With the new year around the corner, businesses around Australia are preparing for year end reporting and renewals. For many, the new year can’t come soon enough after what has been a difficult year. However, business doesn’t just stop at the end of the year. To prepare your business for 2021, here’s some tips on getting organised before year-end.
1. Is it time to update my contracts?
The first thing to consider before year-end is your contracts with third-party vendors and partners. Has anything changed regarding this arrangement? Do you wish to proceed with the agreement(s) going forward? It’s also important to review all your legal documents to ensure that you are abiding with recent policy changes, particularly those relating to workplace bullying and customer privacy. The end of the year is also a busy time for businesses, particularly if your business will be closing over Christmas and New Year. At this time, it’s important to check that you or businesses you contract with don’t have deadlines that fall in this period. If you do, you can look at extending these timeframes or fulfilling the contract early.
2. Is my intellectual property secure?
You may not have thought about registering a Trademark before, especially if you’re operating with a smaller team. However, it can be costly in the future if you don’t have the right to use your own business name. There are a number of risks involved if you don’t register your trademark including:
- Another business could register and legally use your mark
- You could be inadvertently using a registered trademark
- You won’t have legal protection if another business uses your mark
3. Should I make changes to my workplace policies?
Great employees are a vital asset to any business, and to ensure you’re best serving their needs it’s important to regularly review your policies and benefits. Consider the language you are using in the policies and what types you’ll need to put in place to best reflect your team’s needs. If there have been any uncomfortable situations regarding workplace benefits or staff behaviour then the New Year is a perfect time to review these policies and get everybody on the same page. For example, it’s important to have a well communicated Drugs and Alcohol Policy to ensure that your staff is aware of expectations at Christmas parties and other social events where they are representing your business.