This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
Now that we’re in 2022, many small business owners may be wondering what they can do to make their business more prosperous in the new year.
For our first Small Business Focus of 2022, we thought we’d have a Q&A with our BizLaunch Director, Tara Palacios who will share some tips from her 20+ years of experience in helping small businesses start, grow and scale.
1.) The last two years have been extremely challenging for many small businesses. What is one action item that you’d recommend that all business owners complete in 2022?
If there is anything the pandemic has taught us, it is to make sure you have your house in order. One action item is to make sure that you are ready to take an opportunity that presents itself. Do a business audit ensuring that the formation of your business is solid. This includes making sure you have your EIN and that it matches your legal name of your business with the SCC. If you’re using a trade name for your business, ensuring that is registered with the SCC. You want to ensure everything matches with various regulatory agencies.
Additionally, you will want to make sure that you are current on all your bills, including your tax obligations to compete for opportunities. Last year, many entrepreneurs faced challenges regarding their legal structure, and you cannot apply for a grant or other forms of capital if your legal name does not match with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) or if you are not current on your financial obligations.
I would also recommend business owners check that their social security number or EIN has not been compromised, meaning someone else has not used your personal information. Individuals can pull a copy of their Social Security Statement and credit report to ensure everything matches their records. Maybe even consider getting a credit monitoring service as cybercrime continues to rise and small businesses are an easy target. The new year is a wonderful opportunity for businesses to audit these areas.
I think before the pandemic many businesses may not have been aware of certain regulatory requirements; however, at this stage of the game it’s imperative businesses have their house in order. Having your house in order will ensure you’re able to compete in 2022 whether that be for financial or business opportunities.
Finally, with so much disruption affecting businesses, I think conducting a SWOT analysis is helpful in analyzing future opportunities and threats and how businesses can combat those.
2.) If you could look into your crystal ball, what are …….