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New Year Planning and End of Year Review

Posted on June 18th, 2021

Estate Planning Attorney in Bozeman, MT

Estate Planning Attorney in Bozeman, MT

Wow, by the time you are reading this article, we have been through a wild and crazy 2020. Hopefully you have had an enjoyable time with your families during the holidays and now it’s time to get back to work on your business, instead of working in your business.

I am not talking about setting New Year’s resolutions, which, by the way, only 8% of Americans keep with their resolutions through the entire year and over 80% have failed by the start of February.

I am talking about looking at your numbers and figuring out what went right or wrong in your business, based on the cold, hard facts in your financials. You might be asking yourself, how can we make any determination based on numbers when we are in the middle of a pandemic? This is exactly why you need to look at your numbers. 

Running your business is like flying a plane. If you have ever sat down in a cockpit, you see lots of dials, buttons, levers and controls. Would you want a pilot that doesn’t know what each of the dials, buttons, levers and controls do to the plane? Then why do many of us run our businesses like a pilot that doesn’t know his controls?

If you want your 2021 business year to be financially amazing, then you have to know your numbers. Now, you should be asking, what do I need to do next?

The first step is understanding how you did financially in the past three years, and why did you get the results that you achieved? Did your assumptions hold true, especially in light of the events that happened in the past 12 months?

Now, once you have analyzed the past, what is it that you want to achieve in the future, and why do you want to achieve it? What will be the key performance indicators that you need to track so that you will know what success looks like?

A client told me once that they wanted to introduce 10 new items to their menu. They just added the new items to the menu, without any advertising or fanfare created through advertising or team training. Nine of the 10 items were an absolute flop on the new menu and actually performed worse than the 10 items he pulled from the prior menu. He instantly saw this as a failure because all he did was look at the numbers. He did not ask why he received the results that showed up in the numbers. He did not ask, “Why did I get the result?” Instead, he simply accepted the numbers and returned to the old menu.

What could my client have done differently? Do you believe he put thinking time into the results? Could the season have had an impact on his menu? His marketing effort? Training the staff? We can all think of a myriad of different reasons that the menu wasn’t successful and the numbers only paint part of the picture. We always have to get back to thinking time and reflect on why the results happened. Without reflection, we only get a tiny piece of the story.

As a quick aside from today’s article, the vaccines are shipping across the country. We are being frequently asked whether or not an employer can force their employees to take the vaccine. The simple answer is yes but is that what you should do as an employer? I personally would advocate for a carrot, over the stick. An alternative would be to offer some sort of bonus for all your employees that do get the vaccine. Think about the cost to your business of having an employee out for two weeks, or even possibly coming into work, unknowingly infected with Covid. Your whole team could be out for two weeks and your business shut down. Just my two cents in advising clients in the ever changing face of Covid.

If you are facing an estate planning issue and need legal guidance, contact an estate planning attorney in Bozeman, MT, like the professionals at Silverman Law Office, PLLC.


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