Have you had time to blink? If you can believe it, 2015 is nearly over. With school starting back up and the inevitable approach towards autumn and the holidays, now is a good time to take a look at your company’s 4Q 2015 must-dos.
#1 – Mobile Friendly Presence
Are your company’s products and services easy and accessible to use for mobile customers? You have probably been hearing about the growth of mobile use over the past 12-18 months. For better or worse, it isn’t a fad. This year, for the first time ever, mobile use has exceeded desktop traffic. However, only 5% of businesses optimize their products/service offerings for mobile use. Take the next few weeks to look into whether your business should advertise using mobile avenues to reach the increasingly mobile customer base. “But I don’t sell services or products using mobile apps,” we hear from a lot of business owners. That does not necessarily mean that sprucing up your company’s mobile presence is effort wasted. The majority of research on products and services are now done using mobile devices. Does your company’s web presence carry over to mobile devices as seamlessly as a traditional desktop browser? If it does not, you may not only be dinged by Google and other search engines for not being “mobile-friendly” enough, you could be losing potential clients and customers.
#2 – Give Your Employees Performance Reviews
The majority of employment disputes raised by employees may have ended up differently if the business had provided accurate and timely performance reviews to the employee. The problem is that business owners are often so spread thin juggling customer work, operations, administration, finances, accounting, tax, and the list goes on and on, that to-dos that are not burning emergencies often end up not getting done. Employee performance reviews, however, should not be skipped. There are better and less costlier corners to cut. If you are having trouble getting a form that works for you and your business, drop us a note and we’ll give you some suggestions.
#3 – Set a Goal to Prepare Your Estate Plan by End of 2015
Estate plans for busy business owners can take months to properly formulate, think over, prepare, and finalize. Make it a goal to have your estate plan signed by the holidays this year, and you will ensure that your family and loved ones are properly cared for and that your final wishes are met. Most business owners are too busy to give their estate plan the time and attention it takes to properly formulate, and further, do not have the time to understand all of the options that are out there to determine which type of estate plan is best for their unique circumstances. Certainly, the number of options (testamentary trusts, A-B trusts, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, ILIT trusts, CRAT trusts, Crummey trusts, as well as straightforward wills, powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives (living wills), can be confusing and difficult to understand. The key is to take it step-by-step. AXIS has a free questionnaire for small business owners interested in estate planning that can help identify your goals and give you a recommended plan based on the information you provide.
#4 – Double Check Your Company’s Employee Wage Statements
As small business owners know, California’s wage and hour laws are like walking through a minefield. Inaccurate wage statements are one of the top traps for small business owners, mainly because employee paycheck/payroll software or out-of-state providers often are not structured or equipped to comply with California’s myriad of labor law requirements. Even if you pay your employees the right amount on time, your company could still get into trouble. Your company’s employee wage statements must have the following ten (10) distinct pieces of information: 1) gross wages earned; 2) total hours worked, except for exempt salaried employees); 3) piece-rate units earned if paid on a piece-rate basis; 4) all deductions; 5) net wages earned; 6) inclusive dates of pay period; 7) employee name and either last 4 digits of SSN or their employee ID number; 8) the name and address of the actual legal entity that is the employer; 9) the hourly rate then in effect and corresponding hours worked at each hourly rate; and 10) the amount of paid sick leave accrued. Sadly, there is no “no-harm no foul” rule, and leaving any of these items out can result in a $4,000 violation per employee. It’s a good time for you to double-check and fix any shortcomings.
#5 – Review Your Company’s Pricing Models and Whether Adjustments Should be Made in 2016
Like the rest of the U.S., California’s economy slowed notably in the first half of 2015, even though Silicon Valley and the tech sector continues to expand at a breakneck pace, and technology/business services continue modest growth. With approximately 2% inflation and slow growth predicted for the 2nd half of 2015, with a drop in unemployment down to approximately 5.3%, now is a good time for you to revisit your company’s pricing models for products/services and determine whether adjustments would be appropriate. Because making adjustments can take several months, now is a good time to begin your review and finalize pricing adjustments in the fall, with a January 1, 2016 roll-out date.
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AXIS Legal Counsel’s Business and Corporations Practice provides legal advice to numerous businesses with a variety of legal matters, including business formations, contracts, deals, and transactions, business administration, corporate governance, operations, risk management / insurance, labor/employment matters, intellectual property, healthcare, crisis management, directors/officers, private/data security, technology, statutory/legal compliance, and business litigation. AXIS represents businesses, corporations, LLCs, LLPS, partnerships, and startups in need of a corporate lawyer, for business legal matters as well as business litigation, such as disagreements, non-solicit agreements, non-competes, trade secrets, and other disputes with businesses. We are also experienced in providing assistance to business clients concerning business contracts, corporate formation matters, contracts and transactions, business litigation, business legal advice for Corporations, LLPs, LLCs, Partnerships, Small Business, Startups, and others involving corporate law.
If you are seeking a business lawyer, or for information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent your business in connection with any legal matter, contact [email protected] or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation.
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