Sports Law • Risk Management

December 30, 2010: New Year's Risk Management Resolutions

New Years is right around the corner and is a holiday known for the making of New Year's resolutions. These are often personal goals to improve one’s health, fitness, or lifestyle. However, this is also a great time to make New Year's resolutions for your sports organization. Below are some suggestions to get you thinking about your business in 2011.

1. Review Your Business Operations. Reflect on your financial health and your organizational goals from 2010. Did your business operate in the black? Were there any significant changes in acquiring new assets or in downsizing or increasing business operations? Do you anticipate 2011 to operate in a similar fashion or do you expect significant changes to occur? Looking back on 2010, think about what you might have done differently. Reviewing your business operations from 2010 is a good starting point toward making any resolution.

2. Set Realistic Goals. Once you reviewed your business operations, you can set goals. Especially with the uncertain economy, consider which goals are crucial for the upcoming year. Once the crticial goals are chosen, establish a timeline to fulfill each goal, select who is responsible for executing each objective, and evaluate how much it will cost.

3. Pay Your Bills. The end of the year may be the time for your organization to pay off lingering debts and to renew licenses, leases, etc. that are essential to the new year to avoid any unnecessary late fees or expiration of licenses or leases which may be essential to the continued operation of your business. Start your year off right by paying off old bills.

3) Review Your Insurance Policy. Consider an annual review of your insurance policy to better understand the risks and assets which are covered by insurance. If you made or anticipate any major changes in your business operations, your insurance policy may need tweaked. What is more, if you had no claims in the prior year, you may even be able to ask your insurance agent for a reduction in your premium.

4) Review Your Emergency Action Plan. An annual review of your emergency action plan will not only refresh your memory on what to do in the event of an emergency, but it gives you the opportunity to make changes to improve your emergency action plan. Particularly if there have been changes to your business, or if you experienced losses in 2010, your emergency action plan may need an update. Once you have reviewed your plan, consider practicing the execution of your emergency action plan with your staff.

5) Review Your Staff. Operating efficiently and cost-effectively is crucial to the health of any business. Consider if you were understaffed or overstaffed in 2010 or if you anticipate changes in 2011 which may impact your staffing needs. Also, review old job descriptions and the experience of your employees to determine if you are maximizing the efficiency of your staff. If your staff was valuable to the success of your business in 2010, reward those employees for doing a great job.

Ultimately, with the ball soon to be dropped in Times Square to signify the New Year, many will make New Years’ resolutions. This is a great time to make resolutions that will benefit your sporting organization and to kick start your New Year towards a great beginning.