I Know What You Didn’t Do This Summer


When I wrote “Put Down Your Summer Reading…You’ve Got Work to Do,” back in early July, I didn’t expect the hate mail. Okay maybe it wasn’t hate mail, but I did get quite a few comments that I needed to get a life and that I should really get off everyone’s (my staff’s) back.
In my own defense, I’m right. The summer time is (or should I say was) a great time to tackle your professional development to-do’s and take stock of what’s in your small business toolkit. Having these items in order allows you to be laser-focused on business development and providing excellent customer service come the fall, the holidays and through the new year.

September is a crazy month for everyone. Kids are back to school, clients and bosses are back from their vacations and need your time and talent, and invitations to fundraisers and all those networking events are piling up. And then of course you’ve only got 12 weeks before the holiday frenzy requires even more of your time. So…now that the eyes are back on you and your business, are you ready?

Needless to say, it’s never too late to at least cover the basics. In my July post I presented a more detailed list, but I’m reducing it to a quick hit list here because quite frankly, you’re out of time.

1. YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE has to be one of your top priorities.
It pretty much doesn’t matter what your business you’re in, you need to check your website and social media outlets for content, make necessary updates, check for accuracy and consistency throughout and be sure to include new photos and videos that relate to your business.

2. MONEY MATTERS it’s not glamorous I know, but make contact with your accountant, make sure you are keeping the records you need so when tax time rolls around, you’re not scrambling, taking valuable time away from your clients to deal with a mess you created.

3. STAND YOUR GROUND in your area of expertise by making sure you have all the certifications necessary so your bid doesn’t get overlooked simply because you don’t have them. A quick analysis of what you competition offers is prudent. Do you need to sharpen or include a skill set? If it’s too late to gain that yourself, find the right person who fills that gap to join your team.

4. THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. Yes, you have to get out there. Networking is essential for everyone, regardless of where you are in your career. This is the time of the year where countless networking events pop up. Get out there, but choose wisely. Make sure your read up on the event organizer and the group’s mission and make sure it’s worth your valuable time.

5. WHAT’S INSIDE MATTERS MOST. It’s hard to maintain work/life balance. I know, I’m a straight up A personality. Taking your health for granted is a big mistake and in every way is counter-productive. While I’m the LAST to preach about taking care of yourself, do 4 things now: 1. Schedule or keep all your annual doctor’s visits; 2. Drink more water 3. Take your vitamins 4. Keep a food/exercise diary. Sounds like a lot of work, but nothing can impede your professional progress like your personal well-being.

Here’s to Health, Happiness and Prosperity this Fall!

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