Updated: Sep 6, 2021
September marks the final quarter of the year… and Q4 means every business owner wants to end the year on a high note. As business owners, we need to be goal-driven in nature, and our imagination and creativity are powerful tools in our toolkit to achieve goals.
Get Everyone Aligned:
Goals are not secrets. So, share them freely. This way, your team knows where they are headed, and they know what they do ultimately contributes to the overall outcome – creating accountability. You could be a single-person business – then tell your family and friends about it. Write them down, put them where you can see them, share them with your team, and rope in everyone’s support to achieve those year-end goals!
Have you taken a step back and looked at your process flow? Big words? Well, basically consider a piece of work… How long does it take you to complete, and how many steps are involved in it? Can you reduce some steps? Cutting back on even a step or two can refine a clunky process… even if it is something as small as filing. Carefully look at areas where you
can implement process restructuring.
Identify Problem Areas and Check If They Have Been Solved:
Have you identified problems? Do you think you have addressed the issues? Have you double-checked everything? When we implement a fix, we often assume that everything from that point onwards is smooth sailing. However, revisiting a fix will show if there needs to be more tweaking or if the fix will hold. If you have a small team, take time to review if their metrics and problem areas are smooth flowing. Having a 20-minute one-on-one session will definitely help you implement much-needed fixes. Not all leaks are as obvious as a dripping kitchen faucet.
Look at the Team’s Personal and Professional Growth:
Taking time to nurture your team is important. As your team grows, make sure that your individuals also grow in terms of learning, scope, and skills. Individual development leads to increased passion for one’s work. If you are a one-person business, then you need to develop yourself. Invest in an online class to hone your skills. Remember that a car can only be roadworthy if it is well-maintained.
Where were you at the same time last year?
Sometimes, reflecting and comparing business performance against performance of a previous year is helpful. It’s not only about assessing if you are doing better than last year which would be obvious, but also so that you can analyze any trends and comparing quarter-on-quarter performance can show you if you are leveraging each quarter as you should or if you are letting everything pile up until Q4. In small businesses, we are reluctant in maintaining data, but it would be good to remember that if you don’t know where you have been, it will be difficult to gauge where you are going.
Are your Goals SMART?
Adjusting and fixing misses is important, but are your goals SMART to begin with? If you haven’t achieved a goal yet, chances are that they are flawed. Apply the SMART matrix and rebuild your goals. This is a great big business trick that can be applied to small businesses and one-person businesses and for individuals too. Are your goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based? You need all these components to make a goal effective. If you haven’t met a goal, consider revamping them and do so SMART-ly!
Are Your Customers Engaged and Loyal?
It’s harder to get new customers or clients than to nurture the ones you have. This is good business sense too since word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool you will ever need. So, consider if your customer is engaged. Are they interacting with your newsletter, social media, and events? Do you provide them with relevant content and services? Have you done a survey? Often, the best suggestions come from your clients. They are the reason why you still have a business!
Are you getting the help you need? Do you need a business coach? A virtual assistant? Have you lost sight of yourself and what it felt like to have a successful business? Take a moment to celebrate the small wins along the way and give yourself a pat on the back. You are the important equation in your small business.
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Written by Tatum De Souza