Don’t Panic: There are only 127 days until Christmas!
With the end of the summer holidays looming and kids going back to school, I have always found now is a great time to start thinking about how you are going to make the most of the few short months before the holidays start all over again with, you’ve guessed it, Christmas! Running your own business is one of the most rewarding career paths you can take. Your success is in your hands, but your days are also often filled with fear, elation and at least a few moments of total desperation. However, when you get the mix right there are very few things in life that can equal it. One challenge in particular though is keeping the business running full steam in between the big calendar events of the year. During the summer, the traditional slow down, leaves you managing your business in between clients’ holidays. Where as in the run up to Christmas I have always found the opposite, with people trying to cram as much in as possible before the New Year. So, here are 5 tips for driving your business forward over the next quarter; 1. Be clear on your goals. These are short-term wins, not long-term exit strategies. Be very open with yourself and set realistic objectives. For example, that could be to get more clients, offer a new service or improve the service you already provide. 2. Make sure you have the skills to get the job done. Another way to look at this, is do I have the right skills to achieve my goals? If you don’t, there are lots of options. You may be the greatest sales person in the world, but the worst administrator. Remember your time and skills are valuable. Delegate tasks that are not your core skill, this will allow you to maximise your time where it is most valuable. 3. Be adaptable to the changing market. Don’t be blinded to the wider influences in your industry. Taking time to research and understand what’s working and what’s not is a great way to leap frog in front of the competition. 4. Never ignore your gut feeling. Your business achievements to date have in some way been as a result of your instincts. Trust them, but ensure you back any decisions with facts too. 5. Finally, never fail to plan. Going with your gut does not mean not doing your homework. Even the simplest single pager can help you and your team spot any issues before they come up. Don’t be romantic and fly by the seat of your pants because as the saying goes, if you fail to plan – you plan to fail. I have always found this time of year very exciting. Managed correctly, it can set you up for a fantastic end of year and don’t worry, with 127 days to go, there’s still time! Mike.