Q4 isn’t just a time for back to school sales – take some time to review your performance and plan for business growth.
It’s September, and you know what that means?. No, we don’t mean the kids going back to school. Though it is a nice coincidence that the start of a new school year is also the start of Q4 for business owners. And just like a loving parent preparing their child to get back into the thick of it, your business should be preparing for the last phase of the year.
For a lot of businesses this is a crucial period, but it often gets missed off the planning list. But this year, with so much uncertainty in the world, it’s worth revising and refocusing your business plan as we go into Q4. And it doesn’t have to be a big, difficult job. There are a few little things you can do to really make a difference. So, grab your best notebook and pen, and let’s get revising!
Review Your Performance
Before you jump into planning for the next few months, you need to review where you are so far in the year. First things first, what worked well for you over the last 9 months?. Have they been consistent, or have you changed things?. As the famous sporting cliché goes, you don’t change a winning team, so if you have something that works, make sure it stays in your plan. Then, identify the things that maybe haven’t gone so well. That could be a marketing channel that’s not giving you a return on investment. It could be a process that’s not working properly, or a system that has been causing problems. This gives you something to focus on improving, replacing or ditching altogether in the next quarter.
Future Proof Your Business
Right now, there are lots of things going on that could impact your business or have caused a big impact recently. Across the board, GDPR is still a big thing on people’s minds and Brexit is still looming on the horizon. And that’s before we get into all the industry-specific developments that could impact you. As a business owner, it’s your job to make sure that your business isn’t caught flat-footed in the future. Now is the time to make sure you know the legal implications for your business so that your operations are as well prepared as possible.
If GDPR is on your mind, you might like to read our article for getting your processes in order – Are Your Processes GDPR Compliant?.
You should also be looking at the technology you use every day in your business and ask yourself if it could cope if your business were to grow rapidly. Most people we speak to find that they could cope with rapid growth, but the systems supporting them could not. Make Q4 the time you invest in future proofing your business, so that you don’t get caught out or into trouble.
Just like the best teachers, the most successful businesses are the ones who can plan well in advance for what they can see down the line. They’ll have a contingency plan in place for things that might happen but aren’t certain yet – like natural disasters or Brexit. Look at what the quarter has in store for you, as well as what you think might happen during those months, and make sure you’re ready for it.
For example, don’t forget that Q4 includes Christmas and New Year. A lot of businesses will start to wind down early in December, and some might even close completely until January. If you’re ready for this, then you’ll be able to get that promising bit of business you’ve been working towards sealed in November, instead of letting it go cold over Christmas.
Be prepared for weather issues meaning your staff can’t come in and have a plan for handling that. Can they work from home?. Do you have the systems in place to allow that, so your business can keep going and your staff can stay safe?. Planning for things like this can be the difference between a successful quarter and a disappointing one.
Taking a break over Christmas?. You might like to read our article on 4 Steps To Help Your Business Run Smoothly While On Holiday
Review Your Goals
A good business owner will have goals for their business. These goals help you understand what you’re aiming for, guide your decision making and help you stay on track. But goals aren’t always static. Now is a good time to revisit those goals and see if they are still the right ones for your business. If they are, great! How far have you got to go before achieving those goals?. Do you need to change your approach, or keep doing the same thing as you are now?. If they’re not, then it’s time to sit down and work out what your new goals are. Once you’ve done this, you can write a new business strategy to help you achieve those goals this quarter.
You might be disappointed that summer is almost over, but we are heading towards one of the most exciting times of the working year. It’s a time to reflect on the successes of the year, and make plans for even bigger, better things in the next one. We hope that this post will provide you with some added focus as you shake the sand out of your hair and get back to work.
At Scaleup Solutions, we’ll be working with businesses who have gone through a period of business growth. They now want to reconcile and get comfy in their new position, before they do it all over again.
We’ll also be working with business owners who want to make Q1 of 2019 their best quarter yet. But need some time to plan what that looks like, and make sure their systems, processes and people are ready for the growth they have planned.
If this sounds like you, then we would love to help. Just get in touch with us today for your free consultation.