The Q4 Slowdown
If you are reading this, then you know that 2019 has officially started. Q4 gets a bad rap in most business circles because its the end of the game. This is the time of year where you can either be reaping a a ton of new growth, or find yourself strapped for cash, with no other sources to fill your pockets. That’s because with the end of the calendar year so close, and holidays so near, keeping client attention at the end of the year is more than a battle. Forward momentum is everything.
Business Momentum Is a Jealous Lover
I once heard it said the momentum is a jealous lover; stop paying attention to him and he will leave you. And as a business owner or side hustler, that is absolutely true.
Your goal in Q4 is not to sell the most. Your goal is to create as much momentum as possible for 2019. There are three key areas you can put your focus to help create that energy. And of course I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help along the way as well.
1. Financial Review
I know not everyone is as amped about reviewing their numbers month to month as I am. But there are two very practical reasons why an annual financial review is clutch for anyone trying to grow a business.
- Tax time will be far less stressful if you start the process of reconciling your income and expenses for the year now. Less clients in Q4 means more time for deep work. This means sit down with your accounting software (Quickbooks, Wave, Xero whatever) and your bank statements. Figure out what your business made and what it spent in 2018. If you haven’t been snapping pics of receipts all year, now would be a good time to scan those bad boys into a cloud platform for safe keeping. You want to be the one who has a nice and tidy printout for your accountant, not a a mangled clusterf*ck of folders, papers, receipts and confusion. Be kind to yourself and start this process now so you can max out on those business deductions before they no longer exist (ahem tax code).
- You will discover key information to focus 2019 by reviewing your financials from the last 12 months, now. If you aren’t running a regular profit and loss statement, taking a year in review can show you if and how you are profitable. Use the review to
- Craft an operating budget for 2019 – you can now predict your high and low seasons (if you have been operating for a full 12 months) and start to project/expect an income from certain activities.
- Draft your marketing strategy around where you notice you had great successes and good traction. Did that one month when you did IG lives every day generate 3-4 new clients? Then, maybe that’s the lane you should stay in for marketing next year.
- Cut the noose on some unwanted recurring expenses that aren’t bringing in decent ROI. Looking through statements is a great way to remember some of those smaller subscription services that you had to have, but turns out you don’t really need. Run a leaner, and more aggressive business in 2019 by knowing your numbers ASAP.
2. Celebrate The Wins
This one is really fun. I want to make a plug for this because I know your type. You’ve probably been side hustling for decades. You are an over achiever, go-getter to a fault, who will find a way to do more if at all possible. You’re the kind of boss lady that if given an extra hour a day, would work more, instead of getting a regular massage. But, the downfall of all that awesome ambition is that you sometimes lose the forest for the trees. You can get so wrapped up in the longer term vision, that you completely disregard your everyday accomplishments. Incremental improvements are how you build girlfriend.
You have to make space for your dreams to come true.
- Take a look at your calendar from the last year and take note of the new projects you took on, relationships you built, clients you worked with, products and services you launched, and skillsets you mastered. Sometimes the greatest wins won’t even be in your business. When I look back on my gratitude journals from year one with High Tides, some of the greatest stuff, was working out 5 times a week, or making blueberry muffins for breakfast for my kids. Yes, the best is yet to come, but let’s not forget you’ve been awesome all year round.
3. Cast a New Vision
Vision board parties are legit my jam these days. Ya’ll know that Femme Totale threw down for vision board brunch in January 2018. To help with the momentum for the new year, we are hosting the party a month earlier this year. Details soon come, so make sure you are subscribed to the site or follow me on social for when tickets go on sale.
Articulating what you want for the new year in all areas of your life is a great way to start having them manifest. You have to make space for your dreams to come true. A vision board can tap into your finances, career, business, family, home, health, social life, relationships. It’s the whole enchilada. Remember, your business is only one part of you. Like diamonds, we are all multifaceted and that includes you.
So, slow down, sip some chai and take a moment to reflect. It won’t just energize you, it will motivate you to take 2019 by storm.
Which of the wind down steps are you most excited to tackle? Let me know in the comments. Follow High Tides on social so you can join us for the Femme Totale vision board event in December!