Don’t Waste the Summer Doldrums

Summer heat can bring stagnation and inactivity. It seems that everyone is away and you can’t get any responses to your communications. Sales may be slow.

Don’t look at this just as a bad thing. Instead, consider it an opportunity to shake up your business and position yourself to do great things after Labor Day.

Here are some actions to take now that can prove to be very helpful to your business in the long run.

Review your business and marketing plans

When things are quiet, you can devote time to working on your business, rather than just working in it. You should be checking sales against projections on a regular basis, but many owners are too busy to do this; now’s the time to look at your business’ performance.

If you see that you’ve fallen short of projections, determine the reasons so you can address them. Maybe you were simply optimistic about the economy’s recovery or maybe your prices just aren’t right. If the reason is within your control, make changes to increase sales and profitability.

If you don’t have any formal plans, now is a great time to create them. Resources at Bplans can help.

Schedule an appointment with your CPA

Tax professionals typically don’t take time off until after October 15 so it’s likely you’ll be able to meet now. A mid-year meeting allows you sufficient perspective to look back on your income and expenses thus far, while still leaving you ample time to take actions before the year is out.

Questions for your CPA:

  • Are there any recommended actions that you should take to will save taxes for the year?
  • Are you in compliance with payroll responsibilities?
  • What suggestions does your advisor have in regard to long-term planning for your business?

If you don’t work with an advisor, maybe now’s the time to find one. Ask associates for referrals or find one through AICPA or CPA Directory.

Clean house

Spend downtime clearing your physical space of slow-moving inventory, clutter, and old technology. Put your staff to the task of updating customer lists. Make sure everyone knows about company policy regarding email deletions to avoid any legal problems.

Need help? Consider working with a professional organizer. Find one through the National Association of Professional Organizers.

Deal with personal issues

If business is slow, you now have the time to attend to personal matters you may have been postponing. Consider:

  • Scheduling doctors’ appointments that you need to have (e.g., an annual physical or a teeth cleaning).
  • Handling problems at home that may require you to be away from the office (e.g., the annual furnace servicing).
  • Visiting with family or friends. A day off here or there can be easily arranged if work is slow.

Bottom line

Being slow is a chance to complete many tasks that you normally delay when business is busy.

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