Remember back at the start of the year when you had 1,971 hours to work on your business?
What if I told you that there are just 47 days left of 2019 (actually, for that matter, of this decade)?
It doesn’t sound like a lot. In fact, if it’s not a typically busy time of year for your industry, it’s tempting to see this period as the wind down to Christmas and the holiday season; no point starting anything new now, right?
In my role as a business coach, I mentor business owners to reframe their view of this season for what it is: one-and-a-half months in their business. No matter what the time of the year, almost seven weeks is still a chunk of change in the time bank.
While a client achieving better work-life balance never fails to have our business coaching team throwing high fives all around, we’re also keen to remind clients that if you lose momentum at this point, you’ll spend the first part of the new year trying rev yourself and your business back up to speed.
So, my early Christmas gift to you is this list of ideas for keeping your business ticking along right up until you start popping open the New Year’s champagne.
5 momentum maintenance moves for Q4 business success
To finish your year (nay, decade!) off strong, my best business advice is to:
One: Look backwards to move forwards
Cast your mind over your goals and calendar of tasks for 2019. Be sure to celebrate the things you managed to tick off your list; you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ve achieved just through taking consistent action in your business.
When it comes to the things you didn’t get around to, consider whether (or not) you plan to carry them with you into the new year; if you haven’t done them by now, maybe there is a reason for that?
Conversely, if there are things on that list that represent a real opportunity to grow your business, challenge yourself to nail down what is holding you back from getting those things done? Is it mindset, resourcing or time management etc? Once you’ve identified the obstacles, you can come up with a plan for busting through whatever is placing limits on your success.
Two: Make the connection
With the holiday season gearing up, people are in a party mood, so it’s a great time to nurture relationships. Sending out gifts, cards or email messages of gratitude to your clients or collaborators can be a nice way to thank them for their support in 2019. These small gestures can also serve as a subtle (and non-salesy) reminder of the successful projects you’ve worked on together (and that you’re available for any new ones coming up in the new year).
The social season also gives you the perfect excuse to re-connect with leads and contacts that you haven’t seen in a while. Reach out to that potential client from six months ago – they might finally be ready to sign up for your services in 2020.
Three: Eat one big frog
Is there one big (and kind of ugly) task or major decision you’ve been putting off? Kick it off your list before the new year begins. If it helps, chase up eating that frog with something more pleasant (your annual holiday or Christmas party, perhaps?). As they say, “a spoonful of sugar…”.
If you’ve been putting off making a tough call, the Tenfold Business Coaching guide to tackling tough decisions gives you a framework for avoiding analysis paralysis.
Four: Learn something new
As we discussed in our blog on closing the learning/doing gap, there are so many ways to upskill. If finding the time has been the thing holding you back from learning that new software program or getting stuck into some podcasts or business books, now’s your opportunity to build a little self-education into your daily routine.
Five: Sow marketing seeds to fill your 2020 funnel
Have you been toying with starting that monthly email to your client base, getting more active on LinkedIn, upping your Instagram game, trying out Google Ads or collecting some case studies for your website? Getting your marketing calendar sorted out now will make sure you start 2020 with a roadmap for business growth. Check out our recent series on the seven essential tools for marketing your business for inspiration.
It takes less energy to keep moving
As a business coach, I mentor clients that maintaining momentum is a key ingredient for taking their business to the next level. You don’t want to use up valuable time, energy and resources playing catchup every January. It might also prove very satisfying, over the next 6-7 weeks, to watch your competitors wind things back, knowing that by taking consistent actions, you’ll not only make progress, you’ll be leaving them all behind. What a way to start the roaring 20s!