For many businesses, summer is a slow time. Customers and clients may be on vacation, and you may have time on your hands.
Don’t waste this time. As Miles Davis said: “Time isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing.”
Here are 10 things—in no particular order—that you can do now to save you money, improve operations, and position you for growth in the future.
1. Take stock of your business.
With half the year over, look at your numbers year-to-date. Have you been as profitable as you anticipated? What problems did you have and how did you solve them? Review your business plan to see if adjustments need to be made. Also revise your budget for the rest of the year to account for changes in expected revenue and expenses.
2. Begin to explore 2024 health care options.
August is usually the time when group health plan costs for the coming year are announced. We already know the 2024 dollar amounts for high-deductible health plans and HSAs as well as the dollar limit on excepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements. We don’t yet know the cap on health FSAs for 2024 (and won’t until later in the year). Altogether, you have enough information about health plans to start your inquiries now.
3. Prep for disaster.
Now that the Atlantic hurricane season is underway (and even if you aren’t within an area at risk), be sure your insurance is up to date. Add to your contact list: your insurance agent, the SBA, and FEMA…just in case.
4. Do professional development.
Now may be an ideal time for you or members of your staff to take courses or attend seminars. Watch the tax rules for deducting travel expenses for a combined business-pleasure trip.
5. Clean house.
Spring is the traditional season for cleaning, but if you were too busy to do it then, do it now. Clean out not only paper files and unused items laying around, but also old files on your computer.
6. Explore AI uses for your business.
7. Build an inventory for your content.
If you write blogs, do podcasts, or create other content, use the extra time you have now to build up material you can use in the weeks and maybe months ahead. Be sure that content for the future is evergreen.
8. Reach out to current and prospective customers.
Schedule that luncheon, make that phone call, send that proposal. Even if they’re not available to discuss business now, you may just line them up for connections after Labor Day.
9. Meet with your CPA.
With half the year over, now is a great time to do mid-year tax planning. Get input from your CPA or other tax adviser. Be sure you are up on new tax rules for 2023 so you can make tax-savvy business decisions for the rest of the year.
10. Take a vacation!
Use your slow period to recharge your batteries by taking time away from your business. A SCORE blog reported that only 57% of small business owners take vacations, and this statistic was based on old information. It’s unclear how many are vacationing this year but don’t let statistics influence your vacation plans. Just do it. When you return, hopefully you’ll feel refreshed and ready to move ahead.
As the song implies…“Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer” may be the optimum time to take a good look at your business.
Take actions now that will pay off for you going forward.
Additional resources about summer and vacations can be found in these earlier blogs.