The fourth quarter is often when many small business owners ask an important question,
"How many of our business goals will we actually be able to achieve before year end?"
In this Monster video, Emily Bennington, author of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job, outlines a business strategy that will enable you to:
- Assess your too-long to-do list
- Prioritize the goals that matter most
- Reduce dead weight and drag
The result? Less stress and more energy for you and your team to address challenges and plan for the year ahead.
More insights from Emily Bennington:
So it’s almost the end of the year and the big question is: how are you doing on all those goals you set for your company way back in January?
If you’re like most small businesses, I’m sure you made some traction. But I also bet there are some things hanging out there that you want to achieve but you just can’t seem to get across the finish line.
The good news is there is something you can do right now to ensure that your business ends the calendar year strong.
The first step is to get honest about where you are in relation to your targets and where you thought you’ll be at this point. Then the next step is to take all those tasks that you want to complete by end of the year and put them into one of three buckets: Must do, want to and whoop ti do.
Your “must do” items are the most important. These are the jet engine of your business. And by that I mean, if these things aren’t done, you’re not going anywhere. And it should go without saying that anything related to direct sales and accounts receivable fits squarely in that “must do” category. So that’s definitely where you want to be spending the bulk of your time.
“Want to” are those things you have in your strategic plan that you’d like to get done but you can’t tie directly to a revenue stream. Social media is a big old “want to” by the way, because while it keeps your brand visible, it’s still not going to be as beneficial as say picking up the phone and calling 10 of your customers.
Since you only have a couple more months in the year, you really want to make sure that you stay laser-focused on the things that are going to move the needle most for your business and not fall into that trap of doing things that are comfortable at the expense of what’s important.
Now “whoop ti do’s” are those things in your strategic plan that seemed like a good idea when you had plenty of wide space on the calendar -- but you’re never going to get them done by the end of the year. You know it and I know it -- so get rid of them. Move those tasks to next year or let them go entirely, without feeling guilty.
I promise, as you move into the fall and winter months, you’ll be less stressed. Because not only will your to do list shrink, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your team is crystal clear on exactly what is the best use of their time.
I’m Emily Bennington and I hope this advice helps your small business end the year with big results.