For all of the inspiration, quotes and calls-to-action both on and offline, we all fall short of greatness once in a while. Whether it is procrastination or just being inundated with work and life; we get off track at times and need to refocus ourselves on some key elements of our business that require some extra TLC.
As we wind down to the end of 2015, we should be entering a somewhat reflective time as business owners. The calm of fall invites us to clean up, clear out and plan for 2016. If we’re honest with one another there is no better time than now. Soon we will be greeted by the holidays, colder temperatures, and lots of distractions. It behooves us to stay focused and get our affairs in order before we regret it.
1. Get your expenses, billing and accounting in order. We start the year off great saying that we will put our expenses in as they present so we don’t get behind. Like most New Year’s Resolutions we do this one task well until about February or March and then we are back to letting it pile up on us. Use this time to get all of your receipts together and into your accounting system. You will thank yourself at tax time.
2. Run you Profit and Loss Report year-to-date. Doing this now will help you to see where money is coming in and how it is being spent. It also gives you a heads up on where you can cut back and/or reallocate funds within your business. It’s great to feel successful, but the numbers don’t lie. You need to have a clear financial outlook on your business going into 2016, so you can make improvements and be even more successful. Doing this one thing for myself, I have already identified an area where my rates need to increase to cover my labor as well as my expenses.
2a. Get an Accounting System A.S.A.P. If you have yet to invest in an accounting system, I highly suggest you add it to your to-do list in the near future. The right accounting system will get you out of the rut of clunky spreadsheets and get you compliant and organized.
3. Unplug and Evaluate Your Business Goals. Take the time to tune everyone and everything out so you can reflect on what went right for the year and what you need to improve. It is in the realm of you can’t know where you are going, if you don’t know where you have been. It’s hard to purposefully plan for your business when you are buried in the day-to-day. I promise you if you step back and analyze your successes and lessons (notice I didn’t say “failures”), you will be in a unique position and space to create greatness for your business in 2016.
We all need and deserve the ability to hit the reset buttons on our lives and businesses. Get ahead of everyone else and start looking at these three aspects of your business. You will thank yourself next month when you know all has been cleaned, cleared, and planned for and you can sail into the holidays with no worries other than the inevitable expansion of your waistline.