Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summertime and Your Business

Now that we’re into summer, is your business ready for the season? Here are some changes you might consider at this time.
 

Casual dress code

Some businesses relax their dress code during the summer to allow for more casual attire. This can be a slippery slope, with some employees wearing what an owner may deem to be inappropriate attire.
If you want to change your dress code, be clear about what is and is not acceptable. Ties may become optional in the hot weather but likely flip flops are out. See the EEOC’s rules on permissible dress codes.


Summertime hours
Depending upon the nature of your business, you may need to extend your hours of operation or opt to restrict them. Be sure to well publicize any changes so customers and clients are not caught off guard.

Energy savings

Adjust thermostats and make other savvy moves to save energy costs when the temperature rises. California offers tips to businesses that can be applied to businesses nationwide, including:
  • Conduct an energy audit to find ways to save
  • Turn off lights and equipment after hours
  • Set energy-saving features on office equipment to put them into sleep mode when not in use
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR equipment

Also, be prepared for periodic brownouts by making contingency plans.


Strategic planning

  If your business is slow at this time of year, it’s an opportunity to focus on long-range planning.
  • Marketing. Review and refresh your marketing activities. This will enable you to ramp up your efforts after Labor Day when people return from vacation and are ready to focus on business.
  • Taxes and finance. Meet with your CPA to review your business’ activities year-to-date and assess how things have gone. Maybe you need to make changes in your operations (e.g., cutting certain expenses; changing pricing). You can also do some mid-year tax planning.
  • Staff training. Now may be a great time to spare employees while they attend workshops or classes to learn or improve job skills.

 

Conclusion

To paraphrase George Gershwin, the living may be easy in summertime, but that’s no excuse for a business owner to take a permanent vacation at this time of the year. Use the time well to enhance your business — and enjoy!

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