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The benefits of doing an annual review of your business are holding your company accountable and evaluating current performance to better plan and execute future operations. These are seven things you should look at every year for the health of your company.

  1. Review Your Business Tax Strategy – As your business grows it is always good to make sure you are using the most appropriate form of business structure, whether it’s sole proprietor, S corporation, LLC or partnership. Also, consider adjusting your taxable earnings for the year, it may be beneficial for you to accelerate expenses or delay income at year-end. This can help reduce the current year tax bill.
  2. Get a Pulse on Your Customers – An annual customer satisfaction survey is a great way to assess performance, obtain insight on potential new products or services, and to let your customers know how much you value their business.
  3. Check the Effectiveness of Your Marketing – Are your current methods and channels working well, or are you simply doing what you’ve always done? Use a system to find out how your clients are hearing about you to see if you need to focus your efforts into certain marketing strategies.
  4. Update Succession Planning for Your Business – Review your succession planning annually. You should have a specific plan for your key leadership positions, including yourself. Be prepared for short term absences or permanent vacancies. An up to date plan can be invaluable in you have an unexpected vacancy.
  5. Review Your Business Banking Relationships – Annually, you should go over your cash balances with your accountant. You should also meet with your banker and ask about new products or services that could help your company. Address any service concerns or problems you might have had throughout the year and look for ways to reduce idle cash, boost interest earned and improve cash flow.
  6. Review Your Business Insurance Coverage – Don’t just automatically write a check to renew your insurance policies when they come due. Instead, you should sit down with your insurance agent every year. Review your business operations, focusing on any changes. Discuss types of risk that could arise and ask about new developments in business insurance. Use your agent’s expertise to identify risk areas and suggest suitable coverage.
  7. Review and Update Your Personal Estate Planning – If you’re a business owner, your company is likely to be a significant part of your estate. A good estate plan is essential if you hope to pass the business on to your heirs. Your company, your personal circumstances and the tax laws are continually changing. You should take time each year to make sure your plans are current.

If you are serious about improving your business, you should consider a yearly assessment of your operations. Contact your accountant today to set up an appointment.