OK, don't freak out... but the end is near, sort of. I'm talking about the fourth quarter! The final opportunity to meet your annual goals. Last chance to get things on the books for 2018. No pressure. But it's coming and I'm sure you have stuff you still want to accomplish this year. The last quarter is crucial for most businesses, right? Think about it, you've been working hard to make 2018 a banner year. And suddenly, you barely have 2 months left to make it happen. Yikes! Where exactly did summer go again?
For me, this quarter (the one with ALL the big holidays) means events, followed by more events. If you run a business in my same field – say catering, rentals, flowers, entertainment – you know what I'm talking about! You're probably living on coffee at this point and looking forward to some sleep come January. If you're in retail, I'm sure that sounds familiar. Meanwhile, some small businesses see Q4 sales slow down big time, while other things ramp up behind the scenes as project deadlines approach. I think we can all agree that we're busy right now! But... there's always a but... it's still a good time to re-evaluate the year thus far and make any adjustments needed to ensure that you finish with a bang! 'Cause who doesn't want that?
Think About It: How Do You Want To Finish The Year?
So, in between your crazed schedule and trying to keep up with your overflowing to-do list and coffee consumption, you should really, really try to take a time out. Add it to your calendar and schedule it if you must. In fact, I'm telling you now that you must! What's this time out for? This is where you'll analyze what's going on with your wonderful enterprise and figure out what the rest of the year looks like – so there are no surprises in December or January. Remember, when it comes to finances, surprises are not good!
"Are you kidding me? I don't have time for that! Do you have any idea what my calendar looks like? Puh-leeze!" I know. I've heard it before. I've actually lived it before, which is why I know how you feel. However, you probably already know that doing this is a good idea, because you're smart. Since you're busy and I'm trying to give realistic advice, I'll keep it simple. Here's what I suggest you do.
Pull out your business plan and 2018 goals.
You do have those, don't you? I'm going to assume you've been a good little business owner this year and that you do. Blow off the dust, smooth out the wrinkles from this poor neglected document, and get to work. Start by crossing off the things you've already done. (In a red pen! It'll make you look so accomplished!) Yeah, you've been productive this year! Then, take a hard look at what's left. This next part isn't so fun.
Honest and thorough analysis.
Time to get real. What goals have you missed? Are you close to meeting them – or impossibly far from it? Why? Do these goals still matter? If so, what can you do to get 'em done? Try to look objectively at what you still want to achieve and figure out what you should do differently. Maybe you need to cut expenses drastically for the next two months. Perhaps you should step up your marketing or social media game so clients don't forget about you. Maybe your staff needs a motivational pep talk or a little TLC. (Maybe you should include them in your coffee run, with donuts too!)
Put the writing on the wall, so to speak.
Create a realistic, new list of goals that are the most important ones for the remainder of the quarter. Put them somewhere visible so everyone can see them and be reminded what the focus is for the next couple months. Being a little 'in your face' about this is OK. And feel free to dramatically cross off items as they are completed, in a red pen of course. I just find that a visual reminder is always helpful, especially for a short-term project or big push such as the end of the year.
See? That doesn't seem so hard does it? The first step is to set time aside for this and once you get started, you may find it's less painful than it sounds. Taking time to do some analysis and review will help you get back on track and finish the year the way you want. And maybe help you sleep a little better in January!
Don't forget the important role that pricing plays in achieving your year-end goals! In case you're looking for something to help with pricing, keep more money in your pocket and take your business to the next level, we've got it right here! And it's FREE!
Be Oh So Quotable This Week!
I always say running a business means the work never ends! Ain't that the truth? I bet your to-do list is a mile long! Make sure that the items at the top of your list are the things that relate to being more profitable. Everyone is so proud of being so "busy"...But Are You Making Any Money? Don't be too busy to focus!
Check out the summary of last week's business tips and motivational quotes from my Instagram page which you hopefully got to see in real time! If not, let's make sure we're following each other on Instagram!! So...here is this week's roundup of Instagram images of My Top Business Tips and Motivational Quotes.
Think About It – Tip #1:
"In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible." – Seth Godin
Think About It – Tip #2:
"The upside of painful knowledge is so much greater than the downside of blissful ignorance." – Sheryl Sandberg
Think About It – Tip #3:
"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." – Warren Buffett
Think About It – Tip #4:
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." – Michelangelo
Think About It – Tip #5:
"Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones." – Benjamin Franklin
Let's talk fourth quarter analysis... I'd love to hear what you think about it.
Are you good about revisiting your goals, especially as the year winds down? I'd love to hear how you do 4th quarter analysis and what you think about it. I would LOVE to hear from you! Anyhoo...I publish these business tips and motivational quotes to get you fired up for your work week!
Oh by the way, are you searching for easy steps to charge more without losing clients? Learn where you're leaving money on the table and discover simple costs to cut PLUS get productivity tips! And the best part is it's all FREE! Get our Simple Tricks right here!
P.S. Of course that's not all we've got! Searching for more tips about running a business?
Then definitely take a look at these:
I'd love to hear your ideas! So please comment below and then SHARE!
Disclosure: The Party Goddess! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through an amazon.com link. However, these are all products I highly recommend and support!