BY DON HACHÉ, DIRECSYS
Fall is in the air, which means we’re approaching the last push in most fiscal calendars. How do you stay mindful of your company’s goals and finish strong in the last dash to the end? Here are some questions to ask your team as you plan the rest of your year:
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO FINISH THE YEAR STRONG?
By the end of Q3, you should have a good idea of how the year will turn out. Make sure your accounting and sales teams are all on the same page too. Are you on track towards your goals? Are you ahead of them or behind? What do you need to focus on to meet or exceed your goals? This is a great time to remind yourself that you still have a full quarter to focus on the areas that need attention.
WHAT Q4 STRATEGIES DO WE NEED TO WORK ON TO BUILD MOMENTUM FOR THE FUTURE?
As you’re finishing up one year, it’s a great time to consider making a 2- or 3-year set of goals. Once you have these, you’ll have a direction to steer for next year’s goals. Some examples to explore: Do you have the right processes working? Do you have a marketing program generating enough leads to deliver your revenue target? Do you have the right equipment or technology you will need? Do you have the right people in the company? Do you need to fill key positions to fulfill your goal?
WHAT INVESTMENTS ARE WE CONSIDERING FOR Q1 NEXT YEAR?
What are your big plans for next year? If you have the cash available, it may make sense to expedite those investments into Q4. Talk to your CPA about depreciation. Then, if it makes sense, purchase or invest in those items and get them working at capacity so you are ready to go by January.
IS MY TEAM READY FOR THE NEXT YEAR?
Start with taking an inventory of the team you have. Do you have all A-players? Do you have some people who would benefit from a coaching plan? Do you have some team members that might not be a strong fit at all for your culture? Next, revisit your goals for next year (see Question #2 above). Then, see how these goals match up with what your team’s capabilities are to ensure you hit next year’s goals. There’s a good chance you may already be behind. To fill in the gaps, build out a chart to lay out when you need to have new hires at full productivity, and then backtrack time it takes to recruit, hire, and train. Making this step a priority now will make sure you’re on your way to full productivity and reaching your carefully constructed goals.
If you wait until January to tackle the items above, you’re already late to the game. Your competitors are thinking about these things, and you should too.