Summer Slowdown in Your Small Business? Leverage it!

Summer slowdown? Not in your business!

Summertime can be a terrific opportunity to leverage the season and tackle all the tasks you’ve been putting off so far this year.

Truth be told, not all businesses experience a slump in summer. For instance, if you own a seasonal business (think: landscaping, construction, farming) you might be in peak season over the next couple months.

Other businesses, however, see what’s become known as the summer slowdown: a time when regular clients and customers go on vacation and put projects on hold for a while. In other words – you’re the last thing on their mind right around now.

No worries! Regardless of if it’s a slow time for your business or you’re running at full steam, you’ll benefit from reading the practical strategies below. Last month, we covered common sense spring cleaning tips ; this article will expand on that to help you make the most of the sunny season.

Tax season is over…or is it?

Taxes are a part of every business, and while you might not think of summer as traditional “tax season,” the Small Business Administration (SBA) explains that there are actually several important tax actions you can take this summer, for example:

  • Review the year so far. Has your income significantly changed? That could affect your estimated tax payments and tax liability for the year. Moreover, you can use the first half of this year to help you plan ahead for the final months left in 2019.
  • Chat with your tax professional. Share any major updates that may affect your tax liability so they can advise you accurately. You may also want to ask questions about retirement, health coverage, deductions, or purchasing/leasing business equipment.
  • Get your 5500 tax forms filed. Have a qualified retirement plan, like a 401(k)? You might need to file an annual information return with the Department of Labor. Filing isn’t required for SEPs and SIMPLE-IRAs, irrespective of the amount of plan assets.

Starting a new business this summer?

Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting a new business this summer – awesome! Summer can be a great time to start another business, since you can capitalize on the downtime to do your research and plan carefully.

The IRS has 4 helpful tax tips, including:

1. Determine the right business structure for you (the most common are: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation).

2. Understand business taxes. There are four general types: income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax.

3. Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number). You can apply for your EIN online here. This is a great way to reduce exposure to your SSN (Social Security Number).

4. Choose an accounting method. The two most common are cash and accrual. Your tax professional can help you decide which one is best for your business.

Ditch the same-old business meeting routine.

Infuse summer fun to turn a yawn, boring business meeting into a productive event to remember. Who said meetings have to be blah, blah, boring? Take advantage of everyone’s favorite sunny season and plan something fun.

Gather your team together and shake things up a little by scheduling an off-site event. It could be as simple as a team lunch outdoors or at a favorite local restaurant, or something more elaborate like an entire afternoon or even a 1 day getaway.

Do the same with key business partners and associates – invite them to a strategy lunch (or even a quick morning coffee enjoyed on a brilliant summer morning).

There are other benefits to this as well – when you divert from the same-old, same-old routine, people will feel more relaxed and open to sharing innovative ideas and unique perspectives…a win-win for everyone!

Summer is actually a great time for your business (and you!)

A Small Business Administration (SBA) article suggests that summer is a great time to do a basic audit with your team, your stakeholders, and yourself. Notice they mentioned doing an audit with yourself – too often, we overlook ourselves.

As the article aptly states, “Business owners often worry so much about pleasing customers that they forget to take care of themselves.” Well said! Now get out there and enjoy a fun, fabulous summer day!

Whether you’re starting a new business or ready to take your existing business to the next level, I’m here to help. Contact me today to discover how I can support you in achieving your most important business goals.

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