Daily tasks such as filling orders, managing staff, and meetings leave it almost impossible to find the time to keep an eye on all the different elements of your organisation.
Employees are the lifeblood of your SME. Sir Richard Branson puts it well - “Your employees are your company’s real competitive advantage. They’re the ones making the magic happen...so long as their needs are being met.”
What should you consider?
- HR - does your HR team require further training? Are all the department’s policies and procedures up-to-date, for example, do your employment contracts incorporate the right to ask for flexible work?
- Engagement - what is team morale like? Following the end of Coronavirus restrictions, is it time to plan some fun social events to bring everyone together? Also, is there a clear career development focus and progression structure in place?
- Contractors - has all the compliance around IR35 been completed? Are there some contractors who would make valuable permanent members of your team? Are there projects in the pipeline that will require new contractors with specific skills to be brought onboard?
No business can survive without loyal, happy customers. All decisions you make should be done with your core consumers in mind. Things to consider include:
- How is your brand perceived? Are your reviews positive (Trustpilot, Feefo, Google) or are there too many negative complaints? Consider investing in an online tool such as Hootsuite to conduct an online reputation audit.
- Do you know your customers? What are their hopes and desires - especially given the traumatic events of the past 18 months? Investing in market research will help you understand customer pain points and how your products and services can solve their problems.
A health check is a brilliant time to evaluate whether your existing processes and procedures will support your business growth and strategy. For example:
- If you are considering entering overseas markets you will need to ensure factors such as:
- Do your data protection processes support such a move?
- Do you have a GDPR representative in an EU Member State?
- Are your commercial contracts compliant with the UK GDPR and EU GDPR?
- Do your commercial contracts need updating to cover any new compliance requirements or changes in your business processes?
- Is your insurance cover fit for purpose? A major cause of business failure and ongoing, costly litigation is insurance not responding after a disaster such as fire or flood. If you have increased your warehouse space or began purchasing and storing stock that is outside of your original cover, contact your insurer asap.
For modern businesses, especially those in the STEM sector (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), Intellectual Property (IP) is a highly valuable asset in terms of attracting new customers, investors, and potential future purchasers of your company. During the health check, consider:
- What stage are your Intellectual Property applications at? Are there any objections that have been missed?
- Are there any potential infringements to your trademarks?
- Are there processes in place to ensure new patents, design rights, and trademarks are applied for, and the application processes managed?
Business growth and investment require a stable cash flow and decent profits. When doing your health check make sure:
- Your debt recovery procedure is working.
- New revenue streams are being identified and exploited.
- Your sales pipeline is moving at an expected pace, with new prospects always being added to the funnel.
A company legal health check is the best way to establish how robust your SME is and what improvements need to be made to make your organisation even more successful. If you are ready to find out how healthy your business is, check out our free legal health checks.
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