Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's the rest of the year look like for you?

Welcome to October. What's the rest of the year look like for you? 

If you own a business or are a manager, this is a vital question you need to ask yourself NOW.

If your fiscal year is based on the calendar year, you have just over one quarter left to go. For several industries, fourth quarter is the difference between success and failure. Retail has just enjoyed its annual back to school bump. With the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas buying seasons ahead, its make or break time for many sectors. 

Fourth Quarter means seasonal changes which can mean the beginning or the end of a sales cycle. Fourth Quarter also means less business calendar days and less business opportunities, due to the holidays. Don't be caught flat footed on December 15th that the rest of the year is just dead time until the start of the new year.

Here's several ideas to insure that when the calendar changes to 2013, you won't just affirm that things will be different in the coming year.

  • BE YOUR OWN CONSULTANT. Give yourself permission to make a fearless and searching look at this year. Be willing to see things as they are. Don't hide behind could be's or denials? Ask yourself the tough questions.
  • Take an accurate financial snapshot of your company and look at candid look what it says. If you know your business, it should be easy to see where you're at -- Is their something driving revenue? Is there someplace where you are leaking money? Do you have to make a tough decision for the future or are things better than you imagined?
  • Talk to your business support team before the end of the year. Ask your lawyer, accountant, marketing people, HR consultant and others on whom you rely ... are their changes coming in the new year that I need to act upon now? Laws change. Tax codes change. Acting now and acting as if could make any sort of switch less painful.
  • Are their goals, budget items or plans that you made back in the day which are incomplete, part done or you didn't even start?
  • Can you take this analysis and start to build your 2013 business plan and budgets? Has a new client changed the way you do business? Are there factors which have changed how you look at your operations? Is there something you absolutely need to do, that you need to make a plan to achieve?
Soon enough, we will be turning the page on 2012. Act now while you have the time and ability to make changes which will strengthen your business for next year and beyond. 

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