Woot! It's 2019 and the beginning of another year! Many of us are making healthy goals for ourselves and our businesses. When thinking about the blog post for this month, I decided to focus on five key things that will help to protect your business as we move through the next year. These are great things to do every January and they can happen at any time during the year.
1. Plan for Self Development
You're amazing! You're killing it! You're a business owner and that life is not for the faint of heart! It takes a lot of willpower to stay in this game, and I'm sure you already know that you need to have ways to fill up your cup. If you're like me and like to work all the time, I encourage you to spend time on yourself because this will have positive effects on your business. This could mean many things: picking up that sport or hobby that you use to love, visiting a place you've never seen before, or maybe just setting aside an hour a week for a walk on the beach. We live in such a lovely place and there are so many ways to connect with ourselves right here. If you're the workshopping type I'll be partnering with some fun local groups to do workshops later this year!
2. Write or Update your Handbook
If you have employees and don't have a handbook you open yourself up to a lot of risk. The handbook is where you write out the complete agreement that you have with staff about the ways they will act at work and your responsibilities as their employer, There are a lot of great handbook building programs out there. If you use one of these make sure that it is California specific, because we here in Cali have a lot of labor laws that don't apply in other states.
If you already have a handbook, it is best to review it once a year and make updates. Maybe something happened during the course of business last year and your handbook didn't specifically address it. Maybe laws changed and you need to update a section so that you are in compliance. Maybe you found a spelling error. . . . Once you have updated the Handbook it should be redistributed to staff, and you should collect a new Handbook Receipt.
3. Write or Update your Employment Application
The laws on Employment Applications have changed quite a bit over the past few years. Read over your Employment Applications and make sure there are legitimate business reasons for asking all the questions you have on there.
4. Audit your Employee Files
In an employee files audit, you go through the files that you have for all of your current staff and make sure nothing is missing. At minimum this should include their W4, I9, Employment Application, and Handbook Receipt. Other documents may apply depending on your business type.
During the hustle of the year some things may slip through the cracks when you are hiring people, especially if you are hiring a lot of them. If you find that you are missing documents, then go to your staff and collect them again. There are some special rules regarding I9s. If you find you are missing one of these, let me know and we can talk about how to move forward.
5. Write or Update your Injury and Illness Prevention Plan and Emergency Action Plan
The Injury and Illness Prevention Plan details your company's processes for preventing injury and illness. This becomes a requirement if your company has a high Worker Compensation Insurance rating (meaning you had lots of accidents). If you implement one of these plans early, you will develop good habits that will lower the rates of injury and illness at your business.
The Emergency Action Plan details your company's processes for dealing with things like power outages, medical emergencies, fire, earthquake, flood, and the like. Emergencies are rare which means that some of us don't think to prepare for them before they happen. The Emergency Action Plan should be able to be executed by anyone managing your location so that when an emergency happens they know what to do.
If you have questions about any of these things, please reach out! I'm happy to dive into the details with you or provide you with resources so that you can find the answers yourself.
Need some assistance? Schedule a meeting with Candice here!