As small businesses wrap up Q3 and head into Q4, it’s highly likely that entrepreneurs are already mentally and physically focused on the final quarter of the year. The holiday season is just around the corner and 2019 isn’t too far behind either.
It’s easy to get swept away in holiday marketing and sales prep and forget to strategize a tight Q4 plan. If your business doesn’t have one yet, or needs a little help putting one together, don’t forget to include these key areas.
1. Look back at the last three quarters.
Remember when you started the year with a list of goals you wanted to reach over the next 12 months? Review those goals again. Where are you now? How far did you progress? How do these goals stack up to your long-term business initiatives?
If you haven’t progressed much at all, determine if you can hammer out any of your goals before the year ends. You may need to revise your business plan otherwise and prep to work on these goals in the upcoming year.
2. Look forward to Q4.
Now that we have taken a look back at the last three quarters, it’s time to look forward. Set actionable, specific goals for the remaining months this year. Here’s where your focus should be specifically:
- ROI. Which endeavors provided the biggest return on investment for your business this year? Which ones flopped? Double down on the initiatives that performed well. Nix any extra work on those not yielding satisfactory results.
- Current trends. Are things trending the way you expected, or anticipated, for the business? Can you do more to stretch and hit your goals?
- Loose ends. Maybe you did reach most of your goals this year and are on track for 2019. Is there anything left to tie up that you may have forgotten about?
- New opportunities. Think of one or two opportunity areas for your business and focus on how you can reach them during Q4. These do not need to be huge areas, either. If you noticed your business could use more reviews on Yelp, encourage customers to leave reviews about your company and its services on the site.
3. Get your team all in with you.
If you work with a team, use the remains of Q3 to strategize together. Share your goals with them and get their feedback and ideas. Deliver pep talks that help get everyone on the same page with your needs. These talks should also be encouraging and motivational, inspiring everyone to work their hardest and push to success.
Whether you work with employees or not, hold yourself accountable as a leader. You should be ready to roll up your sleeves and work alongside your team. If you have a specific goal you want to reach before the year is up, get in there and put in the time, effort, and can-do attitude to make it happen.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation.