Having a happy and prosperous new year: 7 ways to protect and … – Lexology

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The last few years have been particularly challenging for businesses – dealing with the social, health and economic effects of the pandemic, braving the new world of flexible and remote working, and navigating rising costs and inflation. The upcoming Christmas break is a good time to reflect, rest and recuperate, and think about how you can best prepare your business for the upcoming year.
With that in mind, we’ve set out 7 ways to check your business is in top shape for the new year.
1. Take a free legal health check
Our free legal health check helps you evaluate how well your business is doing with legal compliance. We’ll ask you some simple questions, and you’ll receive a bespoke report to show where you’re scoring gold stars and where there’s room for improvement!
2. Create a business plan or review your existing one with a business plan checklist
Our business plan checklist helps you to create a persuasive business plan that you can show to potential investors to help raise funds for your business. Even if you already have a business plan, use this checklist to ensure that you have covered all the ground that investors will expect. You might also want to update your existing business plan for any recent changes to your business model.
3. Check you know your customers’ rights for returns and refunds
It’s vital to be aware of customer rights when selling online, especially over the Christmas period when online sales are especially popular and customers may want to return or exchange goods. Our guide to consumer rights in online sales can be used whether you’re an established online business or you want to start selling products or services online. You can check what rights customers have (eg cancellations, returns, refunds and complaints) and make sure your customer service policies follow the law.
4. Think about your HR policies, including flexible working
Having appropriate HR policies in place helps you to comply with your legal obligations as well as maintain good staff relationships. Our staff handbook allows you to keep all your HR policies in one easily accessible place. You can download the handbook as a whole, or choose individual policies that you want to create.
Next year the Government is planning to promote flexible working as the default, as outlined in our recent blog. Although the changes haven’t come into force yet, employees are likely to expect you to have a flexible working policy in place, and to consider their requests carefully. Use our flexible working toolkit to make sure you handle requests fairly and follow the law.
5. Check your T&Cs are up-to-date
This new year, make it a priority to review your terms and conditions of sale and confirm they still reflect what your business is actually doing. To make sure you follow the law and protect your business, use our template terms and conditions of sale, which contain all the legal terms and conditions you need, whether you sell face to face or online.
6. Make sure your branding is protected
It’s important to review your business branding periodically throughout the life of your business, and check that it’s protected by any existing trade mark registrations you have. If not, or if you want to apply for a trade mark for the first time, you can protect your business name or logo from being copied in the UK by applying for a UK trade mark registration. Our step-by-step guide can help you get it right first time and reduce the risk of delays or problems with your registration.
7. Don’t forget about data protection
It’s not enough to simply put data protection policies in place; you need to review them regularly to check they’re still accurate and reflect what you actually do with personal data. Use our data protection policy toolkit to create up-to-date policies and/or make sure you’ve put the right policies in place first time. It includes privacy and cookies policies for dealing with customer data, as well as internal policies to make sure your staff know about their data protection responsibilities.

The content in this article is up-to-date at the date of publishing. The information provided is for information purposes only, and is not for the purpose of providing legal advice. ©Sparqa Limited 2022. All rights reserved.
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