Summer is unofficially over, and thoughts have already turned to football and pumpkin spice everything. It also means eyes are on the last few months of 2018. How can you set your business up for a strong financial finish to your year?
Check Your Numbers
2018 is the first year under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Meet with your accountant to make sure you’re on the right track with your expenses. Discuss whether your current corporation status is still the right fit for your business.
Evaluate your expenses to ensure that your spending is aligned with goals. Are you paying for subscription products or services that you no longer need? Are there expenses that can be renegotiated or services that can be consolidated?
Check your profit and loss numbers as well. Do you have clients that require more time than your contracted rate? If so, now is a great time to plan for rate increases, scope adjustments and/or replacement business.
Check in with Current Clients
As the business world shifts from summer mode to “back at it,” take a moment to evaluate your clients’ project progress to date. What could change for the better? What has gone well? Ask for their feedback as you begin planning for 2019. Prepare now for year end meetings. Gathering information now will help you make adjustments as well as develop a strategy for the next year.
Cultivate New Business
This activity should never end, of course, but take advantage of most companies’ budget planning season to make your pitch, or at the least, develop a new contact or two. Scheduled time in your calendar weekly to work on new business. An aggressive approach in the fall can payoff in a very strong 2019. Remember that all business will not close immediately, so you need to have a pipeline of opportunities to have consistent new business.
Use the fall season to refresh your presentations or try a new approach.
Prep for the Season
It’s easy to fall into the habit of doing things the same way or attending certain networking events. However, a new season is an opportunity to evaluate if your activities fit the season of your business. Your activities and workflow may have worked when your business was new but may now be out of sync with a fuller roster of clients. Just as we change our wardrobes to fit the season, make sure your business is dressed for your current business climate.
Cobbler’s shoes, mechanic’s car, whatever phrase you use to brush off why you’re not promoting your own business as well as you do for your clients, use this month’s “Back to School” mood to get serious about marketing your business on a consistent basis. Build marketing into the DNA of your business. Choose 2-3 activities and do them consistently. You will need to invest the time to test and perfect those activities, and evaluate their effectiveness. If you are struggling to view yourself like a client, team up with another Solo PR Pro and trade ideas. Having a buddy can also help you to be accountable to your plan.
Start now on setting your 2019 goals. This will not only help you to plan for next year but can spur you on to finish 2018 strong. Take the time to reflect on what you want and the steps you need to take to get there.
We'd love to hear from you. What steps are you taking to set yourself up for success next year? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments below or on social media using #solopr.