We are definitely moving through this year at a rapid pace. And, if you are entrepreneur, the hectic pace of life probably makes it feel as though time is flying by even faster. April’s entrepreneur checklist addressed a few items that would help you evaluate the first quarter of the year, and prepare for this, the second quarter.
As you prepare to move into the summer, and as the first half of the year heads closer to an end, here are a 4 items that you can accomplish in May to help you keep your business on the right track:
1. Consider Insurance
Now that things are moving with your new business, you need to make sure that you are properly protected. You might need business insurance. If you have a business out of your home, you need to double check your homeowner’s policy. Some policies won’t cover the business activities in your home, and won’t honor claims related to to your home business. If this is the case, you will need some sort of other insurance to make sure that your home office is covered, and you have liability coverage for clients you meet at your home. For those whose business facilities are located elsewhere, you should double check your policy to make sure that you have adequate coverage.
Other types of insurance you might need to check into include car insurance for the vehicles you drive for business purposes, and insurance policies that protect you against claims of professional liability.
2. Institute a Back-Up System for Your Computer
If you aren’t backing up the files on your computer, you need to change that habit. You should regularly update your computer files — especially those related to your business. You can get an external hard drive for this purpose, or even use a thumb drive. Thumb drives can hold a huge amount of information now, and you can carry it with you.
Another option is to look for online back-up services. You may have to pay a monthly fee, but it is a small price to pay to ensure that all of your business information and files are safe.
3. System for Saving Up for Quarterly Payments
You’ve already had to pay your quarterly taxes for the first quarter of 2011. However, you will soon need to pay taxes for the second quarter. Do you have a system in place to ensure that you have the money you need to make those quarterly tax payments? If you don’t, it’s time to create a system. Take one quarterly payment, and divide it by three. That will give you an estimate of how much you will need to set aside each month. Put this money in a high yield financial account, and then, when your quarterly taxes are due, you can easily cover the cost. No scrambling to come up with the money.
4. Evaluate Your Schedule
Now is a good time to evaluate your schedule. Are things too hectic? Are you getting enough personal time for yourself, and time for your family? Consider ways that you could improve productivity so that you have more free time, and how you could shift your schedule around a bit to better reflect what you would like to do. Think creatively about your schedule in self-employment so that you can get to a point where you free to do many of the things you would like to do.
Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.