For small businesses, the winter season typically brings slower months and frozen cash flow. Even here in Colorado, where the weather is unusually mild for this time of year, small businesses are likely experiencing lower sales than they have in the summer months. Although it’s nice to enjoy a little down time after the holidays, it’s important to use your time wisely. This is the perfect opportunity to take care of some business housekeeping by identifying areas for improvement and putting plans in place for the faster-paced months ahead. Here are a few items to consider:
Tax Season Preparation
Tax season is here again! There are so many details to consider when filing a tax return as a small business owner. The Small Business Association has some great small business tax tips listed here. Also remember that there are lots of resources available in your community and online where you can seek assistance, if needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Put simply, CRM, is a system used to manage your interactions with current and future customers. It’s good to have a centralized place where you can store information about where you met the contact, which of your products or services they may need or want and notes about your ongoing communication and relationship with them. That way, you don’t have to remember every detail about every customer. There are numerous CRM tools available, both free and paid membership subscriptions, that you can find with a simple search online. It’s just a matter of researching the options and deciding which tool is best for you at this time.
Having a project management tool in place keeps your ideas organized and helps you stay on track. No matter how large or small your projects are, it’s great to have a platform where you can store ideas, create to-do lists, assign tasks, maintain a schedule and track your progress. Again, there are various project management tools available online and you’ll just have to dig in a little to discover which one best meets your needs.
The winter doesn’t have to be cold and dreary for your business. Take advantage of this down time to address pending issues or start projects that you didn’t have time to do during the summer. Utilize this season for reflection on the past year and get yourself fired up about your goals for this year. Putting the right tools in place now will ensure you have a more successful and less stressful busy season.