A new term for everyone
Many of you are getting that ‘Back to School’ feeling right now. Some are happy about it (parents) and some are not (kids).
Is it a time filled with sadness as you kiss goodbye to the summer, or is there excitement at the sense of a new structure, a new school year? There’s probably a bit of both.
As a Brit my wife and FP Advance CEO, Deb, has a different sense of September than I do. In Australia it’s different. Their new school year starts after the big summer break in December/January, which coincides with the end of the calendar year. As a result, Deb brings a sense of renewal to FP Advance at the end of the UK summer; tying up the loose ends we planned to sort before the new year starts for real.
I find there’s new enthusiasm after the summer break. If you’ve been able to take some time off, or were simply able to get out enjoying the sunshine when it presented itself, you may well have come up with some thoughts or reflections on your business and your life. In the final few months of the calendar year there’s the opportunity to hit it hard again and implement those changes. It’s almost like the second ‘new year’.
5 ways to get all fired up
How can you step it up or get it back on track from September to December?
1. Review Your Business Plan
What did you set out to achieve this year and how is it going? It’s amazing how a quick review of the Business Plan can help you refocus on what’s important.
You might surprise yourself with how far some of your goals have progressed, while other challenges might need to be attacked with some new energy.
Don’t let yourself drift. Revisit the Business Plan and stay focused.
2. Get Ready for Business Season
Most firms I work with do a lot of business from September to December. It winds up very slowly during September, gathering pace and urgency as we approach Christmas. Some firms get stressed in September with how quiet it seems, only to finish the year with a bang by December 31st.
Potential clients seem to come back from the summer break having thought about their financial position, which means they often take action in September/October. Get refocused and get some activity going. The more energy you put into it early, the better your finish can be.
More than a few businesses have saved a year by hitting this part of it with real energy and a firm commitment to generating new business.
3. Check What’s Dragging
If there are some projects that are dragging then make a plan to get them back on track. If it’s a large project that’s stalled, try putting an hour per week into your diary to move it forward in baby steps each week.
It’s a bit like exercise, ‘little and often’ works much better than a big session every three weeks.
4. Take Note of What’s Worked
When you consider the year to date, what’s worked well for you?
How could you double down on what’s already working? You don’t need to find new ways to grow when simply doing more of what has worked is the quickest and easiest path to your objectives.
5. Re-commit to Being Accountable
Have you been holding yourself accountable and doing what you said you would do?
Often business owners can be the worst offenders for breaking the rules or not following agreed processes, and this can cause a sense of ‘us’ and ‘them’ among the team.
If you need to re-commit to doing what you said you would do, now is the perfect time to get things back on track. Lead by example. It’s not what you say that people will follow, it’s what you do.
As they say in Latin, ‘Facta non verba’; deeds not words.
New tricks, new energy
I find this is a great time to think about getting back on the learning horse; think about the areas you might want to work on next, both personally and professionally (I covered this in Curiouser and Curiouser: Why lifelong learning means success).
It’s not too late to make a big difference this year, all you need to do is take a step back and see where you might need a little more focus. Start right now and you can finish 2017 on a high. Give it some wellie and who knows what you can achieve.