Distinctly Different

Regular check-ins are healthy for your business

By Sheri Benson, ISU SBDC business counselor

The holidays are upon us! It is a busy time working IN your business. Did you know that it is, also, a great time of year to work ON your business? We change the batteries in our smoke detectors annually.  We keep annual dental, vision and/or medical appointments to make sure we are running smoothly. We even honor service schedule for our vehicles!  SO, how about scheduling regular check-ups or ins with the people who help keep your most important economic engine healthy- your business?

For instance, year end is a great time to talk to your accountant. Discussion topics could include: Am I maximizing my tax deductions? I am contemplating hiring a new employee, what does that look like? I understand that there are changes coming to the Iowa Sales Tax system. What does that look like for me? I am frustrated with my bookkeeping software. Can you help me? I might want to sell my business this year. What should I think about? How do I know how much it is worth?

Then, how about a conversation with your attorney? Perhaps, the business has been organized as a sole proprietorship since inception. Your attorney is a great resource to help you think about the different legal forms an Iowa business can organize. There may be benefits available to you through organizing differently than when the business first opened.

How about your insurance agent? Sometimes we steer clear of these business partners, because they might “sell us something”. They might ALSO keep us from experiencing a financial loss, because the business insurance coverages do not match the current business risk. Does your agent know that the business keeps inventory at the owner’s home? Does the agent know the business has expanded into woodworking and has a lathe? Does the agent know the building has recently been fitted with new wiring, plumbing and mechanicals? An annual check in/up is a great way to convey changes.

Finally, if your business continues to feel the effects of COVID, and the PPP loans were not quite enough, there is time to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. These loans are administered directly by the SBA and are available until December 31, 2021. You can find more information online at sba.gov.

SBDC is here to work with you. How can we help? Let’s get a conversation going. You can reach us through a click or a call. The fastest method to connect with us is to visit our website at iowasbdc.org, select the request counseling button, complete the electronic form and choose Iowa State as your center of choice. Call us at 515-296-7828 or, ask a Chamber official how to reach us and they will point you in our direction.

Enjoy today-Sheri Benson, CBA, CGBP, ISU SBDC business counselor