Ahhh…Spring! It’s the time of year when new leaves start growing and flowers begin blooming. It’s also a great time of year to “spring clean” your small business. Here are 5 steps you can take to breathe new life into your enterprise.
1) File Taxes on Time or File an Extension
Don’t miss that tax deadline! Remember, if you owe taxes, the payment is due to the IRS regardless of whether or not you have filed your actual tax return. Missing your payments can result in stiff penalties and interest charges. Even if you can only send in a partial payment, that will help reduce the amount of penalties and interest you owe. If you can’t pay on time, remember to file an extension or apply for an installment agreement.
If you’re seeking a small business loan, being able to show a bank your tax return from the previous year can be an asset. Demonstrating cash flow based on last year’s taxes is a key component to qualifying for a loan through a SmartBiz bank partner. Not sure how to use low-cost funds to grow your business and save money? Check out this post: The Benefits of Long-Term Debt for Your Small Business.
2) Use Cloud Accounting Software
Small business owners don’t need to purchase expensive business accounting software programs or spend hours on complicated reports. Cloud accounting software will provide basic applications and there are packages designed for small business owners. These programs simplify the process and provide essentials that include a general ledger, the capability to create detailed invoices or view business inventory and purchase history.
Not using a cloud accounting software yet? Take an online tour or try a free trial. Using the right software can make it much easier for you and your accountant to manage your business finances. Here’s a resource you might find helpful: 8 Best Free Accounting Software for Small Business.
3) Get Your Vision Down on Paper
Many small business owners are so busy focusing on the day-to-day that they don’t have a clear path for the future. Spring is a great time to get your small business vision down on paper. Look at long and short term goals first and determine where you want it to be moving forward. Dream big but make your vision as real and concrete as possible by focusing on a few key strategies. For guidance, review this post: Tips to Help Set Your Business Goals.
4) Step Up Your Online Presence and Social Media Activities
Having a positive presence online is key to any business. If you need a website refresh, there are inexpensive services that can help you upgrade like GoDaddy or WordPress. Investigate your online customer ratings and comments on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List. Be responsive and address issues and concerns online quickly. This helps put a human face on your business and can boost word-of-mouth referrals. If Facebook, Instagram or Twitter are a good fit for your business, you don’t have to go it alone. There are targeted and cost effective advertising programs that are easy to put in place and can be less expensive than other traditional marketing initiatives. If you don’t have the bandwidth or team support to take on social media, check out this article: How to Hire a Social Media Strategist.
5) Have Fun with Your Business
Not everyone gets to run a small business – you’re a part of the American Dream. Continue to put your heart and soul into your venture. Small business owners are in a great position to succeed and spring is a great time to inject fun back into your company’s culture.
As the company leader, get excited about the opportunity to have fun while you work. A positive attitude can be contagious. Ideas can be as simple as holding a meeting in a park or hosting a picnic lunch outside. Ask your employees for ideas. Something as simple as an office makeover can be fun for your team – invest in fresh paint, colorful decor, green plants and healthy snacks. Don’t forget to celebrate work anniversaries and birthdays. A card or a cake takes little effort but can pay off big for employees who might not feel appreciated or are getting burned out. Finally, look outside of your business for opportunities to give back. Volunteer for a local charity or donate needed items. Get your team involved and build up good karma.
For more great information to help boost your business, visit the SmartBiz Small Business Blog. We have content around almost every small business topic from marketing to employee management to financial strategies. Looking for inspiration? Check out our business stories about real entrepreneurs running successful companies across America.