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Making the Most of the “Dog Days of Summer”

Picture of lazy dog on patio lounger with lemonadeDays are long and hot, people are wishing for pool time, staff is scattered due to vacations and kids’ schedules — Summer isn’t a very productive time at work, is it?

You can actually take advantage of this ‘down time’ and make it work for your business:

Catch Up On Filing and Paperwork: Slower days at the office are a perfect opportunity to go through that pile of receipts and invoices that need to be sorted and purged. These hot days where you actually are happy to be spending them inside air conditioned offices make ideal times to go through old files. Make a goal for yourself: Each week, you will go through X number of files from more than 7 years ago and start looking for documents and forms you no longer need to keep or can be digitized — Reducing office clutter and streamlining your records.

Prepare for Busy Times Ahead: For many companies, Q3 and Q4 are ‘go time,’ especially the holiday season for any enterprise focused on retail, entertainment or end-of-year needs. Set aside time to review your inventory needs for holiday sales — Take a look at holiday ordering needs over the past 5 years and compare them to actual sales to help you get a true understanding of what you need to prepare for busy months to come! This is often easier to accomplish now, versus feeling rushed to get in a holiday order when you wait until the last minute.

Clean House: Another advantage of a blasting air conditioner is a cool work environment when you need to do some cleaning and organizing. This could be a project you tackle yourself or with co-workers or even outsource it, but this is a good time to ‘get dirty’ and go through closets, storage rooms, unused office space and warehouses and look for outdated or broken equipment, unnecessary duplicate items and the like. Either donate usable items to charitable organizations or arrange a dumpster to dispose of large amounts of no longer needed office waste that is occupying space better used by an employee or new equipment.

Have Some Fun as a Team!: Summertime can mean casual time at the office (hard to be too formal when attire is more relaxed due to high temperatures). Make the most of this opportunity and schedule some team building time. Long days and warm evenings are ideal for a Friday afternoon after-work picnic or weekend potluck lunch by the lake. Check your local calendars of events for things like free concerts in the park and schedule an outing for the whole team, including children, spouses and friends.

Do a Mid-Year Checkup: 2019 is a little more than half over. Examine how your income, receivables and expenditures have been versus your projections. Do you need to adjust tax payments? Time to reach out to overdue clients to get your accounting current and up to date? This is a good point in the year to evaluate where you are at and what you need to adjust for the back half of the year.

Look Ahead to 2020: With tax season over and some time before end of year crunch begins, summer is a good time to review potential changes that may be coming in the new year. Meet with your accountant or tax provider to look at how tax law changes might impact your business in the new year and begin planning now. Sit with the HR team or benefits consulting group and get a handle on any employment regulations changing in the new year and organize necessary materials and/or training tools in advance.

Take That Vacation Time!: Time is a precious commodity. If you find your business naturally slow during the summer, use it to your advantage to take some of that accrued vacation time. If a family vacation is not an option or your significant other can’t take time off, consider using some time for an individual endeavor such as a yoga or surf retreat or volunteer opportunity. You’ll return refreshed and recharged, ready for the rest of the year!