Get Your Business Ready for Summer

Are you ready for the dog days of summer?IMG_1591[1]

For some, the summer means lying around the pool with unlimited lemonade and an umbrella overhead with a convenient misting system. For others, it’s business as usual! If your concerned about how the summer is going to impact your business, plan ahead and make the summer your best quarter yet!

Many business owners run their businesses the same way all four seasons. They set up a marketing plan with the goal of promoting their services or products without any thought to the changes that occur throughout the year.  It’s important to realize that business is different in the summer and recognize how this should affect your marketing efforts and will impact your bottom line.

Typically, one would think of clothing retailers and travel-centered businesses as examples of businesses that would be most affected by the seasonal changes that summer brings. A few others come to mind as well, like rental property, or even children’s dance studios (most do not provide dance class during the summer because of summer travel).

IMG_1589[1]But it is important that other businesses recognize that beautiful weather and time off from school can impact more than the typical businesses you often think of.

Take the time to brainstorm how your business may be impacted by the following:

  • Increased time available for children and teens
  • Increased demand on a parent’s time (possibly)
  • Hot whether equals less casual attire (at home and in the office)
  • Increased level of boredom for children at home while parents are working
  • Decreased funds due to having to entertain and feed kids all day, every day
  • Decreased local socializing and purchases due to family vacations and travel out of town or out of state
  • More or less outings to restaurants due to kids being out-of-school

The above list are just some examples that may affect your community during the summer months. On the other hand, your locale may see an opposite affect. For example, if you live in a vacation destination, you may have increase in traffic. Additionally, explore other changes (not just around family and children) that may affect your business.

Some people increase the amount of reading they do during the summer months. Others hire landscapers to free up time while DIYers may take on yard work to be outside more.

Evaluate changes in the market that could impact your business in the summer, and plan ways to reduce any negative impact they may have on your business.

Possible solutions to making the summer a great experience for you, your family, and your business include:

  • Using time-saving technology to schedule obligations in advance
  • Incorporate children into your daily business routine
  • Create a different marketing strategy or campaign for your business to utilize positive changes the season brings
  • Plan ahead to occupy children while you take care of your business responsibilities
  • Include rest and relaxation into your summer quarter and you would feel like you missed out

Feel good about the plan you’ve created to enjoy and make money during the summer. Look forward and do the same for the Fall! You’ll feel more prepared for the months ahead and reduce any negative affects the next season brings with it.

20 Ways to Save on Expenses for Business Owners

  1. Use natural sunlight to light the office. Work in an area of the office that gets great light and save on utilities.
  2. Print two-sided, or four to a page. Printing two-sided doesn’t help on ink costs, but saves on paper costs. If it is necessary to print drafts, print two pages per side and look at four for the price two before doing a final print. lightbulb
  3.  Streamline staffing levels to balance pay and overtime. Ideally, you want just enough employees to manage the work you have on any given day. Cross train individuals to soak up slack in a different department, or outsource simple tasks during peak times so you can use your human resources productively.
  4. Unplug or set timers. Research which appliances, equipment, and utilities that can be set on a timer or unplugged during downtime.
  5. Offer internships. Hire college interns and students in exchange for college credit or job experience. Many colleges offer programs to area business owners. These programs offer practical experience to students.
  6. Go for Cloud technology. Today, many industries provide various services using Cloud-based technology. From accounting to legal case management, businesses no longer have high costs associated with hardware and software requirements. They simply log into web-based services for a fraction of the cost.
  7. Search for inexpensive web hosting. If you’ve had your website for a while, you may want to check into reducing your Internet and website service costs. Many companies have had to reduce prices due to the amount of competition in the marketplace.
  8. Find an inexpensive business phone service. Look for alternative telephone options. If your business requires a PBX system, try Virtual PBX or similar options. No hardware of software required, so the costs are much less than regular PBX systems.
  9. Switch from a merchant account to an online payment. Still using the credit card machine to swipe customer credit cards. Look into Internet-based payment solutions. You may be able to save lots of money in monthly fees, and per transaction costs.
  10. Hire a freelancer. No need for an employee unless you have an ongoing, long-term need.
  11. Reduce advertising costs. Market your business online is much cheaper today. Use social media rather than a local billboard to connect with potential customers.
  12. Explore alternative business locations. Evaluate whether you really need the space you are paying for. Entertain the idea of a smaller building, or different warehouse setup to reduce the space you need. Changing locations or using your space more efficiently can result in serious savings.
  13. Keep the windows open.Cut the cost of air conditioning and heating during seasons that allow you to have the windows open.
  14. Lighten up. Paint walls a lighter shade and reduce the amount of light you need on all day.
  15. Control the unnecessary expenses. Determine whether an expense is a need or a want.
  16. Do the business online.Cut undo expenses by video conferencing, online billing, or Internet-based ordering.
  17. Share a printer among departments. Cut down on multiple printers, ink, and paper supply costs by streamlining with one printer.
  18. Hire part-time employees. Offer part-time positions. You cut costs on employee benefits.
  19. Go Paperless. This may be better to do progressively. Reduce paper waste right away, then look at areas where processes can be changed to reduce paper usage by 50%. Then, strategize to find other ways to minimize paper usage. Some businesses simply cannot go without paper, but avoiding waste and reducing usage can amount to a great savings!
  20. Stop using snail mail. Postage costs have skyrocketed in recent years. Communicating through e-mail eliminates most postage needs. Set up auto-pay on bills and there is virtually no need to send anything via old-fashioned post.

