Transitioning your small business from summer to fall

August 30, 2013

Employ these three ideas in your company to make sure you’re ready for Q4 2013.

As summer turns into fall, the weather outside cools a bit, kids go back to school and Q3 draws to a close.  Small business owners and entrepreneurs see year-end in the not-so-distant future and can use this time to get a jump on your 2014 business taxes and prepare for smooth sailing in Q4. Prepare for tax time Regardless of when your tax year closes it’s a good idea to review your finances quarterly.  Since the beginning of fall marks the start of Quarter 4 and the steady march toward tax time, why not schedule a couple of hours to review receipts and financial records?  During this time ask yourself:

  • Have I recorded all payables?
  • Are there any receivables that should be written off?
  • Are there other debts that have not been included on the books?
  • Are there any prepaid items that need to be adjusted such as prepaid insurance?
  • Are there inventory items that cost more than they're worth and should be written down?

Answering these questions now will make preparing 2013’s taxes easier.  You can also evaluate your cash flow situation and decide whether or not you can afford to make any purchases.  If your cash flow is good, consider purchasing some things you’ll need next year.  You could stock up on supplies, pay down bills or invest in equipment. Get a flu shot The flu isn’t just a runny nose and minor inconveniences.  It regularly lands healthy adults in bed for days; if that adult is a small business owner you can be sure those days will translate into lost revenue.  Particularly for small businesses, a day lost to the flu means an entire day of cancellations and rescheduling, which could lead to lost business. Even if you’ve already had the flu this year, vaccination prevents the possibility of contracting another strain.  The Centers for Disease Control estimate that between the 2005-06 and 2010-11 flu seasons 112,900 flu-related hospitalizations were prevented due to vaccinations.  We know you don’t have time for a mid-winter hospital stay, so go get that flu shot. Plan holiday scheduling Wouldn’t it be lovely if your business’s holiday and winter vacation schedule was squared away by Halloween?  We’re all familiar with the hectic schedules and travelling that go hand-in-hand with the holiday season.  Spend a couple of hours at the end of summer creating the vacation schedule for you and your staff and the “who’s going out of town when” wrangling won’t have to be part of your Fall to do list.