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Back to Business

September is here and it’s back to business for you and your organisation. The autumn to Christmas stretch is often the most important, busy and lucrative quarter of the year with many businesses generating the largest part of their annual turnover.

So with this in mind leading business coach Rasheed Ogunlaru shares his top tips on how to hit the ground running and to get the best out of the season ahead.

1) Step Back before you get Stuck In:

Resist the temptation to plough straight back into work. You’ve got to step back and see the big picture or you might get lost in the details, email and paperwork and get overwhelmed. Make sure you are relaxed, refreshed, ready and can review precisely where you are and where you’re going.

2) Get Strategic:

To move your business forward you need to know where you are going. If you don’t have a written plan and specific goals and a clear vision/mission – or if they are out of date – now is the time to write or revisit them. This is essential if you have a team, associates or partners.

But it’s also important for you otherwise you’ll get lost or seduced into getting off track. Keep it clear and concise: 1-2 pages with specific financial, marketing and operational goals may suffice.

3) Fitness & Reality Check:

Now we need to do a quick health check on both you and your business. Write down the answers to these questions as specifically as you can:

  • What’s working well?
  • What is not working or what are the problem areas?
  • Give your business a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest and ideal state of affairs) for the following: Finance; Marketing; Operations and Management.

Give yourself credit for what’s working well. Don’t get disheartened by what’s not. Use this as baseline feedback on how you’re doing.

4) Clear Steps:

Based on your strategy and fitness health check, produce a short action plan with the steps you need to take and when. This is your road map and directions.

Keep this simple and specific. What precisely needs to be done by whom and when? For example: Update website services page by end September; Produce a database of key contacts 1-15 October; Write and promote 2015 price list by 1 December.

5) Confidence and Support:

Confidence in yourself and what you’re doing is one of the biggest keys to success. Add to this a clear understanding of why your doing it and you have a solid foundation for keeping going.

Know why you’re running your business and keep this at heart every day. Also seek out those who can help you. Build a network and build a strong bond with your customers, associates and team.

6) Focus and Flexibility:

It’s very easy to get distracted and overwhelmed by emails, social media, the telephone – and your own mind. The ability to focus – and yet be alert to opportunity is what separates winners from ‘also rans’.

Tip 1: Start the day knowing precisely what success would look like by the end of it

Tip 2: Complete a key task before you open your emails or social media. See the difference!

Tip 3: Stay alert to what’s going on with customers, your contacts and your industry and in wider society. This will help you spot new opportunities.

7) Review and Fine-Tune:

Having a plan is all very well but you, your customers and the world are changing all the time. Take 10 minutes to review achievements, challenges and priorities every week. Use this to fine-tune your plan and your actions. Celebrate each step of the way.