The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to take stock of your business, review your performance over the past twelve months, and take a look at the state of the economy and business in general. Every year, people publish lists of trends from the past year, trends to watch out for in the new year, lessons and warnings, and so on. A small business owner can get overwhelmed by all the lists and advice circulating, especially in the first week of the new year. As business attorneys, we like to take a look at the issues affecting New York and New Jersey to see how we can best serve our clients.
The economic outlook for New Jersey and New York is good, but current conditions remain rather bleak, with hiring still down and borrowing and lending only rising slowly. In times like these, it is important to recognize what is working in your business and what is not working, and to look at new developments that could help. The Street‘s Elizabeth Blackwell recently identified five lessons for small businesses from 2011 that are worth reviewing.
First, New Jersey small businesses have an abundance of resources offering support to owners and managers. Trade associations, merchant groups, chambers of commerce, and city- and state-supported programs allow business owners to draw on the expertise of others, or just to spend time among like-minded people. No one should have to run their business entirely alone.
Technological advances continue to change the way we run our businesses. Sometimes these changes make little overall difference and eventually fade away. Others make a lasting mark. Blackwell identifies the iPad, which gained ever-greater prominence in 2011, as an “instant status-booster and conversation-starter.” Identifying which new technologies are worthwhile and which are not is an ongoing challenge of running a business.
Social media may have hit its high point in 2011, with nearly every business in America deciding whether or not to join Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms. Some businesses will thrive online while others will remain comfortably analog. This decision depends entirely on the personality and needs of the business and its owners. Some features of the pre-internet days remain crucial features of running a business. For many businesses and customers, no amount of social media proficiency will ever replace the power of a simple handshake.
The idea of a “perfect” place to do business seems to have declined in 2011. Blackwell cites two studies done last year, one of which ranked New Jersey as one of the best states in which to do business, and another which ranked it near the bottom. More variables affect the decision as to where to locate a business than ever before. New Jersey offers excellent opportunities for many new and innovative businesses, through a growing base of talent, support from state and local governments, and proximity to the vast economy of New York City.
Finally, Blackwell cautions, and we concur, that business owners should take some time for themselves. Running a business is hard work. Give yourself a break now and then.
The New Jersey business attorneys at Samuel C. Berger, PC offer fixed-fee legal services to businesses and investors who want to do business in northern New Jersey and New York. To speak to a member of our skilled legal team, contact us today online or at (201) 587-1500.
More Blog Posts:
Expect Slow Business Growth for New Jersey in 2012, says SBA, New York & New Jersey Business Lawyer Blog, December 29, 2011
New Jersey Offers Support to Prospective Entrepreneurs, New York & New Jersey Business Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2011
Small Businesses Added 55,000 New Jobs to the Economy Last Month, New York & New Jersey Business Lawyer Blog, December 20, 2011
Photo credit: Henkster on stock.xchng.