Weekly Business Idea

April 27, 2018 – What Do You Need to Own?

Posted on | April 27, 2018 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Are you still having problems even when you are being proactive?  Are there some issues in your business that can completely derail your day, week, or year?  Is having a plan enough?

Expansion of the Idea:

On December 22, 2017, tax reform hit the United States.  As I started to learn what was included, I realized very quickly that this was potentially a game changer as far as my business was concerned.  Provisions in the bill changed advice I would give clients.  Clients were going to have a lot of questions.  More time would be spent explaining things to clients.  The tax simplification included in the bill possibly would significantly change my client base in the future.  (And not in a good way.)  It became very obvious to me that this was going to disrupt tax season.

Last week I wrote about being proactive, which is a critical quality for a small business owner or manager to have.  Being proactive solves so many issues for small businesses.  However, as I started thinking about the tax reform, proactivity wasn’t enough.  This situation required something beyond being proactive.  I needed to own it.  I needed to know what was in the tax reform.  I needed to be able to consult with clients in connection with their type of entity.  I needed to communicate with clients on the impact of the tax bill.  I needed to know what the impact of the tax reform will do to my client’s 2018 tax bills.  And I needed to do all of this before I got real busy with tax season.

This was a very large project because of the various moving parts of the tax law.  I did four main things to deal with the problem.

  1. I created my own template for analyzing the choice of entity.
  2. I created a template for explaining the tax changes at the personal level.
  3. I offered four workshops to explain the tax changes to business owners
  4. My team prepared tax projections for all individual clients in connection with preparing the 2017 tax returns, which we gave to the clients.

My point here is not to say I did a good job.  I messed up parts of this process.  The real point is that there are some things that we positively, absolutely have to own.  All of our businesses have some of these things. These are the areas of our business that are so critical that we need to be in control of them.  We cannot allow problems in these areas. They might include:

  • Our marketing plans
  • Product quality
  • Supply chain
  • Employee training
  • Customer service
  • Finances and financial decisions
  • Succession and retirement

At any time, you probably should not have more than one thing that you must own.  If everything is important then nothing is important.  I think most of us know in our gut that we need to focus on a particular area right now.  This area can make or break us in the short term or long term.  As a result of my firm owning the tax reform, we had significant interest in the workshops.  Clients appreciated the information and didn’t stress about it. And most importantly, most of our business clients took the time to do some planning.  That will help them and me as we go through this year.

Here are some possible next steps:

  1. What is one area that you need to own?
  2. Carefully define it.
  3. Brainstorm with your team ways to get ownership of the area.
  4. Go do it.


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  • About

    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.