Manage an Existing Business
There’s a lot that needs to go into managing an LLC. Not only do you have to take care of the initial requirements for forming the business, but you also have to manage the ongoing annual and other requirements. For example, if you are just getting started, you need to set up your LLC properly. To do this you need to first perform a business name search to see if it’s available in your county or state. After your name has been selected, you need to set up a fictitious business or trade name in your county and state.
When setting up your LLC, you must also be mindful of products or services, logos, or intellectual property that may require a trademark. If so, you will also need to perform a trademark name search and other things required by law.
As an LLC, you will be required to get a registered agent for your business.
A registered agent is a third-party that must be located in the same state as your LLC.
The registered agent is responsible for receiving and processing notices and other official correspondences from designated government agencies.
If you need to find or need to change a registered agent, you can start by contacting your local secretary of state or government equivalent.
Are you planning to operate your business in more than one state? If so, then you will also need to register your business as a foreign qualification (which is also referred to as a Certificate of Registration or a Certificate of Authority) in all non-domestic (foreign) states.
As a business owner, you also need to manage all aspects of your business by wearing many hats; all while overseeing multiple activities at one time. This is true whether you have many employees or just one. You are responsible for the oversight of them all.
As a business owner needing to manage an existing business, you’ll need to be mindful of many aspects of your business. This includes having a well-informed and motivated staff while simultaneously ensuring your LLC is functioning well from all aspects of your business to include:
- productions and operations management, and
As a business owner, it’s important to always keep various ways to grow and make ongoing improvements to your business in mind. If you are a new LLC or if you’ve been in business for a while, the following are just some ways that you can better manage an existing business.
Oversight and Management of Your Staff
Once your business is set up and running, you need to find ways to manage your employees and the various roles that they will play.
Managing Staff and Employees
If you’ve hired employees, you need to first make sure that you have an active IRS tax ID or EIN Number, that is in good standing. An EIN number is a federal employer identification number that is assigned to businesses by the IRS. It is used to both file and report both income and payroll related taxes, regardless of how many employees you may have.
1. Determine How Many Employees are Needed to Effectively Run Your Business
If you are just building a business from the ground up or you are running an existing business, you need to have a good understanding of what your staff needs are. To do this, think about all of the different assignments that need to be performed. Then think about how much one individual employee can handle. By analyzing each task, you can get a better idea of how many individuals are needed for each assignment.
2. Hire New Employees as Needed
You may find that you need more staff than you initially thought. Hiring extra staff can lighten the load of your current employees.
When hiring additional staff, you may discover that some employees are more skillful than others and can take on more duties than you initially thought. You may also notice that some may work at a faster pace than others. Analyzing them all will help you to leverage and maximize your staff.
To hire staff effectively, it’s important to have a well-written job description that is associated with each job position in your company. Be sure each job description has an outline of every function that needs to be performed as well as the required hours, and whether or not the position will require a supervising role.
In addition to obtaining an EIN number from the IRS, it’s also important to make sure that you register with your local state’s labor office. You’ll also need Workers Compensation Insurance as well.
3. Overseeing Payroll Functions
Having employees is a huge responsibility. Not only are you responsible for adhering to a large number of labor laws, but you’re also responsible for maintaining a wide variety of payroll-related laws as well.
As an employer, you will be responsible for setting up a reliable payment system that accurately tracks employee wages and their hours worked. You will be required to accurately withhold federal, state, and local payroll taxes.
You will also be required to forward withholdings to the proper payroll and payroll tax government authorities.
4. Create and Operate From an Employee’s Handbook
You also need to develop a customized employee handbook that consists of everything that is expected from your staff. It should outline the staff’s responsibilities and the responsibilities of the company. The employee handbook should also include issues that address the following:
- Regular work schedules
- The company’s hours of operation
- Safety and security issues
- Leave of absence policies and employee benefits
- Anti-discrimination policies
- Diversity policies
- Compensation and payroll schedules
- Media relations and other related policies
By having this information, it will not only allow you to set guidelines in place, but it will let employees know that you have well thought out policies in place that must be followed. You could emphasize that some of your policies are based on regulatory requirements and some are based on corporate policies. Nonetheless, all of them should be adhered to maintain their employment and be in good standing with your company.
5. Have an Open Communication With Your Staff
When running a business, it’s also good to have open and ongoing communication with your staff. In doing so, you will have an opportunity to know what is taking in the work environment among your staff members. It’s also an opportunity for your staff to point out any minor problems that need to be addressed before they turn into major problems.
The following are methods to maintain open communication with your staff:
- Ongoing staff meetings
- Company bulletins or newsletters
- A virtual or physical company bulletin board
- A well-maintained calendar of events
Oversight and Management of Finances
The management of your finances requires the use of a trained bookkeeper or accountant depending on the complexity of your day-to-day operations. Nonetheless, if you hire a bookkeeper you may also need to utilize the services of a trained accountant or CPA.
