Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are winding down and it’s time to get back in gear. While you’re planning your Labor Day BBQ, you should also be planning your business strategy for the fall. This is the ideal time to knock off some crucial, but tedious tasks. Prevent fourth-quarter crunch-time regrets by preempting them NOW.
Let’s dig into the some of the legal tasks that can be cleaned up in these last few weeks of the waning season. Expanding on last week’s end-of-summer checklist, you should now be preparing for legal tasks, contracts and ideas to maintain that momentum.
I’m not talking about the “how-do-you-dos” of business culture. Start with the minutes of the year’s board meetings. Make sure that you have them drafted, approved, signed by the secretary of the corporation, and in good order. Check in: Are you following through on what’s been established in the way of goals and operations? If you run a corporation, you have to make sure you have the proper resolutions, especially if you are a public company.
Prove you’ve met, or are approaching your goals so you can keep your job.
The point of setting goals is to meet them and you have to answer to somebody, whether they’re investors, board members or clients.
Review Contracts and Compensation
Take a look at your agreements with service providers to see where you’re getting the bang for your buck. If you’ve been unhappy with hardware or a service, reevaluate, update and get competitors’ quotes.
As for compensation, similar guidelines apply. Review your relationships: Are there contractors, consultants or employees you need or need to cut off? Cut the bleeding now. Reevaluate what you are paying them and justify that expense.
If you had mid-year performance reviews, the notes should be fresh and accurate for you to make informed decisions.
You don’t want to look at bills after the holidays, when the money is spent.
One of those expense lines you should review is insurance. As the commercial says: “You think you are paying for X and you are getting Y.” That could be either a waste of money or a massive gaping hole that could be the gash in the side of your hull that could sink your ship. Here are two simple mistakes that prove not reviewing your insurance could be costly:
- Reassess where you are financially with insurance coverage against what you need. A client needed a $250,000 insurance policy when they had $38,000 in claims coverage.
- The lease for a client required business interruption insurance. During Hurricane Sandy, that business interruption insurance was not written for flood damage. Even though the business was on the fourteenth floor of a building, the damage and the business “interruption” was deemed due to the storm surge, and even though the basement of the office building did not flood.
Review your coverage and your amounts.
Learn From your Mistakes with your Staff
In this quiet before the storm, rethink your staffing. If you reviewed your potential sales pipeline and your production pipeline, you should be in a good position to establish where your business is and where it needs to be. As a part of that, you should be in a good position to find out what you need to execute your plan. While you don’t want to routinely push your people to the point of walk offs or tears like some popular employers, the point of the business is to grow the business, and not to coddle the employees. Remember – it’s work, and that’s why you pay them.
It’s a fine balancing act to be tough and fair – it’s a “Goldilocks” problem. Too hard, and they leave because you are mean. Too soft, they leave because you are not a leader, but only after walking all over you.
Find your own balance. But don’t take any crap.