Every industry has a different busy season. For Dura-Seal, ours kicks off in the spring when the weather is warm and dry enough to do paving and sealcoating work. For yours, you may see an increase in foot traffic during the holidays or your seasonal products might fly off the shelves in the summer. When these seasons hit, it can be easy for things to start falling through the cracks. To avoid forgetting necessary to-dos this year, use Q1 to check some of these housekeeping items off your list:

1. Review last year’s budget and make any necessary changes.

Going through your business’ expenses and revenue will already be a part of submitting your taxes, so take it to another level either with the help of a business advisor or accounting software that can provide insights. Figuring out the areas in which you were successful in 2019 and which parts of your business need more attention in 2020 will make a positive impact on your strategy this year.

2. Make property maintenance appointments like HVAC checks and parking lot repairs.

If you’re part of the more than one third of small business owners who responded to a recent poll that summer is their busiest season, the last thing you want during the hot and humid months is your air conditioning system to fail. Unexpected breakdowns are sometimes unavoidable, but scheduling routine maintenance will help prevent most surprises. Another area you may not think about: your parking lot.  Winter’s fluctuating temperatures and heavy precipitation in the winter and spring are especially hard on pavement, and your parking lot may have sustained significant damage. Cracks and potholes can deteriorate quickly once they form, so set up an appointment now to ensure they are repaired as soon as possible.

3. Post open positions as soon as possible to give yourself enough time to find the best people for your business.

The hiring process can take a lot of staff hours, from reviewing resumes to interviewing candidates to onboarding new employees. Getting the process started early will free up your time later in the year and also ensure you have plenty of time to hire the person who is the right fit for your business.

4. Review relevant laws and codes to stay up to date on any changes and avoid citations or fines.

State, county, and city regulations can be complicated and overwhelming, but it’s vital that you understand and are in compliance with them. Each state is different, but a simple search online should point you in the right direction. The time you invest in research will be well worth it in the long run.

5. Decide on any necessary changes to the business interior or exterior and get quotes to compare prices and timelines.

Once you’ve educated yourself on zoning laws and regional building codes, think about what renovations might be needed for your business. In states with harsh winters, construction and contracting companies are significantly busier in the summer and have a limited window to get projects done. Getting estimates now, finalizing the project details, hiring the right company to do the job well, and setting up a timeline will ensure it gets done right. Thinking about the cost now will also encourage you to set aside money gradually (including any potential tax refunds) instead of getting stuck with an invoice for which you aren’t financially prepared.

By completing these simple but often time-consuming tasks now, business owners are setting themselves up for success for the rest of the year. Being prompt about housekeeping to-dos in Q1 will also leave more time to focus on the busy season and the business goals that will contribute to the company’s long-term success.

Bob Lester is co-founder, president, and CEO of Dura-Seal, a sealcoating, asphalt, and concrete services company in Columbus, Ohio. Reach him at sales@durasealohio.com.

To do Q1 stock photo by kan_chana/Shutterstock