September 17, 2018
For many business owners, September tends to bring a bit of a slowdown. The chaos of getting kids prepared for going back to school has passed, and a focus on saving money tends to kick in as people prepare for the coming holiday spend. Combined, this can often translate into a lull for business owners.
Take advantage of September slow time to tackle these tasks:
Clean it up— Keeping your business clean and presentable to the public is a big part of maintaining a strong brand presence. Divide chores among staff during slow periods to keep everyone busy…and your business spotless.
Organize and restock—Organize storage areas, recycle unwanted goods and donate gently used items. Purging is good for the soul…and helps you stay organized and efficient.
Perform a filing flush and software updates. It’s always when you are the busiest that you can’t find that needed file or you experience a system crash. Periodic system updates and file purging can help avoid these situations. Take time to clean out electronic files and update software to keep operations running smoothly for everyone.
Plan your holiday marketing strategy. Research ideas for amping up your holiday sales. Meet with designers to start developing your holiday social media, digital and print campaigns. If you also host a party for staff and/or the community, start mapping that out as well and book needed vendors.
If you experience a September slowdown, make good use of this down time to enhance business processes, keep your staff busy, and plan for upcoming events. An organized and well-run business is good for the soul…and for the bottom line.
If you’re claiming deductions for business meals or auto expenses, expect the IRS to closely review them. In some cases, taxpayers have incomplete documentation or try to create records months (or years) later. In doing so, they fail to meet the strict substantiation requirements set forth under tax law. Tax auditors are adept at rooting out inconsistencies, omissions and errors in taxpayers’ records, as illustrated by one recent U.S. Tax Court case.
If you’ve ever yawned your way through a wordy, boring document, you might have wondered if your own writing was as hard to understand. Luckily, there’s a great tool to measure the readability of your writing, and it’s as close as your word processor. (Note: For this article, we use Microsoft Word as our example. Details will vary if you use another application.)
Over the past year, we’ve all spent more time than usual at home—which may mean you’ve paid more attention to your utility bills than in previous years. If you’ve noticed a creep upward, here are some easy ways to help keep your energy costs down.