There are several areas that you need to implement as it relates to your accounting, including the following detailed below.
1. Setting up the Right Accounting System for Your Business
When setting up your accounting system, you will need to decide on whether or not you’ll use the cash method of accounting or the accrual method of accounting.
Cash Method: The cash method of accounting allows you to recognize revenue when it is received and recognize expenses when they are paid.
Accrual Method: The accrual method of accounting allows you to recognize revenue at the time of the sale; whether you were paid for the sale at that time or not. The same holds true for expenses. Expenses are recognized when they are incurred, regardless of when they are paid.
2. Maintaining Good Accounting Records
As the owner of a corporation, you are required by law to maintain good financial records. There are a variety of software programs available in the marketplace that can help you to do that. For example, there are software programs such as:
- QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online
- Peach Tree Accounting
- Sage Live, or
- Zoho Books
3. Reconcile Your Accounts on a Regular Basis
Part of maintaining thorough and accurate records is to have your accounts reconciled each month. Not only do you need to reconcile your main bank accounts, but you also need to reconcile credit card accounts, PayPal accounts payment processing accounts as well.
If for whatever reason, your accounting records do not match your bank statements, the accountant must examine the records more closely to find the error. Once the error has been identified, the accounts can be reconciled.
The bank reconciliation process is important because, depending on the industry that you are in, you may be required to have quarterly or annual audits performed. Having accurate reconciled bank statements plays a key role in providing useful and accurate information to auditors.
It’s also important to ensure that your financial statements are kept up to date on a monthly basis. Primarily because you will likely need to have an audited annual report prepared.
Improving and Growing your Business
As a business owner, you may discover that there are various ways that you can expand your business. This can occur by implementing various growth methods.
1. Developing Growth Ideas
It’s a great idea to discuss and develop growth ideas with your staff. Some expansion ideas may consist of the following:
- Adding an additional product or service to your business
- Changing your advertising methods
- Broadening your customer base
- Hiring more staff to increase production
Before implementing an expansion plan, however, it is important to also develop a budget to see what cost factors are involved.
2. Expanding or Improving Your Marketing Plan
Having a good marketing plan in place will assist you in reaching your sales goals and objectives. A well-thought-out marketing plan and strategy can be a huge part of growing your business from a variety of different angles. It can also improve your chances of reaching your goals in a lot of areas. Including your overall sales goals.
3. Create a Budget
In addition to creating a marketing budget, it’s also important to create an overall budget for your growth and expansion plan.
Your expansion and growth plan will likely involve generating additional revenue, but it should also consist of incurring additional cost and expenses as well.
The key is to plan out all of the details in advance so you will have a clearer picture of what it takes to expand and grow your business. This will allow you to determine if your venture is going to be profitable or not before actually launching your growth plan.
4. Implement Your Growth Plan
After you have thought through various growth options, now it’s time to put your plans into action. In addition to developing a growth plan, you should also have a well-thought-out timeline that shows the timing in which the plan should unfold. This could consist of acquiring a new market base, implementing a new product or service, purchasing new equipment to increase productivity hiring additional staff, rolling out a new advertising plan and more.
5. Monitor Your Plan on an Ongoing Basis
Part of implementing a growth plan includes developing ways to closely monitor you plan on an on-going basis. That way you can make any needed adjustments whenever necessary.
An additional part of managing an existing business is to address conflicts. The best way to resolve conflicts is to predict the type of conflict that may arise. In doing so, you can already have guidelines mapped out that governs a wide variety of issues; including any of the following:
- employee related issues
- customer complaints and disputes
- emergencies such as
- the loss of data or
- the loss of key equipment used in production.
These are issues that commonly occur in most businesses.
Being proactive will allow you to have systems in place to address these issues during their early stages, which will minimize risk and cost.
As a business owner, it’s important to be mindful of the resources that you have at your fingertips. For example, there are many government resources that are available for small business owners.
1. The SBA
The SBA short for Small Business Administration is a federal organization that was established to assist small businesses with a wide variety of business issues. You can contact them through their website at www.sba.gov or by calling their SBA answer desk at (800) 827–5722.
2. The IRS
The IRS, short for Internal Revenue Service also makes services available for business owners. They have a wide array of material and provide answers to many questions that small business owners have. To learn more visit them online at www.irs.gov or to find out information that’s more specific to your local area visit them online at https://www.irs.gov/help/contact-your-local-irs-office/.
3. Other Resources
Your local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau are additional sources that can benefit small businesses as well.
One of the best indicators that you are properly managing your business is to obtain a certificate of good standing from the Secretary of State or its local equivalent.
Once you establish an LLC, managing it is an ongoing process. And even if you decide to dissolve your corporation, you still need to follow the proper business dissolution procedures to ensure that it’s properly dissolved. For more information about setting up or dissolving your LLC, please contact our office today.