I am not the first person to say that September always feels like a new start even if you haven’t been involved in any education for years. There is something about the chaos of the Summer that means that September is often a welcome return to routine and structure. With that new routine, it can feel like a fresh start too – an opportunity to refresh or refocus or maybe do things differently.
For me this new start is so much more promising than January when we are often depleted from Christmas and the nights are still long and energy levels are low. September has an all together different feel – the evenings are still long enough and our energies are restored even if we have on staycationed at home and cleaned out the garage.
Using September as a new start in your business is ideal for many reasons. Not only are you in the best position to review and renew a marketing policy or a business direction, your customers are also likely to be more receptive – don’t forget their summers have probably been as chaotic as yours. If your business makes hay in the festive season or even if it is your quiet time, using these final few months of the year effectively can have a hugely positive impact on your business prospects – not to mention placing you in the best position for any January flagging.
To celebrate new horizons in September we are going to produce a series posts and ideas to help you make the most of what September has to offer – top tips and ideas to help you boost your business, confidence or energy. Simply members will also be getting some exclusive extra support to support them as they venture into the new term.
To make a start – let’s focus on looking backwards…
It is so important to look back in business every now and then to asses what has gone well, what has fallen by the wayside and how you are managing the day to day, as well as the big picture in your business. In life, I am an advocate of moving forward, being positive and not dwelling on the past, however, as entrepreneurs we are often so busy on the ‘next thing’ that we neglect to look critically at how far we’ve come. If we do this every 6 months, it is a great way to take stock to give you the clarity you need to fully embrace new horizons and opportunities.
Here are some things to consider pondering to best prepare you for the coming month.
- Look at the big picture and assess how well your business is doing compared to any plans you made. Using your preferred measures – include things like profit margins, numbers of new customers, return customer rates or marketing campaign success. Don’t be afraid to note down things that didn’t go so well – this is not failure so much as a learning curve – alway useful! Equally give yourself a pat on the back for your successes too.
- Break down your big picture into your own KPIs (jargony Key Performance Indicators) but frankly the bits that are important to you now. For some it may have nothing to do with profits yet but more to do with building your 1st 100 customers. For others it might be items sold or the launch of a new online presence. Either way – don’t look at others for comparison – focus in on your figures.
- Have a really good look at your marketing impact. You may be ticking along nicely and be feeling content in your business but take time to have a look at what your business looks and feels like ‘out there’ to the public. Take notice if your social media posts have gone a tad stale or maybe the rate at which you gain reviews has slowed. This is the perfect time to focus on what might not have gone wrong yet but has started to fade in the chaos of previous months.
- Finally take a good look at you and how you are coping with your working week. For many business owners it is easy to fall into bad habits that can lead to lower productivity, low energy levels and ultimately difficulties in a business. Are you constantly tired, can you offload some work to a freelancer? Do you need to employ a part time person to support the office? Are you looking after yourself as the number 1 asset in your business?
Once you have made some notes or taken a long walk and had a good think, you will be more than ready to start to implement some new ideas and ways of working – creating new energy & enthusiasm for September & beyond.
Good luck – and please share your ideas and feedback on our FB page or right here in the comments.