Business Tips for the New Year
Happy 2015! With the dawning of the New Year, many folks concentrate on getting their business affairs in order. Before we get too much further into the year, we’d like to share a few business tips and highlights of new laws that can help you hone your competitive edge.
- Review your cyber security. Ensure that your anti-virus software still meets your security needs, and check regularly for software and operating system updates and patches. Other preventive measures include providing firewall security for your Internet connection and encourage or require employees to password protect and use security apps on any of their handheld devices that may contain data pertaining to your business. Be sure to train your employees in all security protocols.
- Stay up to date on compliance deadlines. Be aware that states periodically change compliance deadlines, forms and fees. Reviewing these details well in advance can help you avoid late fees and loss of good standing. Schedule Outlook or smart phone reminders to stay on top of deadlines.
- Revisit your business plan. You went through all that trouble to create a great plan to take the business world by storm, so it shouldn’t be left idle….
- Rev up your professional networking. Even if you’re already a power networker, review your business association memberships and decide which are still relevant to you and how they fit into your budget. Consider whether you should expand your networking circle, and don’t forget to consider conference and convention opportunities for 2015. Get your employees involved too. They’ll benefit from the new connections, continuing education opportunities and the satisfaction of attracting new customers to your business.
- Reassess your online brand. If you don’t already have a Google Alert set for your company, do it now. Consider adding Google Alerts for the names of your top executives and any branded products or services you provide. Look up your company’s name on search engines to see how quickly your firm pops up. If your online brand is suffering, either from negative reviews, an outdated website or lackluster search engine optimization, don’t wait to address the issues. First impressions are hard to reverse.
California has several new laws taking effect in 2015 that may impact California businesses. A few of those include:
- Mandatory Paid Sick Leave. Starting July 1, all California employers are required to provide paid sick leave to any employee who works in California for 30 days, at an accrual rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.
- Harassment Training. Starting January 1, employers who employ 50 employees or more anywhere are now subject to mandatory sexual harassment prevention training to all California-based supervisors to include the prevention of “abusive conduct.”
- Unpaid Interns & Volunteers. Starting January 1, unpaid interns and volunteers are now entitled to protection from harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
Additional laws affecting California businesses will take effect this year, so please consult with your attorney and/or human resources professional for more information about all new legislation that may affect your business in 2015.
A new year is full of possibilities. We hope this article is helpful in supporting all the grand plans your firm will implement this year. At Regents Bank, we are proud to be a consultative business partner for our clients as they continue to lead and transform their industries, and we look forward to working with you to make all of your New Year’s possibilities become realities.