After many years of being an employee in the world of business, I jumped into the world of entrepreneurship. I work with small business owners to help them organize their chaos while supporting the back office of their business. I focus on calendars, content and connections. Today, I want to focus a little on the whole idea of strategic planning and using a calendar to assist you to organize some of your chaos to close out the year strong.
You may think that the 4th quarter of the year is all about sales for a business, especially to get sales into the black for the year, but not necessarily. I strongly embrace that October is International Strategic Planning Month and Financial Planning Month. All the more reason to dust off your business plan and review it. This is the perfect time to review your past goals and write out what you have accomplished. Nothing is more rewarding than to say “YES, I hit the mark!”
One of your goals may have been to be making a profit, but how much is that profit? You should take a moment to review the financials and discuss with your accountant if that profit is too much. This may be the perfect time to make some major purchases to defer sharing a few tax payments with Uncle Sam in a few short months.
Elizabeth Skibbe of Acorn Accounting shared this recommendation: “I like for clients to talk about their short-term and medium-term goals. If there is planned growth, we should talk about what expenses will need to increase to support that planned income increase. We know that forecasts may change, but it’s important for the client to think about the infrastructure needed to support growth and desired change. The upcoming new calendar year is a natural time point to think about a revised strategy.”
Additionally, October is a great month to review your employee, client and business records/files. It is the perfect time to make the decision of what you plan to do for holiday gifts, parties, and update the contact information of both employees and clients.
Is it time to review your current contracts and plan for next year? Will you need to increase your prices or can they stay the same? Were you getting a return on investment (ROI) from the marketing campaigns you ran? Check to see if you nailed it or if there is room for improvement.
Here’s what you can do when it comes to Financial Planning: it is a great time to make a budget for the New Year, gather documents for your bookkeeper/accountant/ financial planner, and set up deadlines to get this information to these individuals.
For me, it is all about using a calendar to block off time to get these tasks completed, here is my simple process:
I categorize my business appointments with myself into 4 areas: organizing/planning, product/services (what am I offering), marketing (what’s my plan), and financial (recording the cost and analyzing the ROI).
If you are not sure where to start with this planning, if you are looking for an accountability partner or even someone to actually complete some of these tasks, then let’s have a conversation. I want to be Your Chaos Coordinator and help you organize your 4th quarter for success.