The fun and distractions of summer are over and though it may be hard to believe, the end of the year is nearly here. As a leader in your organization, what can you do to prepare for the last quarter and make sure it ends with a bang? Here’s a list of things you can do between now and December 31st to finish the year strong.
Do a year-end review (for learning)
Whether you’re an employee, manager, or solopreneur, there’s a lot to be gained from giving yourself an end-of-year review. Begin with a simple inventory of your output this year, and determine what’s going well and what isn’t. Your year-end review can include the following:
- Your entire output: Depending on your industry/business, this could be how many projects you completed, clients you served, articles published, etc. Take a tally of noteworthy measurable outputs you accomplished in the year.
- How well did your output perform: Track revenue for each product/service, number of unique readers per post you published, your most popular social media posts, etc.
- Gather more data: Gauge the overall health of your business by looking at revenue growth rate, profit for the year, total subscribers to your mailing list, and any other metrics that show you your growth trends.
- Determine what went well, and what didn’t: Many call it a post-mortem, but really it’s an analysis of your wins and losses so that you can learn from them for next year. How can you learn from your most successful projects and biggest accomplishments, as well as where you fell short. This will help internalize the lessons you learned and help you grow for the upcoming year.
- What’s keeping you going? What aspects of work are you enjoying the most? Are you working with a team who makes you and your business better? Is there anything that really motivates you that you might want to focus on in the future?
Invest your profits back in the business
Warren Buffet learned at a young age that money was best invested back into his business. If you’re a business owner, reinvesting is crucial to your continued growth. If you’re not growing you risk losing momentum, stagnating, or and eventually withering away beneath your competition.
The end of the year is a perfect time to start investing some of your profits. Not only will you have a better idea of the best place to invest (after reviewing your business) but it’s wise to spend money at the end of the year to save from paying a sizeable chunk of it back to the government. Some smart places to invest include:
- Outsourcing tasks that will free up your time to grow your business
- Continuing education
- Growth projects
- Redesigning or adding new features to your website
You don’t need to invest all of your profit, but reinvesting some of it can be a highly effective way to take your business to the next level. Take it from some of the biggest companies – investing as much as you can as long as you can will give back the biggest rewards.
Assess your goals and don’t be afraid to make changes
Now is the time to assess where you stand with the goals you set for your business this year. Will you be able to aim higher, or were some of your goals unrealistic? Knowing will help you judge which direction to take your business and how to set new goals in the new year.
If there’s a goal you haven’t delivered on or something that isn’t working, then take corrective action. Some people get afraid to change part of their process or strategy at the end of the year, but the real risk is being resistant to changing something that isn’t working. Don’t wait too long for something to get better.
If you’re worried it’s too late to make up your numbers, remember, many companies manage to do 50% of their annual business in the final three months of the year, so don’t lose steam. Keep putting yourself in front of clients and keep your doors open to finish the year strong.
Don’t wait until the last minute
With so much to do and so many distractions, it’s easy to keep putting things off. But no matter what end-of-year tasks are on your plate, don’t wait until the last minute to take care of them. Between now and December 31st, the year is going to fly by, and if you’re not prepared, you’ll end the year with loose ends in your business. If you feel like you’ve become a little too relaxed over the summer, it’s a good time to step up your game by trying the daily habits of top performers.
Getting an early start leads to closing more deals before the year wraps up, and not being left with a huge to-do pile. Take care of the nitty-gritty now, and you’ll actually be able to enjoy yourself once the holidays do come.