15 Days into 2016 – What’s Different Than Last Year?

Almost two full weeks have passed since we celebrated the beginning of 2016. Countless people made personal and professional resolutions for themselves. People also resolved to build their businesses so that better success could be achieved by this coming December. Unless the processes to obtain those goals have been modified, the truth is that at the end of this year, 2016 will probably look quite a bit like 2015. Goals are not achievable without strategy and tactics.

One typical goal is to increase revenue (and profits) for your business from the year before. Raising revenue requires an examination of your current business relationships and how they can yield greater income. Next, the intelligent businessperson will review some of the past business relationships to understand why they are no longer current. Finally, no business should remain stagnant hoping that the world around them remains static; thus, the corporate officers should be looking for opportunities to create future business relationships.

You may be asking, “ok, I understand this, but what do I do right now?” Fortunately, one of your best sources of additional revenue is from your current customers or clients. Is it possible to offer them a new service that they were not already receiving? Perhaps they can be offered a better pricing structure in exchange for a longer commitment to your service? Similarly, what opportunities exist at your location? If you are a tenant, would your landlord agree to move you to a larger space? Could you renovate or innovate with the space you have to obtain better results? A different avenue of possibility is whether to add new employees. If so, part of the hiring analysis should include determining if the new person will add revenue to your operation as opposed to being another cost center.

Planning out the strategy for improving the current state of affairs will also provide a window into what can be done in the future. Part of the plan could include developing more targeted marketing and advertising efforts. Networking is always a buzzword, but increasing the strength of relationships yields better results in the long run. All of these external items will suffer if you do not take the time to invest in yourself and your business.

The old adage goes “doing the same thing again and again yields the same results.” One cannot improve their business outlook unless that person takes steps to improve themselves. When was the last time that a new skill was added to your repertoire? What about taking the time to start learning your client’s native language? Here in Miami, Spanish is widely spoken on a daily basis; however, during a trip through Brickell you are likely to overhear French, Russian, Hebrew, Portuguese, and German amongst other languages. What opportunities are created if you demonstrate the commitment to your customers that you truly speak their language?

Another potential tactic for your business is investing in your staff. Helping your staff to grow in their professional lives demonstrates your leadership ability and inspires loyalty. One way to ensure that your investment in personnel is not wasted is to have these select employees sign an agreement that exchanges your investment in their professional education with their commitment to only work for you for a particular period of time. This type of agreement should also include a non-competition provision.

Speaking of investments, one tactic for increasing the capital in your business is to add an investor. In this scenario, the business owner will release some control and profit of the enterprise in return for additional funds that can be used immediately to implement some of the strategies described above. The selection of an investor should be done with a full amount of due diligence, including a determination of what new business the investor can bring to the table. Adding a new member to an LLC may require changes to the operating agreement or in some cases, require the creation of an operating agreement. Selling stock in a corporation can be a more straightforward process depending on what is said in the by-laws.

New year – new results. To achieve these results, you must determine your goal, develop a strategy to obtain the goal, and then decide on the tactics that will achieve the strategy. For several of the strategies and tactics described in this note, legal documentation will be critical to ensure that your operation is not derailed. Yolofsky Law is here to assist you with protecting your ideas and relationships. We can also assist you with strategy development and tactical deployment. Please contact us online or call (305) 702-8250 to find out more.