In the past year, much focus has been given to the physical health of employees, customers, and everyone else. This continues to be an ongoing concern. But business owners should make it a practice to do a business checkup so that everything is in order and up to date. You may wish to conduct your check monthly or quarterly.
Here are some of the questions you should be answering to keep your business healthy. The list isn’t exclusive, but it should get you thinking…
Finances and taxes
- Have you reviewed your budget?
- Have you updated your budget for changing factors (e.g., escalating gasoline prices)?
- Do you/employee/outside bookkeeper regularly input income and expenses in your accounting solution?
- Do you check on cash flow (daily/weekly, etc.)?
- Do you monitor your credit scores?
- Personal FICO score?
- Business credit rating through D&B, Experian, etc.?
- Do you have regular talks with your accountant (monthly/quarterly, etc.)?
- Are you up-to-date on tax law changes for 2021?
- Do you have payroll taxes under control?
- Timely deposits?
- Quarterly filing of employment tax returns (federal/state)?
- Do you have estimated taxes under control (e.g., regular set-asides of funds for quarterly payments)?
- Do you have sales tax protocols updated for your state?
- Are you still exempt from sales tax collections on remote transactions?
- Do you have up-to-date onboard procedures (e.g., having employees complete Forms W-4, 8850, and I-9)?
- Have you complied with all federal tax law requirements for 2021 (e.g., paying for COBRA for certain employees)?
- Do you know your state and local employment law rules?
- Have you posted all required notices for employees (federal/state)?
- Have you given employees timely notices regarding company benefit plans (e.g., retirement plans, health plans)?
- Have you considered incentives to fill job openings?
- Do you have an employee manual?
- Has your employee manual been updated?
- Do you need to implement diversity actions?
- Have you reviewed the latest OSHA information about safety for your industry?
- Have you implemented AI to replace employees?
- Have you reviewed your profit margin?
- Have you considered new sales channels?
- Online (through social media platforms)?
- Government contracting or subcontracting?
- Have you re-examined your collections policies?
- Are you using CRM?
- Have up refined your elevator speech/sales pitch?
- Are you optimizing social media to build relationships with customers and prospects?
- Have you reviewed your online presence (website, social media platforms)?
- Have you updated passwords?
- Did you educate employees about their online activities affecting your business?
- Do you have cybersecurity protocols in place (e.g., automated backups)?
- Have you reviewed your insurance coverage (health, BOP, E&O, workers’ compensation)?
- Do you have licenses or permits coming up for renewal?
- Is the copyright date on your website current?
- Is your equipment being serviced regularly?
- Is it time to replace equipment?
- Is it time to change your entity type (e.g., incorporate a sole proprietorship)?
Humorist Will Rogers said: “Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
You’ve got to regularly give your business a checkup and cure any problems you detect. If you organize the tasks—such as with this checklist—you’ll more easily detect symptoms and provide a remedy before they become a serious affliction.