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Legal Considerations When Making Your 2022 Biz Resolutions

Legal considerations for your business resolutions

With the end of the year comes time to reflect, set goals, and plan ahead for the new year.

For some, with the beginning of a new year comes new motivation and the setting of Big Goals, to guide them through the rest of the year. For others, the new year is a time for pause and quiet reflection to review the previous year to see what worked, and what didn't. Maybe you're like me, and a mix of both. 

I’m all about setting realistic resolutions and creating an action plan for how to make them happen. In this community, I know a lot of you are looking to refine business processes, increase your income and take more time off - and I'm here for all of it!

So to help you get there, I put together this list of legal considerations to keep in mind when making your 2022 business resolutions. 

1. Growing Your Team

Growing your team is a powerful way to make a bigger impact without taking on more work than you can handle. After all, you got into this business to create a life with more freedom, right?

Before you start the hiring process, you need to get really clear on what kind of support you need in your business. If you are unsure about the differences between hiring a contractor and an employee, check out this blog post here

It’s important to understand the difference between these two types of hire, as there can be expensive repercussions if you don’t. 

There is a reason I don’t sell employment templates on my site. I really believe if you are at the point in your business where you're bringing on an employee, it’s important you have a lawyer assist you to create your employment agreement, so it's compliant with the laws in the province where you live, and that you understand your legal requirements as an employer. 

If you know your business is ready to hire a contractor, then this Contractor Agreement is a great starting point to do this. If you have any uncertainty about hiring either a contractor or an employee, then it’s never a bad idea to reach out to a lawyer to ensure you are on the right track. Usually lawyers will give you a free 15 minute consultation, so it doesn't hurt to reach out.

2. Incorporating your Business

The next legal consideration to keep in mind when setting your New Year’s biz resolutions is whether your business is getting to a point where it makes sense to incorporate. Incorporation is when you create a separate legal entity in the eyes of the law. 

For most online entrepreneurs, unless they are in a particularly risky industry, the decision to incorporate usually comes down to a financial reason - they want to take advantage of certain corporate tax benefits. 

However, there is no “magic number” that dictates at what point it makes financial sense to incorporate and this decision is usually made with the advice from an accountant. Businesses that are inherently more risky often incorporate right away because they want to separate their personal and business liability. If you want to learn more about incorporation, you can read about it in this blog post I wrote for my law firm, Wild Coast Law

Before you decide to incorporate, it’s a good idea to check in with your accountant and lawyer to make sure it’s the right time, as there are more fees and admin associated with incorporating so if this is one of your goals, you want to ensure your timing is right. 

3. Refining Your Client Processes

I don’t know about you, but when the end of the year rolls around, I go into  major organization and refinement mode. I recently hired an expert to move my whole law firm over to Dubsado and I can already tell how life changing this is going to be. Refining your client processes is important anytime you notice issues popping up and no better time to reflect and refine then when you turn the page on the calendar. 

Take some time to review your client onboarding processes and workflows. The more you can keep these processes organized and flowing smoothly, the easier your life and your clients’ lives will be.  

It’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of using great contracts to make sure you and your clients are both on the same page before moving forward. If you're just starting out, a great client contract can help you figure out your business policies and processes, maybe even ones you didn't think of! If you're growing and scaling, then it's a good time to ensure your contract reflects your processes and you are proud to send it to clients you are charging premium prices. I've created unique done-for-you contract templates no matter what stage you are at in your business here

With more experience, you might find you want to start including questions in your intake form or certain clauses in your contracts that weed out clients that aren’t a great fit. 

It’s a great idea to keep refining these processes as you live and learn. Put a date in your calendar to review and reflect on any issues that popped up in the last year, and make changes to your contract to prevent them from happening again!

4. Launch a Course or Create a New Service

Is one of your New Year’s business resolutions to launch a course or create a new service? Amazing goals there, friend! I've got a few course ideas up my sleeve too!

When you are launching a course or new service, you will likely need different documents to protect that content. Think about how you want to limit how people can use the content you create. Additional terms of use, updated privacy policies, or perhaps terms of service for a membership or affiliate program may be needed. 

Add these items to your launch ‘To-Do’ list so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. Considering these kinds of terms also forces you to think about how you’ll deal with refund requests, cancellations and copycats. This allows you to be proactive and meet any situation with a clear, confident solution. That's how I want to head into 2022, how about you?

5. Grow Your Email List

If you’ve been paying attention to the marketing world in the past year, you know just how impactful growing your email list can be for your business. When Facebook and IG shutdown, we were all reminded how important having an email list is!

The best way to attract your ideal clients, serve them value, and get them to subscribe to your email list is by offering up an irresistible lead magnet (AKA, a freebie). This allows your ideal clients to get a little taste of what you have to offer before committing to working with you. 

As you grow your email list and offer more lead magnets, just make sure your privacy policy is up to date and reflects your current back-end systems. 

6. Celebrate The Wins

No matter what goals you have for the next 365 days or what you’ve learned over the past year, be sure to celebrate all the wins: Every Damn One Of Them, no matter how big or small. 

Take time to remember why you decided to get into this crazy freelancer world and never lose sight of where you are going. 

The more you can stay in touch with your ‘why,’ the more enjoyable your work will be. 

Now we all know accountability is huge when it comes to achieving our goals! Tell me in the comments or reach out to me on Instagram to tell me yours!

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