Labour Day has become symbolic as the unofficial ‘end of summer’ and this week it’s #backtoschool for most children in North America and Europe. The air is filled with excited and busy children that start new classes, meet new teachers, and make new friends. It is also Back to Business for us:
We can – and really should – take some of this energy filled atmosphere
and use it to our advantage in our businesses.
Some of us might have had more of a leisurely summer, we prefered to enjoy the nice weather outside rather than sitting at our desk working. Those of us who could do that were the lucky ones.
For others it might have been an extra busy time, because the children were home and wanted to be entertained, or family came to visit or you yourself went on vacation.
What ever it was, now in September it’s time to get Back to Business. A good idea is to reflect on the past 8 months and review how we did compared to our plans. As a second step we then can look out at what is ahead of us for the last four months of this year. Of course it’s also a good time to start thinking what the next year might bring. So let’s get started.
Looking back: Noticing and Listening
Making a plan and then review it on a regular basis keeps you on track and accountable to yourself. But even if you have no written plan, you probably know what you want to achieve this year.
Take a few minutes and reflect on the past 8 months and what has happened in your business:
- What are your accomplishments of the last 8 months?
- What lessons did you learn during the last 8 months?
- Which plans worked out and which didn’t ?
- What needs to be improved?
Now I would not be Conny if I would not also ask you the following:
- Where are you standing with your papers and files? Are you all organized and happy where you stand or did you start with plan and determination but the busy spring and the hectic summer months threw a monkey wrench? Just notice for now where you stand.
- If you do have a budget for your business now is a good time to review how you are doing. Was your budget realistic or does it turn out to be unrealistic, or did the circumstances maybe change? What do you learn when you compare your budget with your actual numbers? What story are your numbers telling, or what pictures are they painting?
Looking forward: Planning and Creating
Now take another few minutes and get clear on what your plans and goals are for the rest of the year. Even if the year so far didn’t turn out how you had wished or hoped for, it’s still time to make (some of) it happen:
- What is it that you still would like to see happening in your business?
- What are the steps you need to take that will get you there?
- Who can you approach that can help you ?
If your paper and digital files are a mess, now is a good time to start organizing.
Yes now! Not when the year is almost over and your mind is on Christmas Shopping and Turkey dinners. Next year is also not a good time to deal with this years files as you will be busy working on next years projects and goals and before you know it it’s tax time.
There are two things in life we must do, one is breathing, the other one is paying taxes.
Just as now is the time to get your files in order, it’s also a good time to think about taxes. Did you put money aside each month for the tax bill to come? If not you still have time (plus/minus 7 months) to catch up and save up. If you don’t know how much you should put aside., because you don’t have a budget/forecast, then a good indicator is what you had paid in taxes for last year. Of course if you know your sales have increased, your tax bill is most likely going to be higher too.
I will be exploring these topics in more detail in future posts and I also have an interesting interview lined up that I am very excited about.