This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, employment, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
If you run a business that works with weddings, bar-mitzvahs, quinceañeras, birthday parties, anniversary parties, business events, or other gatherings, it’s time to get ready for the summer rush. As more people are vaccinated for COVID-19, people and businesses are more comfortable putting their big events on the calendar.
If you’re getting back into the groove of regular events, you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the months ahead. Preparing your business finances in advance will make it much easier to manage everything while helping ensure that every event is profitable. That’s a win-win for any event venue, caterer, photographer, wedding planner, other event-focused business. Here’s what you can do to help your business prepare for a profitable summer rush.
Get your bank accounts in order
When you run any kind of business, the company needs to have its own dedicated bank account. Many business owners choose to keep a business checking and savings account for regular operations, similar to how you may use a personal checking and savings account for your daily spending and savings needs.
If you already have these bank accounts, this is the perfect time to take a fresh look at the fees and how well your accounts meet your needs. Many businesses that don’t deal with cash do fine with online-only accounts that offer higher interest rates and lower fees. If you accept cash, don’t rule out a local credit union, as they often feature great packages for local businesses.
For business purchases, consider a business rewards credit card. Business rewards cards feature cash back or travel rewards that can be worth thousands of dollars or more per year. Just make sure to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid expensive interest charges and make sure to keep your personal and businesses expenses separate.
Set up your bookkeeping for your seasonal rush
Accounting and bookkeeping are the backbones of any business’s finances. You don’t know if you’re making money unless your bookkeeping is updated regularly using a system that makes sense for your business. Financially savvy business owners update their books monthly to know their profit and loss, cash flow, and other financial details.
Updating your books shouldn’t be a huge chore. If you use Square Payments or Square Payroll, for example, your data automatically imports into Quickbooks, Xero, and other bookkeeping systems. Many busy owners and managers outsource their bookkeeping to a trusted accountant, but there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself if you take the time to learn the basics.
Prepare for smooth and easy payroll
Getting paid is important for you and your valued staff. Even if you don’t have a staff, solo business owners often need payroll services. Making sure it’s done correctly is essential, or you could wind up on the wrong side of an audit or other tax headache. That’s why business owners with full-time employees should consider a payroll service to handle all of the taxes and forms, even if it’s just themselves.
Tools like Square Payroll make payroll, tax filings, and managing employee benefits simple. A payroll specialist can help you get set up.
Streamline your calendar and appointments
If you run a barbershop, salon, massage business, doctor’s office, restaurant, or any other business that relies on reservations and appointments, you can streamline your calendar and appointments. Customers love having the option of picking their own times online, and it saves you and your staff a potentially time-consuming phone call. That’s a win-win for you and your customers.
When you use a streamlined solution like Square Appointments, your customers can book online from their phone or computer. You can also add your customer’s next appointment yourself, and availability syncs with your favorite calendar app. It would be a shame to miss out on an appointment because someone couldn’t figure out when you were free or didn’t want to pick up the phone. Appointment management tools save you time, prevent errors, and optimize your daily work schedule, and you don’t have to hire a receptionist to make it happen.
Meet customers where they are
Today, many people don’t carry cash at all, which means they could be deterred from shopping with you if you don’t take credit cards. To ensure that you can meet every customer’s needs, make it easy for your customers to pay with every major credit card, bank account, or even old-fashioned cash if they insist.
Do your best to make payments as easy and frictionless as possible. Wether customers are shopping online or in-person, with cash or with card, using a point-of-sale solution that ties into one centralized and easy-to-use account makes it so you can meet customers where they are.
Refresh your website and email marketing
Last but certainly not least, take a look at your online storefront. Every single business should have a website that tells customers what they offer. Over time, websites tend to get stale and outdated. Before the summer rush is a perfect time for a refresh.
Update your homepage, about page, product or service pages, contact page, and other parts of your site to reflect your current offerings and pricing. While you’re at it, take the time to claim your business on Google, Yelp, and other rating and review sites so you’re in control over what potential customers see when they search online for your business.
Many businesses benefit from communicating with customers via email. With Square Marketing you can build your email list, automated email series, and marketing campaigns designed to convert browsers into buyers and keep your customers updated.
2020 was tough on many businesses, but with businesses reopening, there’s a lot to be excited about this summer and beyond. If you take the time to get your business ready for the summer rush, you may wind up with your most profitable year yet.