BIZ BITS: Start Your Year Like You Just Bought Your Business

Miller & Martin PLLC Blog | January 02, 2019

In this blog post, Attorney Jeff Cunningham suggests starting each new year like you just bought your business and taking a fresh look at where you are and taking action to help get you where you want to be.

Happy New Year!  Welcome to a fresh start, a clean slate, 365 days of possibilities.

The end of the calendar year is, for most businesses, the end of the tax year. Many business acquisitions are structured with a December 31 closing date for that exact reason.  If you were buying a business, you might consider a December 31 closing date, too.

You don’t typically buy a business to keep it exactly the same, however. You buy a business because you have a vision for unlocking its potential; you have a vision for making the business better. Whether you are in a new business, doing familiar business a new way, or simply picking up where you left off on December 31, the start of a new year provides an opportunity to reset. I encourage my friends and clients to begin a new year like they just bought their business from the previous owners, and to immediately embark on making that business better.

  • Spend the first working hours of 2019 envisioning the business that you would be thrilled to have. What does that look like? What are the components of that business? Which of those components do you have? Which do you need? What help do you need to get them?
  • Now assess your current business. How does it differ from the business that you envisioned? What should you start doing or do more of? What should you stop doing or do less of?
  • Now make a First 100 Days plan. If you bought your business today, what would you do or change in the first 100 days to make it like the business you envisioned?
    • Look at your organizational structure, your org chart. Do you have the right people for the business you are building?
    • Look at your compensation system. Does your compensation system incent the behaviors that you need from key players?
    • Look at your employment agreements, policies, and procedures. Is your business protected? Are your employment agreements enforceable? Are your pay practices compliant with applicable law?
    • Look at your financial structure. Do you have the right mix of equity and debt? Do you have enough cash, or access to cash? What if your business tripled?
    • Look at your security. Is your data secure? Is your employees’ data secure? Is your clients’ data secure? Are you adequately backed up? Is your backup secure?
    • Look at your business insurance. Do you have the right coverage, in the right amounts, for the business in which you are actually engaged?
    • Look at your location. Are you in the right physical location? Can you attract great employees who can afford to get to work, park (or use public transit), and be productive? Can your clients find you? If you don’t like your answers, how much longer do you have on that lease?
    • Look at your online footprint. Are you making an impression? Is it an impression that you are proud to have?
    • Look at your supplier/vendor relationships. Can your suppliers reliably meet your demand? What if your business tripled? Do you have a backup plan?
    • Look at your client relationships. When was the last time that you met with each one? Which ones want to do more business with you? Which ones are in jeopardy?

The list of questions could go on, but you get the point. It is a valuable exercise to examine your business as if you just bought it, and to develop a 100 Days Plan for unlocking its potential.

It will be my honor and privilege to help in evaluating your business’ opportunities, developing the 100 Days Plan, or executing that plan. 

Happy New Year, and Best Wishes for a fantastic 2019.

Tags: Business Planning, Unlocking Business Potential, 100 Days Plan