How to Keep your Business Moving Forward in this Heat!

Summer officially began on June 20th this year, but any business owner knows that summer really began when school let out the end of May. The Phoenix heat has set in by now and the air conditioners are running non-stop, and people are finding cooler places to vacation.

Is summer different for business owners? Yes and no. For some industries the summer months, July specifically, can be slow and stagnant. For others it can be the busiest month of the year. If your summer feels a bit slow, here are some summer reminders to help you get through the next month.

  • Work on your business strategies. When was the last time you took a deep look at your business, how it functions, and what strategies you have in place to meet your goals? Do you have hiring strategies in place? What about onboarding a new client procedure? Are you ready for the FLSA changes in January? Do you have a strategy to get ahead of that?
    • Find new ways to network. The old adage says that you network for business you want 3 months from now. If you take July completely off that means your October has the potential to be slow.  If you don’t want a slow October, now is the time to look at your networking opportunities. Maybe you try a new group, maybe you network with individuals who you haven’t seen in a while, maybe you are very visible on social media. Whatever plan you come up with, stick with it.
    • Work on a project that has been on your to-do list. Maybe it is reviewing job descriptions, maybe it is checking in on your employee’s time off requests and making sure everyone is using their PTO or get a head start on scheduling the PTO over the holidays. Maybe it is rewriting your performance review forms. Whatever HR project you decide to tackle, remember we are here to help you with those!
    • Complete a technology inventory. Does all your equipment have inventory numbers? Who has what equipment, including keyboards and mice, and who has what at home. If you feel very motivated, this is also a great time to investigate all your computer subscriptions and licenses. What software programs do you have? What programs do you still use? What programs are you paying for?
    • Review your HR policies, procedures, documents, and classifications. With the new DOL ruling (the first phase went into effect on July 1st) this summer is a perfect time to take a closer look at your HR world. Not sure where to start? Good news is Google is a great resource and so are we!
    • Take a close look at your business and / or employees. Working parents are doing the summer shuffle and are getting a bit frustrated by now. Between summer camps, the heat, kids’ summer stomachs (do they ever stop eating?), and work deadlines, parents can be feeling a bit burnt out by now. 
      • If you are a business owner, (and a working parent) remember to give yourself some grace. Not everything needs to happen right this second. I know it feels that way, but most of the time it isn’t true. Plan things out for the week or even the month and be reasonable with your timelines. Enlist help. Whether that means the kids get a chore list (mine couldn’t have the WiFi password until their chores were done, man I was a mean Mom), you hire a housekeeper, or you hire a virtual assistant or an HR consultant, you do NOT have to do this all by yourself.
      • If you are an employer, remember to grant flexibility to your employees. Even if you have do not normally allow employees to work from home maybe it’s time for a couple exceptions. Consider that the flexibility of a few working from home days for your working parent employees will be extremely appreciated. Maybe that flexibility is just what they need to stay on track with their work deadlines. Maybe they don’t want to work from home, but instead need a flexible work schedule. Is it absolutely essential that they arrive at the office by 8am or is a later shift (for the summer hours only) a way to stop absenteeism or tardiness? I am not telling you to bend all your rules, but I am telling you that being reasonable and helpful during the summer months will go a long way to build employee loyalty.

Remember, flexibility is the watchword this summer. Be flexible with yourself, your business, and your employees. And remember to hydrate!