It’s the fourth quarter and your team has the ball on the 10-yard line. The score is tied with two minutes to go. Football is particularly exciting (or nerve-wracking) as the game winds down and the score is close. What happens in that last quarter determines who wins the game.
The fourth quarter of your business is similar, and we are cruising fast to the end of the year. In this fourth-and-final quarter, there are four things you should do to help your business win, stay strong, and enjoy success.
Get Your Team Energized to Finish the Year Strong and Be Ready for 2023
With most of my clients, I am wrapping up the quarterly meetings. In these meetings, we are looking at the numbers to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding key goals and approaches. I generally find that the team is around 70% aligned. We use the opportunity to increase that percentage by having an in-depth discussion of the historical results and looking at the rest of this year and going into 2023 to align the teams’ vision and long-term strategies. Knowing exactly where you are can give you motivation and energy for what needs to happen next.
Ensure a Solid Q3 Close
If you’ve established effective processes and routines, your accounting staff should be keeping up with the necessary tasks to ensure you have accurate numbers and information for future decisions. If not, focus on getting these procedures polished (with assigned task checklists ) and getting your staff on board with completing them efficiently and effectively EVERY month.
Get Your Short-term Targets in Focus
What are you hoping to see happen in your business during the fourth quarter? Write down these short-term goals and initiatives, narrowing them to be specific, measurable, and fitting for your team.
Start the Budget Process
2023 will be here soon so you’ll need to have your budget in place to ensure an effective transition. It may be a simple matter of copying and tweaking this year’s budget. Or, you may have to revamp if some areas of your growth or scaling did not match your expectations. What are the big initiatives and capital needs next year? Develop your planned organizational chart and get input from your staff for their needs to support their roles for the upcoming year. Start formulating your sales targets now so you can solidify them in November. Consider cost-cutting measures or redirection of funds to more effective endeavors such as product development or marketing for next year.
I find it interesting the statistic that 98% of business owners don’t know how much their business is worth. Their business is their most valuable asset, yet most have no idea of its value until they decide it’s time to sell. I know a couple of owners who recently transitioned from their business and the offers they received were substantially less than they anticipated. In addition, knowing the current value of your business makes it easier to intentionally increase it over time with well-informed decisions.
I suggest all business owners do a business valuation every few years. If you haven’t done this in the last couple of years, arrange to do one this year. Our valuation process is inexpensive and efficient, and you’ll be amazed at how the information helps you as you head into 2023 and beyond.
Look back: For some further thoughts on finishing fourth quarters, visit this post: Fourth and Final – Finish Strong and Be Ready