7 Essentials for Business Owners to Do Annually

If you run a business, there’s a good chance that you have two or more to-do lists. One is for things that have to be done during a given day, and another is for long-term projects that you can put off for when you have time. In some cases, you might never have time for them, and it ends up not mattering. However, there are specific jobs and tasks that you need to set aside time for on an annual basis. Otherwise, you get caught up in the day-to-day and miss taking care of vital tasks to help your business run smoothly and find success.

While it can be a struggle just to get through your workday, never take these tasks for granted. Missing just one of them could find your business being penalized, set you back, or face legal consequences. So here are some of the most important essentials for business owners to do annually.

Examine All of Your Vendor Contracts

You should never get too comfortable with your vendor contracts. You might like your contact with the company, or they might give you what seems like a reasonable price. However, you should always be looking to improve. Successful businesses spend as little as possible to maximize their profit. There is no reason or obligation for you to stick with a vendor just because it’s comfortable.

Review all of the vendor contacts you have to see if there are places where you can do better. You might be able to get more with your current provider, or you might have to look elsewhere. If you find that you are getting the best possible deal from a vendor, then by all means, let them know. Showing your appreciation to them will strengthen your relationship and possibly lead to beneficial deals in the future. Also, it lets your vendors know that you aren’t letting them rest on their laurels.

Get In Touch With Your Top Customers

Take a look at your CRM and determine who your most valuable customers are. Then, give them a call or drop an email to talk to them. This should be a personal contact and not just a form letter or auto-dial. With so much noise and competition in the marketplace, customers appreciate personalization and not being treated like a number. You can ask for their feedback, run some ideas past them, and give them a heads up on new products or services. The most important thing you can do when getting in touch is to thank them for their business. They will appreciate your gratitude, and you will build a stronger bond with them.

Review Your Insurance

Much like with vendor contracts, business owners and individuals can get too comfortable with their business insurance. However, there is a lot of competition between insurance providers, which means that there are many opportunities for you to get a better deal. Every year as it gets close to your renewal, take a close look at your various policies. Yes, you will want to look at your premiums, but you should also look for any changes, especially subtractions from your coverage.

Once you’ve examined it closely, reach out to different providers to see what kind of coverage and premiums they can give you. You might find that you can get a significantly better deal or get more for the same amount you were paying before.

Audit Your Processes

Just because you’ve always done something a certain way, it does not mean that you shouldn’t be looking at ways to improve. Efficiency and effectiveness will save you money, time, and effort. As a business owner, you should review all of your processes and procedures to find ways to do them better. It could be eliminating steps to make a process more efficient or streamlining an approval process. In some cases, you may need to hire an expert to do the examination for you and locate any inefficiencies. Regular reviews will also encourage your employees to examine them as they work instead of settling for how it’s always been done.

Performance Reviews

Sometimes, performance reviews can take a back seat to daily priorities, especially in smaller businesses and organizations. Everyone is so busy, and things are functioning well enough that it’s hard to carve out time to go over your employees’ job effectiveness. However, making time for it will benefit you in the long run. Your employees need to know how they are doing. You can correct behaviors before they become too ingrained and use the opportunity to get staff feedback on how the business is operating.

Plus, the vast majority of employees want more feedback. They want to be recognized for their contributions, and they want to be given guidance to do their work better. Having annual performance reviews gives them and you time to prepare for and to look forward to.

Spring Cleaning

Over time, any office or workplace can start to look shabby. You might have regular cleaning routines, but these often don’t involve deep cleans and reorganizations. Once a year, whether it’s in the spring or otherwise, do a workplace cleanup with your team. You can do this by shredding outdated files, cleaning between the cracks, and ensuring that all of your equipment shines. This refresh will get your workplace back to looking professional and competent. Besides, there are probably some employees that do not have the same organizational and tidiness standards as others. Having a general cleanup will encourage them to straighten their spaces without having to single anyone out.

Create a Marketing and Social Media Calendar

Most businesses have special events, sales, and promotions throughout the year to get the work out about their products and services. It’s always better to have a plan for your marketing rather than coming up with things on the fly or finding yourself rushing to meet deadlines. By creating a marketing calendar and a social media calendar, you can have a bird’s eye view of everything that’s happening in the coming year. You can make sure that you will be able to start thinking of ideas and crafting messages well in advance.

Of course, you need to take care of a million things daily. That can be challenging enough, but there are certain things you need to handle on a less regular schedule. It doesn’t all have to be at the same time, but every year, take time for the tasks listed above as they will save you money, time, and effort in the future.

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