Business planning is a balance between examining concrete evidence and seeing the future. As a business owner, you have to guess what will happen to mitigate risks and help their company flourish, which is no easy task.
Luckily, you can consider several observed trends to prepare your company for some of the most likely obstacles in 2018.
#1: Tax reform uncertainty
At the end of December, Congress passed a contentious new tax policy. The effects of reform will likely affect business owners in a variety of ways. Some industries could benefit while others may see little difference in their tax strategy. Regardless, business owners should begin to work with the IRS to understand these changes, adjust W-4 forms and update withholdings for their employee payroll as early as possible.
#2: Spotlight on harassment
In 2017, sexual harassment was the talk of the nation. From Hollywood to Capitol Hill, harassment cases arose along with a wave of social attention, including the #MeToo movement. Business owners should re-evaluate human resource strategies to avoid discrimination and harassment of all kinds, including sexual misconduct. Your attorney can help you fulfill compliance laws. Not only can harassment problems damage your employees, but they can tangle your company in lawsuits and destroy its hard-earned reputation.
#3: Major mergers and acquisitions
Several large corporate players went shopping last year. Disney, Amazon, Apple, CVS and many others sought significant acquisitions, which may continue into 2018.
Small businesses probably won’t receive a billion-dollar offer anytime soon, but they should be wary of such a high degree of corporate consolidation. These famous companies are gaining more resources to weed out competitors from the market. Furthermore, less competition between suppliers could increase your overhead as prices rise – simply because they can. Business owners should watch potential deals carefully and adjust their financial plans accordingly.