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Baltimore, MD 

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New years resolutions for the health of your business

New years resolutions for the health of your business

It is that time of year I hear business owners say "this year I’m going to ...". In pondering what you think would make this year more successful, may I offer the following items to consider for the health of your business:

1. Review your insurance policies. Pity is the business owner that discovers only too late that he did not have coverage for the loss. Look not at what your policy covers, but what it does not cover. Everyone thinks of property and casualty losses. What others types of claims could be made against your business. Do you have errors and omissions insurance? Do you have employment practices coverage, i.e. wrongful terminations, sexual harassment, racial discrimination?

2. Create written employment policies. Written policies can provide assistance to your business in defending itself against certain types of unemployment claims and can provide a boost to important defenses to claims of discrimination. Be careful though of creating obligations to your employees. Seek the assistance of an attorney in drafting employee handbooks and policies.

3. Banking Is your bank charging you too much money? Are you managing your cash flow well? If you have excess cash, are you earning interest? If you repeatedly do not have enough cash to meet expenses would a line of credit solve your short term problems?

4. Update your technology. The question to ask is whether the new technology will save money or help generate revenue. Technology is a wonderful thing–when it works. Do not subscribe to the latest technology simply because it is the latest technology.

5. Tax Planning. Even now, some of 2000's mistakes can be corrected. Talk to your accountant. For next year, plan ahead now. The charities will thank you for your donations in March instead of waiting until the end of the year. A donation early in the calendar year is much more newsworthy.

6. Standard Document Review. The marketplace and the law change constantly. While I am a strong proponent of plain English, there are certain instances where specific legal language is required. Without the magic words, you can reduce the value of your written agreements.

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