|A band marches together in perfect unison, a grand presentation as they move toward their destination. As you delve into the second quarter, I have some questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you are marching to the right beat.|
Are my taxes done?
By the time you read this, you will already be past due on filing, if you own a C-Corp, S-Corp or Partnership, so if you haven’t done this yet, get an extension filed immediately. Many companies/individuals filed for an extension this year due to the new tax law. If you file an extension, REMEMBER you still need to pay what you owe, so pay what you can so you don’t incur penalties. You will still accrue interest, but paying is much better than not paying. To keep with our band concept, missing one note throws off the entire piece of music. If taxes cause an issue, your entire year suffers.
Do I have the money to pay what I owe on March 15th/April 15th?
If you do, great! It means you saved throughout the year. If you didn’t, you have options. You can dip into savings, charge some onto a credit card, or set up a payment plan through the IRS. You will be charged additional fees going that latter route, so be prepared. Just like a marching band knows when the parade is and comes ready with all instruments, uniforms and choreography – April 15th is your parade day. And no one will be throwing candy, they will only be collecting money.
Do I have a solid budget in place?
You should ideally create your budget for the entire year in January. Although, you can forecast all throughout the year. A budget should be fairly set in stone, but forecasting allows for more recent data to help update your sales and expenses. Just like a drummer keeps the tempo throughout an entire song, another drummer comes in with a different beat. The budget is the slow and steady. The forecast is the beat to dance to.
Do I need to hire anyone?
Every quarter, you need to look into current needs when it comes to hiring. Do you need employees or contractors? Do you have the budget set aside to pay these individuals? Do you have the proper systems in place? Payroll? HR? Whatever it might be for your specific business. A band adapts to a new member by ensuring that member has all the information they need to succeed. The music, the steps, the culture, etc. Make sure before you hire, you have procedures in place and can bring people on with ease.
Am I offering a new product or service and can I afford it?
If you are, have you looked at your income and expenses in order to support the new venture. Do you need software? Training? Will you be traveling or speaking? Are there ways to save interest expense to cover some other costs? I just helped a client transfer some of her credit card debt to a 0% interest card for the next 18 months. She was paying 10% interest, so in doing this, she will save over $2K in interest charges. If a band is going to learn a new piece of music, they need to do their research. Do they have all the members in place to play that song, time to learn it and does it fit with the rest of their music?
What is expiring or changing that I need to update?
Credit cards are a big one. If you use cards on sites that automatically renew services such as for your website hosting or email provider, make sure everything is updated so there is no lapse in your service. If you have gift cards from clients or other timely monetary gifts, use them or use a site like Cardpool where you can trade in your unwanted gift cards for a percentage of cash back. If your business name or address changed, make sure you update that on your checks and with the IRS. A band would never let a member play an out of tune instrument, so don’t let your expiring cards ruin your businesses beautiful music.
How is my client base?
Do you need more? Do you need to let some go? If someone isn’t fitting into your brand, it might be time to have an honest conversation and part ways. If you need to fill more slots, how will you find clients? Are some of your current clients expanding their practices which might result in you making more income? Know what is happening and trust your gut. Some types of clients are just going to stand out and they are the ones you want in your client base. There are reasons that some band members have solos and others play all together.
How do I feel about my bank?
Is your bank still serving your company well? Or are you getting hit with a lot of fees? Is it time for a change? If you love your bank, have you gone in lately to order checks or open a business savings or inquire about new loan options? Do you need to open a line of credit? Your bankers are your friends. A band with a great leader is a better band. Look to your bank and to those knowledgeable in the financial space to lead you.
And now for our crescendo!
I am offering a 30 minute, complimentary Zoom call on budgets and forecasts for anyone who clicks here and types “Marching” into the meeting
title. I will send you an Excel worksheet to complete in advance and w
will review it on the chat.
March into this 2nd quarter, put on a show and have fun! I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines and I’m here anytime you want to stop and talk.