Sunday, August 28, 2011

September can be your new Beginning

An accounting instructor threw a scary thought at me. He said all companies should keep two sets of books. He was a very honest man and wasn't implying that companies should be defrauding the government, but in fact that the government requirements didn't go far enough to understand a business to make the best decisions to improve profit and long term growth.

What has this got to do with you? It depends. If you are in business you are always planning which includes executing your plans and getting feed back. A good business man understands that to neglect proper planning is to jeopardize your future. New Years Day is usually the beginning of many a plan.

Instead of January my choice is September. The key factor is that is when kids go back to school. As a parent with two kids out of school I no longer revamp my life the way I used to when school forced a change in routine. But really no body escapes it. Summer holidays are when most families take time off together and the rest of us find it difficult to connect with our customers and suppliers.

As a salesman I am busiest in the spring and the fall. In winter it seems customers are recovering from Christmas shopping, discouraged by the weather from any unnecessary shopping and a few lucky ones are beyond my reach in some sunny climate. The summer is not quite as slow, but it seems frustrating in that many of the people I want to contact are on vacation, just back from vacation (and catching up), too excited about their upcoming vacation or their support staff (or their boss) is on vacation and they are stretched.

Rather than be frustrated I look forward to the upcoming busier season--everyone back from vacation, stores ready to re-stock and new opportunities. A new beginning. Just like when I was a student or my kids had to shift their attention from vacation fun to serious study (and meeting old and new friends also making the shift).

Planning is really being done all year, even if not written down on paper. Measuring ourselves, establishing goals and strategies are ideally done on a time frame. While the government requires you to pay taxes based on a calendar year, your own arrangement of time might work better with your own calendar.

If you haven't thought about it one of the advantages of setting time based goals and strategies in your time frame, is that it is really a beginning of your choice. A chance to throw out the things that didn't work and concentrate on new strategies that promise more success. You will have to make adjustments at different times of the year, but a major shift of thinking is worth while and you can decide the beginning time and the measurement time.

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