Something a little different for you today. A quiz you’ll actually find useful (unlike all those BuzzFeed ones about which vegetable are you most like). Taking a minute to examine your small business’s health this time of year will help shape how you reach for your goals the rest of 2023. 

And speaking of the health of your business …. How is your staff situation these days?

Hiring and keeping workers is still one of the greatest obstacles I find my Northeast States small business clients to be facing right now. Especially here at the beginning of the year, when workers tend to cut out after year-end bonuses in search of greener pastures at competing businesses — often larger ones. 

And the reality is, you as a small business owner are going to have a difficult time keeping up with the demands an inflationary environment has created, especially in terms of paying as competitively as, say, a big corporation. So, you’re going to have to find new ways to hire and even retain your employees.

But you can still do it.

When you’re on the hunt for a real A-gamer new hire, sometimes you don’t have to look any further than your own team. Who is stepping up? Who is bringing lots of value? Who seems dedicated to building something with you?

And keep this in mind: You have things to offer that big companies can’t — simply because you’re small. Things like: more extensive job training, personalized support, and even just relational equity that serves to keep people around and happy.

You can still attract those A-gamers to your team with what’s already in your arsenal. 

Want to talk about anything related to staffing (or if you’ve got questions after taking the quiz below), you know we’re here to serve:

Regardless of if you need an appointment with our team here at Masterpiece Accounting Services, I thought I’d give you something to keep you future-minded. Many of our Northeast States clients have already addressed (at least some of) these issues.

These might be great topics of conversation when you do want to meet, though.

My Northeast States Small Business Health Quiz (Part 1)
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

Today, I want to give you some meat to chew about the underlying foundations of your business moving forward. 

The questions I’m going to ask might raise a few concerns, and that’s fine; that’s what I’m here for. Just know that alongside establishing clear measurables for success (KPI’s), these topics are exactly what effectively-growing Northeast States small businesses really need to get a handle on if you want to see your business soaring.

I like to share these questions every so often with my people, simply because it’s good practice to continuously revisit these things and ensure we’re headed in the right direction.

And further, as a business owner, it’s important that you take a REGULAR, clear-eyed look at the underlying legal and financial foundations for your business. 

That’s why I’m about to raise some issues to you and ask you some questions. If you take this process of evaluating your business seriously … it can really be transformative.

Take a look at each of these questions, and if you are troubled by any of your answers — give us a call. We can take some time to look things over and solve any loopholes in your business strategy. 

Alright, now onto the questions: 

Hogan’s Small Business Health Quiz

Small Business Health Question #1: Is the value of your business firmly established?
Questions to consider:

  • Have I ever had my business value appraised by an outside party?
  • Do I have a formal buy/sell agreement in place?
  • Is my buy/sell agreement funded?
  • Does my buy/sell agreement adequately protect my heirs, my business, and my partners?
  • Has this agreement been reviewed in the last 3 years?

If you have any plans to someday extricate yourself from your business (and you should ALWAYS consider your exit strategy), these are critical questions.

Small Business Health Question #2: Is there an emergency plan?
Questions to consider:

  • Do I have a will, and is it up to date with my business wishes?
  • Do I have a plan to retain key employees if something were to happen to me?
  • Are my assets protected from potential litigation?
  • Have I identified and written down my trusted advisors?

Unless you plan to forever cheat death, a business owner would be foolish to not prepare for that event.

Small Business Health Question #3: What happens next?
Questions to consider:

  • Do I have a formal succession plan prepared and on file?
  • Does my succession plan have a provision for disability?
  • Have I involved both family members AND key employees in my succession planning?
  • Do I have a disability buy-sell, or overhead expense coverage?
  • Do I have contribution protection for my retirement if I were to become disabled?

These eventualities always seem remote on the front end … but if your answer is “no” to more than a couple of the above questions, it would be a good idea to get in touch so we can help you fix it.


I’ll leave you with these small business health questions for today. Next week, we’ll take a look at a few more… 

Cheering you (and your business) on,

Ibanessa Hogan