to the relevant professional in order to get the best advice on how to improve your current situation.
- Do you have a positive working relationship with your banking manager?
- Do you regularly touch base with them to provide updates on the financial status of your business and to seek any necessary advice?
- Do you have strategies in place in the unfortunate event that something should go wrong with the business financially?
- Are your business assets correctly valued in order to support any business loans that you may have?
- Do you have a positive working relationship with your accountant?
- Is your business structured in such a way that your personal assets are protected?
- Do you have private assets held separately from the assets of your business?
- Are business owned assets held in the correct way, under the correct structure for your situation? For example, sole trader vs. partnership vs. company vs. trusts.
Operations and Trading Terms
- Are your contracts with customers and/or suppliers correctly structured and legally compliant?
- If you are supplying materials in the course of your business, does your contract allow for the retrieval of unpaid goods?
- Do your current contracts and trading terms processes include provisions to facilitate the prompt recovery of debt owed to you?
- Are there areas of your business that could be cut down or made more cost effective but will not affect the operations and daily functioning of the business?
Protecting your business
- Do you have a compliant and up-to-date shareholder’s agreement?
- Do you have clearly defined corporate governance practices in place?
- Does your current insurance policy adequately cover your business structure and assets?
- Is any intellectual property sufficiently protected and/or legally registered? For example business names and logos, personally developed products, methods or innovations.
- Do you require confidentiality, non-disclosure or restraint of trade agreements with suppliers or current or previous employees?
Protecting you, the owner
- Do you have an up-to-date and valid Will?
- Do you require an enduring power of attorney?
Of course these are just a few areas that you can look to in order to start strengthening your business. Other areas you may wish to consider include Marketing practices, Staffing and Human Resources and Management processes.
If the above checklist has highlighted some areas on your business that could do with a “touch up” contact the team of accountants and lawyers at The Quinn Group. We are able to assist you with everything from drafting contracts and negotiating with financial institutions to reviewing or restructuring your business structure and providing cash flow and budgeting advice.
For more information, or to organise to speak with one of our team about your business needs call us on 1300 QUINNS or click here to submit an online enquiry.