Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall is Really Our “New Year”, and It Should be Yours Too!

While traditionally, many make their “new year” resolutions in January, that has never been the case for us. Instead, we choose to make ours in the beginning of September. And here is why.....
When September rolls around we are in a very different place than we are at the beginning of a New Year. We have usually had the chance to relax, at least somewhat, over the last few months. Summer’s longer days and nicer weather has meant vacations and long weekends, and we have even able to take a real vacation “laptop free” ~ see how we managed that here.

Even our business has been in slow down mode. Many of our clients are taking vacations themselves and the need for our services lessens. While we certainly don’t stop work completely, there is a definite reduction in the amount of time we need to take to complete our tasks.

In addition, for many September officially heralds in the start of a new school year. And even though we no longer have children to send off, for us it still signifies a time to get back to work and follow a schedule. 

We see Fall as a perfect time for a fresh start. We find that when September begins we really feel a new energy and am ready to tackle our business head on.

Neither of these things are true for us in January.

For the most part, by the time the new year rolls around, we are usually exhausted. Holiday demands ~ decorating, baking, family gatherings ~ have taken their toll. The last thing we are ready to do is buckle down and set goals for us or our business.  

So instead, each Fall we begin our true “New Year”. We are mentally and physically ready to be objective and honest about ou business goals and can set a true course to achieve them.

3 Steps to Help You Make & Keep Resolutions for Your Small Business!  "Tweet This"

And these 3 Steps are where we place our efforts:

  • Reflect
Now is a great time to look back and see what we have accomplished since the beginning of the year. We will take a good hard look at what is working and what still needs work and ask ourselves if we are where we want to be. 

We also can be honest about what we are doing, or not doing, to achieve our goals. Are we wasting too much time on one thing at the detriment of another? 

Our tip to You ~ Be sure to focus on weeding out what is not working ~ why should you waste your time? This may mean dropping products or services that are no longer viable or adding new ones that are more in line with your goals.

This is not a time to stress about what you didn’t get done. However, it is the time to be honest about your business and yourself. The point now is to move forward.
  • Reevaluate
Now we will make a list of our goals and prioritize them. We need to decide what is most important and work on that first.  

Our tip to You ~ Mix “quick fixes” with more lengthy projects. This will help you quickly gain a sense of accomplishment, so important in keeping you motivated.

At this point we will add to that list ways we can make our business more profitable. To that end, we will reevaluate the actual costs of running our business. Are there places we can save? Do we need to spend more in some areas?  

This is when we will determine whether we need to raise our prices. If we do, then we are sure to give our current clients a heads up. Our practice is to announce now that a price increase will take effect at the start of the new year. This gives our clients plenty of notice and a chance to request our services at the current price until then.
  • Refocus
For us, that means taking a fresh look at what really brings us the most joy in our business and edit our new goal list accordingly. We find we need to remind ourselves of “why” we do what we do. When we have that squarely in mind, then it is easy to see where we should place our focus.

This core is what makes our business uniquely ours. For example, several years ago we decided to refocus on our desire to work exclusively with small businesses. To that end, our new goal list concentrated on what we could do to accomplish this.  

By re-focusing, we able to fine tune our resolutions into a list that really makes the most sense to us and our business.

Our Tip to You ~ Set Your own goals to reflect what makes you unique. Find your “why” and align your “new year’s” resolutions accordingly.  

Now you know why we choose fall to be the start of our “new year”, and we think it could be yours too! Give it a try!
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