Here we are well into the final quarter of 2017. Is your business on target to reach your goals for the year?
Here are some things you should be doing to make your final quarter as successful as you’d like it to be:
Review your progress
How has your business performed in the first 3 quarters of the year?
What have you accomplished that you are really proud of?
What could have gone better? And what can you do about it?
Make timely changes
What can you do now to make sure your last few months of the year the best they can be?
- Create marketing campaigns to boost fall and winter sales
- Contact existing and past customers
- Make changes to your pricing strategy
- Work on plugging productivity holes that erode your profits
- Use slower volume months to build out internal systems and train employees
Plan for next year
Towards the end of this year, start planning for next year so you have your game plan in place.
Schedule an annual planning session to plan out the upcoming year.
What are your revenue and profit targets? What new initiatives are you planning?
- Increase revenue from a specific service or target market by X%
- Put an employee training program in place
- Hire a new sales person to sell $X in the coming year
- Re-do the website to generate more qualified leads
- Create the framework for next year’s plan
- Set Monthly Sales Goals
- Create your Marketing Plan
- Include strategies to reach your target markets, and plan tactics and costs for each
- Make a hiring plan
- Update your organizational chart. Who do you need to hire and when? Plan to start recruiting in time to have the support you need in place
- Make a detailed Budget/Profit Plan
Do your tax planning
Meet with your Accountant in the last quarter of the year to review your tax situation. (If you are on a fiscal year rather than a calendar year, your fourth quarter may be different). Your accountant should give you advice on tax planning so you can minimize your tax burden and make arrangements for quarterly payments so you won’t have any surprises when you file your taxes.
If you are looking at a large tax bill, you may want to see what you can spend or prepay before the end of the year to minimize your taxes. If you have equipment purchases that you need anyway, or planned marketing costs or insurance premiums that you can prepay, these are good things to consider paying before the end of the year if it will help your tax situation. Of course, you need to balance your operational cash flow needs against tax benefits as well.