Published April 11, 2016 | Updated June 10, 2019
Ah, springtime. Sun, showers, flowers. Birds chorusing until they’re hoarse, peacoats and polo shirts on the same day. Mud.
And yet more mud – cold, bottomless, heartless, shoe-eating, dog-tracking-in, carpet-cleaning-company-approved mud. (If you live in friendlier climates, you have our envy. But not our shoes, which are now part of the deep-earth fossil record.)
But enough about spring. It’s time to think about summer. As if you weren’t already. But what about summer for your business?
As smart businesspeople, we really need to be thinking around the corner. That means summer. Fall and winter, even. But first, summer.
Are you ready? Here’s a checklist to help you prepare.
10 Point Summer Business Checklist
- How’s the AC? Comfortable customers and employees are happier customers and employees. Ones who are more favorably disposed to sticking around, buying things, getting work done and not dissolving into sweat puddles. The last thing you want is to face a long, hot summer with a broken or struggling air conditioning system.
- Are all vacation requests in and time off covered? Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean aren’t going to ride themselves, you know. Summer is vacation time. Also hair-pulling and customer-disappointing and sales-losing time, if you haven’t got coverage.
- How’s your curb appeal? Is your parking lot looking good? What about any greenspace around your property? Your building’s facade, signage and lighting? Even if you don’t have a storefront, it still pays to present a neat, clean and attractive face to the public. People do judge books by their covers.
- Do you need to reestimate your estimates? Check your estimated tax payments against actual and anticipated revenues and adjust accordingly to avoid surprises and penalties next tax season.
- Is your cash flow still flowing the way you expected? Every businessperson has a cash redline in mind, if not on paper or screen. Then there’s that caution zone, where cash isn’t low enough to trigger alarms, but getting there. Close enough at least to cause low-level anxiety you carry around on your shoulders all day long. Not healthy for you or your business. You may want to give yourself some breathing room by stepping up your efforts to collect receivables, delay payables and check out alternatives to cash outlays, such as financing.
- What’s your progress toward this year’s goals? Are you on track to meet the sales, efficiency and other targets you set last year? If not, what would it take to get you there? More employees? Additional or more productive equipment? A new marketing push? If the budget’s a little too tight to make some of these changes, see item 5 above.
- What about an employee appreciation day? Summer’s a great time for this, and a company barbecue is a great – and reasonably priced – way to show employees you value them. Parks, shelter houses and other outdoor venues are going fast this time of year though, so it’s a good idea to reserve now, as well as arrange food, entertainment, activities and funding for all of the above. Don’t forget the kids – you really can’t go wrong renting a bounce house.
- Need furniture? If your office furniture could use an update, now’s a good time to get it according to money experts. Also a good time for refrigerator shopping, if the one in your breakroom was new when Netflix was still about DVDs and no one had ever heard of an iPhone.
- Is it time for a business energy audit? Depending on the age of your lighting, heating and other business-essential equipment, you could save considerable money every month by upgrading. One way to find out for sure is to get an energy audit from your power and gas companies. In some cases, the cost of your audit is partially or fully refundable.
- Have you set aside time for a break this summer? While it’s sometimes not possible or desirable to get away, everyone needs a rest occasionally. You won’t do your best work without some downtime. And doesn’t your business deserve your best?
Summer is coming. Take some time now and plan to make it a great one for you and your business. After you scrape the mud off your shoes and your carpets and your dog.
Need equipment financing to get a jump on summertime? Talk to us!