Your 2024 essential small business review

- January 1, 2024 4 MIN READ

Running a small business demands a keen eye on the legal and strategic aspects shaping your business’s success. Focusing solely on the day-to-day operations will restrict your growth over time. As we usher in 2024, it’s the perfect time for small business owners to conduct a simple but comprehensive review of what’s happening in their business, explains legal expert Shalini Nandan-Singh.

This checklist covers crucial areas, from your business structure to insurance, financial record-keeping systems, and brand management.

  1. Business Structure Assessment:

Kick off the year by reassessing your business structure. Whether you’re a sole trader, partnership, company, or trust, ensure it aligns with your current goals and tax obligations, considering any recent changes in Australian business laws. How does this structure work with your Business Plan?

  1. Insurance Review:

Mitigate risks by reviewing your insurance coverage. Insurance may feel expensive, but it’s essential for risk management in your business. Be sure to take time to check the following:

– Employers’ liability insurance if you have employees.

– Public liability insurance for external premises, events, or client interactions.

– Product liability insurance for manufacturers or suppliers.

– Professional indemnity insurance for service providers.

– Workers’ compensation to protect your team.

An insurance broker may be able to help you identify other areas of insurance your business needs and reduce insurance costs by finding the most appropriate policies.

  1. Working from Home:

Don’t forget that if your business operates from home, you must ensure compliance with your mortgage provider and home and contents insurer. It’s also important to disclose if you are working from home if you are renting.

Review or establish clear policies regarding home-based work to maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you or your team are working from home, remember safety requirements apply to any workspace, including home working spaces.

  1. Financial Record-Keeping Systems:

Enhance financial efficiency by reviewing and possibly upgrading your record-keeping systems. Leverage digital tools and platforms to streamline invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting. How can you integrate systems to be more efficient and avoid things “falling through the cracks”?

  1. Brand Management and Trademarks:

Safeguard your brand by reviewing trademarks and intellectual property. Ensure that your branding elements, such as logos and slogans, are adequately protected to prevent potential legal disputes.

Don’t forget to request Non-Disclosure Agreements be signed when sharing critical/sensitive business information.

  1. Pricing Strategy Overhaul:

Revisit your pricing strategy to align with market trends and your business’s value proposition—factor in any changes in operating costs, supply chain dynamics, or shifts in consumer behaviour.

You may want to try some of these ideas, but whatever you do, don’t forget to adjust your terms and conditions to reflect these changes and appropriately communicate them to your customers!

Stay Competitive:

Conduct a market analysis to ensure your prices remain competitive. Stay informed about your competitors’ pricing strategies and adjust yours to offer value without compromising profitability.

Bundle Smartly:

Explore bundling options for your products or services. Creating packages can enhance perceived customer value and potentially increase your average transaction value.

Implement Tiered Pricing:

Consider tiered pricing models, offering different levels of your product or service at varying price points. This provides customers with options and accommodates different budget ranges.

Introduce Loyalty Programs:

Foster customer loyalty by introducing or refining loyalty programs. Reward repeat customers with discounts, exclusive access, or early-bird offerings, encouraging them to choose your business over competitors.

Factor in Additional Services:

Review your service offerings and identify opportunities to upsell additional services. Communicate the value of these add-ons to justify any price adjustments.

Remember, if significant changes are made, transparent communication is vital. Communicate the reasons behind pricing adjustments and the added value customers can expect, reinforcing trust and understanding.

Approach your pricing strategy as a dynamic business model component, open to evolution and refinement as market conditions, customer preferences, and operational factors evolve.

  1. Contractual Agreements:

Conduct a review of existing contracts. Ensure they reflect your current business operations and conform to any legal changes. Consider seeking legal advice to identify potential risks and areas for improvement. You can book a contract review with me here.

  1. Online Presence Evaluation:

Assess your online presence, including your website, social media profiles, and e-commerce platforms. Ensure your digital assets comply with relevant laws and reflect your brand messaging.

  1. Data Protection and Privacy Compliance:

Review your data management practices in an era of heightened data protection concerns. Ensure compliance with privacy laws and prioritise the security of customer information. You can download my Privacy Policy Legal Template here if you don’t have a Privacy Policy.

  1. Employee Policies and Agreements:

If you have employees, review and, if required, update employment contracts and policies. Ensure they align with current employment laws, covering leave policies, termination procedures, and workplace conduct. Things like superannuation amounts and pay rates tend to increase every year, and there have been significant changes regarding domestic and family violence leave, for example.

Remember that minor adjustments can yield significant benefits for the success of your business. By dedicating time to these essential areas, you’re helping ensure legal compliance and laying the groundwork for a successful and resilient business in 2024.

Ready to make 2024 your business’s best year yet? Book an Expert Advice Session for the nagging legal issues you don’t have an answer to. Your commitment to these foundational elements sets the stage for a thriving and legally secure small business.

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