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Fine Tuning Your Business

Fine Tuning Your Business

SML Perspectives
(November 19, 2012)

In these uncertain economic times, few companies are willing to make large financial commitments or go on hiring sprees to grow their businesses. But even as experts tell us that economic indicators are up one minute and down the next, the world of commerce continues to roll on.

Most businesses aren’t making big investments; but they aren’t completely stagnating either. So what can you do to invest in your business that doesn’t involve a huge pile of cash? Reexamine everything.

  • Type of Business Entity—Is the structure you started with the structure that makes the most sense for where you are now? Your ability to get financing, liability risks, and your tax consequences might have changed as the environment changed.
  • Agreements—Operating agreements, supply and/or distribution agreements, independent contractor agreements, etc. You should scrutinize and improve all of your agreements if at all possible.
  • Benefits Plans—Life & Disability, Retirement and Health plans all have a huge impact on your bottom line. And with health care in a state of flux, it’s vital to keep abreast of all your options.
  • IT and Infrastructure Expenditures—Could you save in the long run by doing things differently?
  • Improve Interdepartmental Relationships—Could better communication create efficiencies, encourage innovation, or improve processes? Do you formally encourage departments to get together on a regular basis? Do you require it?
  • Training—Investing in your workforce can pay dividends in the long run.
  • Marketing—Should you cut back, or do more? Your marketing efforts need to be measured against what your competitors are doing. If they are cutting back, are you being presented with a golden opportunity?
  • Boost Morale—Reward or incentive programs, recognitions for jobs well done, or sometimes just listening go a long way in making employees more engaged and productive. Initiatives don’t have to cost a fortune; they just need to be thoughtfully executed.
  • Build Stronger Relationships—Intangibles can sometimes bring big results. Identifying and cultivating relationships with the customers, partners, or providers that are essential to your business can have a big impact. Reach out, create a social event, send a note of thanks, or invite someone to lunch.

As margins become thinner, the small details become evermore critical. But taking stock of your business now will help you prepare for the economic rebound – which will require yet another adaptation in the way you examine your business (in a good way). 

Click here to view the full digital version of the Business Regulations edition of SML Perspectives.

Robert D. Kidwell
T (336) 378-5483
F (336) 433-7445
Associated Attorneys

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