, Essential Summer Planning Tips For SMEs

Hello, hello. How are things with you guys?

Another month, another newsletter brimming with advice and tips to make your lives easier.

Talking of helpful info, here’s something I didn’t know: Summertime in the UK starts on a specific date. Who knew? It coincides with the Summer Solstice on Thursday, June 20 this year. How specific is that? This is the longest day of the year. I think it’s good to know this, given the variable weather we have all year round in Blighty. We can wake up on the 20th and say: ‘Yay, it’s Summer!’ It is a valuable celebratory landmark, especially when you draw back the blinds and survey the wet and windy conditions outside.

As I mentioned in a recent newsletter, Summer 2024 is expected to be busy. Therefore, engaging in early summer planning before the 20th can significantly contribute to your sense of preparedness, control and ability to exploit the opportunities ahead. To assist you in this process, I’ve prepared a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the warmer(!?) months ahead.

Handle The Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, it’s crucial to get a handle on your team’s going away plans sooner rather than later. Encourage your team to submit their holiday requests as quickly as possible. For instance, you could set a deadline for submitting holiday requests by the end of May. Doing so will give you valuable insight into when your staff members will be out of the office, allowing you to plan accordingly.

This simple task allows you to anticipate scheduling conflicts and devise strategies to maintain productivity while accommodating time off. Moreover, it gives your payroll department sufficient time to manage holiday pay, ensuring smooth payroll processes. Proactive planning is essential, especially if you contend with unexpected absences impacting workflow and cash flow.

I know how important it is to foster a culture of taking time to recharge. Maintaining my team’s work-life balance is paramount to me in an environment of heightened challenges. I encourage my team to prioritise their well-being by utilising their paid time off to avoid burnout and promote mental well-being, as both can positively affect performance and my business’s bottom line.

Seasonal Staffing

In addition to holiday requests, now is the ideal time to evaluate your staffing needs for the upcoming summer season. Demand increases during the warmer months for firms like home and garden stores, restaurants, and gardening services. If your business falls into these categories, you may need to expand your workforce to meet seasonal customer and workload demands.

Anticipating seasonal fluctuations in staffing requirements allows you to stay ahead of the curve and ensure seamless operations during the busier summer. Now is the time to address your staffing needs and organise recruitment processes. Planning for extra staffing will help you enhance customer satisfaction and more easily meet increased summer demand.

Creative Cash Flow 

Maintaining healthy cash flow is paramount for any business, particularly when summer is less busy. I’ve told you this many times! A comprehensive cash flow forecast provides valuable insights into anticipated revenue and expenses, enabling you to strategically plan and allocate your resources.

Given the challenges posed by seasonal swings in business activity, it’s essential to stay vigilant and anticipate potential cash flow gaps. By identifying and addressing these early on, you can implement contingency measures such as overdraft protection, reducing expenses or seeking lines of credit to mitigate financial risks. Proactive cash flow planning helps you avoid cash flow gaps and ensures that you have the necessary funds to meet your business’s needs during the summer season.

Shine Up Workspace & Processes

As summer approaches, it’s an opportune time to examine your workspace and business processes and make changes to drive greater efficiency. You won’t be surprised when I say you could look for digital solutions, such as automating cash flow and expense management. Or can you outsource critical processes to enhance productivity in your core business processes?

Review outstanding invoices and service agreements and invest in maintenance and upgrades to ensure your business operations run smoothly and efficiently. By decluttering your workspace and optimising your processes, you can focus on driving growth and profitability during the summer months.

Continuity Planning

Few enjoy doing these exercises, but believe me, robust business continuity plans are essential to mitigate potential disruptions. These could be anything, such as severe weather events or power outages. Have you ensured that critical systems are backed up securely and that you’ve equipped employees to work remotely if necessary?

While it may not be the most exciting task, investing time in robust business continuity planning can provide a sense of security and confidence. By proactively addressing potential risks and implementing appropriate countermeasures, you can safeguard your business against unforeseen challenges and ensure uninterrupted operations during the upcoming summer and beyond.

Naturally, if you need the Enso team to don their sunglasses and coolly help you deal with any or all of the above, get in touch on the usual channels.

, Essential Summer Planning Tips For SMEs

May Is Actually Out Of This World

We enjoy two bank holidays in May, with the themes of the renewal of nature and international labour rights. However, there are a couple of more esoteric days where you can have a laugh, especially if you enjoy sci-fi. So, as a bit of fun, maybe think of ways to get involved with the following.

Luke, I am Your Annual Celebration

We kick off the month with Star Wars Day, a celebration that unites fans worldwide in their love for George Lucas’ iconic sci-fi universe. Every May 4, fans come together to pay homage, sparked by a punny twist on ‘May the Force be with you’ – ‘May the fourth be with you’.

This grassroots celebration, not an official decree from the Jedi Council, has grown faster than a Millennium Falcon doing the Kessel Run. It has captured the imagination of fans with its vrooming light sabres and opportunities for abundant cosplay.

Lucasfilm and Disney eventually joined the party, recognising it as an annual fiesta of all things Star Wars (let’s not mention the associated merchandising, shall we?).

So, if this is your idea of fun, don your Jedi robes, grab your droid mates and party like you’re Darth Vader on an imminently exploding Death Star.

Don’t Forget Your Towel

While many will be aware of Star Wars Day, Towel Day is a more low-key but equally quirky sci-fi celebration that occurs annually on May 25 and commemorates the life of writer Douglas Adams.

Why towels, you ask? According to Adam’s beloved opus, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” they’re the Swiss Army knife of interstellar travel, serving as everything from a makeshift blanket on chilly moons to a cosy beach mat on exotic planets.

Adams’ sage advice is always leave home with your trusty towel. For over twenty years, sci-fi aficionados worldwide have embraced this day of towel-toting to honour Adams’ whimsical wisdom, all with a tongue-in-cheek air (do aliens have tongues?).

So, how can you join in on this remarkable event? It’s simple. First, grab a towel and proudly display it throughout the day. Share a photo on social media with #towelday, and connect with fellow enthusiasts to share in the fun.

Don’t forget to incorporate lines from Adams’s books, like “Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?” or “Time is an Illusion. Lunchtime doubly so,” into your conversations. You’ll see fellow fans nod knowingly, and others will think you are bonkers. And remember to visit towelday.org for some towel-centric inspiration.

I particularly like one Adam quote about his work ethic: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

That said, I hope you can meet all 42 of your deadlines in May. And whatever happens, “don’t panic.”

OK, on that interstellar note, I’ll sign off.

All the best


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