It’s nearing the end of the year, a time when people scramble to schedule their annual physicals, eye care check-ups and dentist appointments. While you are marking your calendar for these check-ups, don’t forget about another important appointment: Your end-of-year business health check-up.
This is a time for you to sit down with your lawyer and ensure that you have all of your financial, legal and business relationship blocks in place for a successful 2017.
What to discuss at your business check-up
Whether you started your creative business this year or you have been successful for decades, now is a good time to answer questions such as:
- Are your books and records in order? Do you have copies of your invoices, bills and other relevant financial documents? Have you kept a list of your business purchases and payments?
- Are you prepared for tax season? Have you quantified your revenue and expenses on a spreadsheet? Have you filed for all necessary exemptions, such as the city business tax?
- Are your operative agreements up to date? Have circumstances changed that require negotiation or changes to any of your agreements with your clients, vendors, suppliers and other business partners?
- Are your business relationships succeeding? If so, are there ways to continually improve upon them? If not, what needs to change?
Consider your year
Many small business owners fall into the trap of moving forward without looking back. Yet, the most successful businesses audit themselves. The end of the year is a great time to look back on the past ten to twelve months and think about what went right (What deals went through? What made you money?) and what went wrong (What deals fell through? Where did you lose money?). Then, come up with a plan for how to emulate what worked and avoid what didn’t in the coming year.
How an attorney can help
Some businesses do this on their own, just like people often diagnose their own illnesses in order to avoid going to the doctor. Yet, similar to how going to the doctor can ensure you get the proper care, checking in with a lawyer can help ensure your business stays both financially and legally sound.
An entertainment lawyer who has helped countless businesses like yours understands a wide array of legal issues that can affect your business, ranging from business operations to tax law and entertainment contracts. This knowledge is invaluable. By working with a lawyer now, you can save money, time and stress down the road — and keep your business strong.