Happy New Year Small Business!


As a small business owner, the list of things that must be done never ends.  If you are like me, there is also the list of “wish I could dos” related to getting more efficient and streamlined, and then the list of “awesome ideas that would help my business grow but which seem overwhelming to implement.”  The beginning of the year is a good time to look at your lists and move some items around.  Here are some housekeeping items to put on the “must do” list:

  1. Check your employees W-4 and I-9 records to make sure you have current documentation with correct addresses for each employee.
  2. If you have a retirement plan, check for any required notices to be sent to participants, and make mandatory distributions to retirees and former employees with low balances that are required by the terms of your plan.
  3. If you do not have a retirement plan, look at alternative investment opportunities both for yourself personally and for your business.
  4. If you have calendar year insurance policies, review coverage and complete your renewals.
  5. Renew your business license and check vehicle registrations for expiration dates.
  6. If you compete for federal contracts, check and update your SAMS registration.
  7. If you are a minority or women owned business, renew your certifications with local governments and other agencies.
  8. Check your lease to confirm expiration/renewal dates and whether there is a rent increase for 2016.


Here are some efficiency/streamlining list items:

  1. Look at all of your software and apps – is everything working the way you want it to?  If not, consulting with an IT provider might yield new alternatives.
  2. Step back and look at last year’s trends in overtime and work hours.  Can you stagger employee shifts to reduce overtime? Do you need more employees at peak times? Do you need fewer employees? Can tasks be shifted to balance out workload?
  3. Evaluate your marketing efforts last year.  What was most successful and what did not work? Update your list of prospects.
  4. Establish new revenue goals for 2016.  Break down your goals to sources of revenue to maximize focus on the most profitable elements of your business.
  5. Look at trends in costs.  If costs are increasing, do your suppliers have competitors offering better prices? Can you decrease costs by reducing supplies used or combining orders?
  6. If you keep paper records, review your retention policy to see if any can be discarded.

Finally, think about your awesome ideas – pick the best one and figure out how to implement it.

Leigh Kellett Fletcher has been practicing land use, environmental and real estate law since 1997 and regularly represents clients acquiring, developing and selling real estate in Florida and the U. S. Virgin Islands. She has been involved in the purchase, sale and redevelopment of multi-family residential projects, office, commercial and mixed use properties and has worked with clients to obtain land use entitlements and environmental permits to develop and expand commercial development.