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How to Read What Summer Tells You About Your Business
Q: I’ve enjoyed some downtime this summer, and now I’m trying to prepare myself to get back to the grind come September. What should I do for my business’ finances to position myself for a successful remainder of the year?A: I am so glad to hear that you took some time for yourself this summer. We can’t run at full speed 100% of the time. Getting rest is actually good for business, so you’ve already made a wise decision for your company.Your question is great. It reminds me of back to school season, which our kids are going through right now. That time marks a shift in organizations across the country as well as at schools. It marks a return to intense focus, particularly as we make the final sprint through fall and the holidays.

A critical component of managing your finances is review as well as analysis. Financial review should not for the quarter. As the summer winds down, now is the time for a seasonal review to discover trends about your financial performance this time of year.  How did the months of June, July, and August impact your revenue, expenses, and cash flow? It’s essential to review the results while they are fresh.

School’s in session…now is a great time for a summer financial review. Let’s do this. This post will help you through the process.

  1. How did you do this year? 

I know that June seems like it was a long time ago, but think back to June 1. Let’s have a look at your financials for June through August this year. In addition to the numbers, think of any events that may have impacted the results. Did you launch any special marketing campaigns for the summer, or have season-specific promotions? Or, perhaps you know that summer is traditionally a slow time for your business, so invested fewer resources than is typical.

Keep all of this in mind when you add up the numbers of the income you received over the summer.

  1. How did you do last year? 

In accounting, as in life, information doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s critical to understand how your business performed this summer. Additionally, understanding the numbers from the same time last year will provide additional insight. What factors were the same? What things were different? Do you see those differences reflected in the numbers?

Another question to ask yourself is what the numbers tell you overall about your business. If this is one of the busiest times of years for you, would allocating additional resources potentially result in bigger returns? If it’s a slow time for your business, what expenses can you forgo at this time of year?

  1. Make a plan for year-end and beyond. 

Your numbers from the last two summers will reveal important information about your business. Here are some things to consider:

  • If you experience a slow down in the summer, how does that impact your revenue for the remainder of the year? Are your strategies in place to have stronger year-end figures to make up for your slower period?
  • The question is the same if you are significantly busier in the summer. What measures can be taken to lessen the impact of decreased cash flow other times of year? Can you create another offering to bring in money during traditionally slower months? For

Running your business means understanding trends and customer habits, as well as finding ways to maximize your earnings and minimize losses regardless of the time of year.

Thank you for the important question and for the inspiration in the lead-in to fall. Wishing you every success in your business!

Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash