We can get so excited and overwhelmed about the big plans that we miss the opportunities in front of us today. Before you jump into next year, take a hard look at this year and check in to see if you have maximized everything you can for this year.
Three months is still plenty of time to make things happen for yourself and your business. Take this time to make the most of 2017 with local events like Small Business Saturday coming up, holiday networking opportunities, community mission work and giving back local love with a #ThinkLebanonFirst attitude. There are plenty of opportunities left to make a big impact.
Revisit your goals of 2017
Before we end 2017 and ring in 2018, let’s go back to the beginning of the year. Ask yourself, what were your goals for 2017? What did you want to accomplish this year? What did you want to earn? Are you on track to meet your financial goals? Did you update your best practices, like you had planned to? Did you increase your customer service training, like you spoke to your staff about? Did you expand to that new social media platform you had intended to? Did you increase your social engagement because you stuck with your planned content and utilized a social media calendar?
Checking back on your goals and being honest with yourself about where you are and where you desire to be gives you a chance to evaluate what you have achieved and formulate a plan to continue to move towards the goals that you have not.
Reverse engineer your remaining goals
If you do still have goals to hit from the beginning of the year, think backwards to figure out how to achieve them. For example, if you wanted to create three products for 2017, and you’ve created two, what do you need to do to make that third one a reality? Start with how you want it to look and work backwards. How does it fit in with your business? How will it make your customers lives easier? You created those 2017 goals for a reason; check back with why you wanted to achieve those things and that will lead you to how you can accomplish them. From there, put together a simple road map and it will lead you to success.
Prepare for next year
I certainly do believe it is important to take the rest of this year to work on this year, but I also think it is important to set yourself and your business up for success by establishing a plan for 2018. Take some time in the next three months to set up an action plan for next year. What you do today will directly affect where you are at next year.
Get out of the office during the next three months and talk with people you want to work with next year. Show up to events and support both brands and people you admire. Attend community events and focus on a local level what you can do to give back and express community love. Do your homework on what it would take to actually achieve your 2018 goals and use the next three months to do groundwork for those goals.
They say anything worth doing takes time and hard work. You’ve put your passion into your business and need to continue the momentum with business planning.
As you finish out the year – remember that a successful business requires partnerships, community love and support. Ask yourself, what are you doing to continue to be a good partner, a good neighbor and offer support to others?
Sarah Haston is Lebanon’s economic development director.