10 Great Super Small Businesses for Planners

  1. Farmer’s Market. Pick a locale and invite area growers, and ranchers to set up a booth.
  2. Local Food Festival. Bring local restaurants and caterers to showcase their foods for the community. Picture4
  3. Arts and Crafts Show. Invite area craft makers and artisans to set up a table and display their products.
  4. Bridal Show. Provide one locations or all the caterers, florists, DJ’s, and wedding cake providers to show potential brides what they have to offer.
  5. Office Party Planner. Connect with local businesses that wish to celebrate an upcoming event or season.
  6. Children’s Birthday Planner. Provide new and creative ideas to parents to help celebrate their children’s special day.
  7. High School Reunions. Coordinate family and high school reunions by reaching out to long lost schoolmates. Plan a event-filled weekend for participants.
  8. Flea Market Organizer. Provide an area for an outdoor garage sale. Rent booth space for days or weekends.
  9. Wedding Planner. Coordinate the wedding experience for brides by taking the stress and confusion out of the various elements one must prepare for the wedding.
  10. Travel Consultant. Pick a theme, type of client, or location and specialize in providing low-stress accommodations to travelers.

 

10 Great Businesses To Start In The Spring

  1. Children’s Activities Coordinator- So many kids sitting around for the entire summer. Promote good health and physical fitness by providing creative games in the park or in the backyard for neighborhood children.ozarks
  2. Hiking Guide- Know the area like the back of your hand? Guide others on a great adventure using the River Valley’s great trails, parks, and mountains.
  3. Garage Sale Manager- Help people that are too busy but have stuff to sell. Host garage sales for a percentage of the profit.
  4. Area Handyman- Pretty good at fixing things? Provide painting, moving, and fix-it services around town
  5. Pooper Scooper-Busy people don’t have time to clean up after the dog… $8-12 for a small backyard could add up to some serious money! IMG_0316
  6. Child Care Services-With the kids getting out of school many parents need dependable care. Provide flexible summer care for working parents.
  7. Floral Designer-Take advantage of your green thumb. Create beautiful flower arrangements for locations, weddings, and events.
  8. 8.Lawn Care Service-Provide one-time or ongoing mowing, edging, and yard clean up to area residents.
  9. Pet/House Sitter-Take care of neighbor’s pets and check on their homes while they are out-of-town.
  10. School Subject Tutor- Have a subject you are good at? Give instruction to children in need of a little extra help over the summer.

 

*** Please Note: Business ideas are simply suggestions. There is no guarantee of business success in any business. Additionally, all business ideas require planning and preparation.

 

Get Back To Building Your Dreams

So you started your own business because you wanted more flexibility. You wanted to be your own boss. Maybe you wanted to change the world.IMG_0229

Many individuals dream of starting their own business, but few take the leap. After they start their businesses, many find themselves working even harder than they did before. Flexibility turns into 14 hour days. And time with the family is overcome by multiple business calls. Stop getting bogged down in the day-to-day. Streamline your processes and regain your focus.

Ask yourself:

  1. What is the overall big dream you have for your life and your business?
  2. What do you really want professionally and personally in your life?
  3. What support do you need in your life to make your big dreams come true?

It’s okay if your dream is different or has changed since you started down your path. Record the answers to the above questions and strategize how you are going to get back on track to achieving your dreams.

 

Brainstorming Your Business Name

Once again, we are revisiting brainstorming to crBrainstorm Pictureeate the winning business name for you and your organization. After doing this exercise, you will probably be able to look around your community and determine which entities took the time to really think out their business name.

Today, branding is the hot topic. The concept is to create a marketing strategy and name for your business that encompasses you, your products, and/or services. For example, when you see Bubba’s Garage you don’t envision an engineering firm. Another example is Tammy’s Cleaning. This is not a typical name for a business that is vying for million dollar government contracts. It’s not that you won’t be successful if you don’t take the time to choose the perfect name, but as you will see, working with a business name that stands out and portrays the image you want it to makes marketing, advertising, and sales go a lot smoother.

Here, we have provided an example brainstorming worksheet for a residential cleaning company. At the bottom of the article, we have provided a template you can print off and use. Again, this is an important process and may take more than a minute.

Brainstorming Worksheet Business Name Example

After you think you have the name you want, you may want to take a moment and envision how that name will look on signs, business cards, and other marketing material.

Brainstorming Worksheet