Autumn’s Starting & So Is Your 4th Quarter

autumnsstar1Autumn is starting this week and September 30th marks the end of the 3rd quarter of Calendar Year 2014. Now’s a good time to take a two-minute timeout to both look back at the year so far and look ahead to the 4th Quarter.

2:00 State of the Company
What’s the company look like at this point? Whether you’re a start-up in the first year of business or your company’s seen many an autumn come and go, it’s a good idea to pause and take stock of where the company is at. Is it staying true to its intended mission or has there been some drift or pulling away from that mission? Is the mission truly changing or is some action needed to set it back on track. Verify the mission is intact or identify actions needed to make the necessary course correction.

1:30 Products and Services
How are sales of your products and/or services? How did actual sales in the 3rd quarter compare to your forecasts? Were there offerings being monitored throughout the quarter that now need to be cut? Stop offering poor performing products and services so you can free resources to bolster other offerings or to introduce new products/services.

1:00 Manage Effectively
Pause and assess management effectiveness, whether it be just you or you and your team (if you have a team, don’t assess them without first assessing yourself). Are goals clearly stated and understood? Are you (and the team) fully committed to achieving the goals? Do the players have the adequate knowledge to execute strategies to achieve the goals? Does sufficient technical ability exist or can it be obtained? How does management reinforce all participants to ensure the quarter’s goals are met?

00:30 Show Me the Money
We all know: it’s all about the money. Did you meet your financial goals for the year to date and the quarter just ended? If you don’t know – find out! Identify (quickly) what corrections may need to be made to ensure the 4th quarter performance meets both the quarter’s and year’s financial goals. Put in place monitoring techniques to improve both the timeliness and usefulness of financial data you need to achieve this quarter’s goals. Make sure 3rd quarter tax reports are completed and filed on time and all necessary deposits have been made.

00:00 Time to Play
OK, timeout’s over. Business continues at its normal frenetic pace. Take a deep breath and jump back into it. Make an appointment with your tax advisor to identify any year-end tax savings strategies for both you and your business. Here’s to your best 4th Quarter ever!

Author info: Jeff Randall is a senior tax advisor and business coach to entrepreneurs. Contact: jeff.randall@fulcrum6.com

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