Now the thought of a summer spent scrimping may sound totally unappealing and especially when the weather is as good as it is at the moment, cutting back on luxuries and catching up on your to do list is the furthest thing from your mind.
We do however think the summer is a great time for making some savings and showing your bookkeeping records a bit of love. Whilst others are off on their jollies this leaves plenty of time for preparing your next moves.
You may have a stack of receipts, invoices and various financial records to file, format and archive. This can be done easily in the downtime, between your ice lolly at lunch and your evenings of dining al fresco.
Here we have compiled some (we hope) useful tips for summer scrimping that will give you and your business a boost for the next half of the year. They won’t take long to read through, you’ll be done before your colleague/partner/local bar shouts over that it’s ‘Pimm’s o’clock’:
- Review all your accounts receivable. If people owe you money, send them a cordial, but firm letter requesting payment. If you don’t get a response, stop doing business with them or require cash up front. (Source: http://201greatideas.com/blog/bid/59022/Summer-Business-Boosting-Tips)
- Stop social media overkill – Review how you use all your different social media channels, and do a quick audit of how much time you spend on each of the different platforms. How useful are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and YouTube to your business in terms of brand, sales, customer engagement? Do you need to spend time on updating all of these channels to get results? Consider that the retro cool looking images that people are able to create on Instagram can be integrated into your marketing generally outside of the social media platforms, if you are appealing to younger audiences. Here’s an interesting read on the ability of ‘Instagram-style images’ to convey the authenticity of a brand: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/229832/how-millennials-and-instagram-are-changing-adverti.html
- Mentoring is ‘free’ – Honing your leadership skills during the dog-days of summer will ensure you’re up to the challenge when the pace picks back up. Finding a mentor is one way many successful business people bump up their game. Why not reach out to someone you admire and ask if they’d be willing to meet with you? Selecting a person in your field may help, but keep an open mind. Good leaders are found in places like non-profits, church, school and on the playing field. (Source: http://www.businessbee.com/resources/news/operations-buzz/6-hot-summer-tips-for-small-business/)
- Keep meetings simple – The sun is out, shining away calling to you to while away the hours basking in it’s glory over starters, main courses, dessert and coffee, and then you get the bill and oh my gosh! – why not meet clients for just a coffee instead of lunch or dinner.
- Get frugal with Freegle – I started a long list recently for a client who needed some key things for their business such as a stepladder, a few tools and some electrical items to include in an upcoming exhibition of artists’ films. I started to cost up the items online, after a bit of shopping around on different sites I decided to take a quick trawl through Freegle. And then my adrenaline started rushing. I found listings for a stepladder, several TV monitors, and some of the essential tools we were in need of. I fired off some emails to let people know I was interested in the items. Some were still available and we secured these items, others like the stepladder, had already been offered to someone else. You win some you lose some with Freegle but it does pay to think of these sites as an option when going shopping for your business.
- Reuse, Recycle – what have you got lying around your home, office and studio? Perhaps some envelopes, packaging, tatty files and folders that you can bring back to life and use with a bit of creative initiative. Or if you’ve got bored of some of your office furniture just give it a quick makeover. It’s amazing what a new lick of paint, or cushion, can do to an all too familiar item.
Now enjoy the rest of your summer evening!
Author: Lauren Davies