Back to Business: 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of September
I started to write a blog all about the emotional ups and downs of the back-to-school season and then I stopped. If you are reading this, I don’t need to tell you how hard it can be to drop your little one off at junior kindergarten for the first time (like I did yesterday). I also don’t need to tell you that it’s a joy and a privilege to be able to have the flexibility most mama entrepreneurs do.
What lights me up about this time of year is that summer is over. People are back at it. In the immortal words of Flight of the Concords: “It’s Business Time”!
Here are 5 things that excite me about this time of year.
1. Increased Focus
Whether your kids are in school or not, there is still something that happens when September rolls around. Something shifts and the universe just seems to open up more hours in the day to get stuff done. With the kids back at school we have more time to focus on the parts of our business that need our attention If you’re like me, in summer, you get by, you do OK, a bit more than the minimum, but you’re not crushing it. You’re cruising a little, enjoying Fridays off, or family vacations, and hopefully you’re not too fussed about it.
But then Labour Day rolls around and it’s like “OK, it’s ON!” One tip is to buy a planner or notebook where you can write weekly goals Monday morning, and check in with them Friday afternoon. Keeping a close eye on your goals will ensure your focus doesn’t stray.
If you’re like me, you love seeing what it happening in the world around you. Some of the best and brightest businesses are launching their most powerful advertising campaigns at this time of year. Make sure you “like” and “follow” not just similar businesses to yours, but those companies that truly inspire you. You might see a blog post that ignites an idea for a new product, or an Instagram pic that inspire the colours for your new logo. Use this time to observe and see what others around you are up to.
3. Super Sales
For many industries, especially retail, sales peak from September to December. There is really no other way to put it than Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money’ Mo’ Money! There is something in there air and people want to spend money. Those putting off a decision in summer often finally get around to deciding and make that purchase.
Having more cash flow means we can do cool things like feed our families and pay the dog walker, but it also means we can invest in our business. Maybe it’s spending some money on a new online ad, or hiring that intern you’ve been desperately seeking. This might be the time to finally make it happen.
Make sales a weekly focus. Make it a routine to sit down once or twice a week and reach out to your clients. See what they need that you can offer, follow-up with anyone on your “warm leads” list. Do what needs to be done and the sales will come in!
4. Fun Events
Come the fall, everyone gets back out there to networking. People are feeling social again. It’s the perfect time of year when people’s heads are in the game, but far enough before the holidays so people don’t feel overwhelmed by their own schedule. Here in Toronto, there are all kinds of amazing networking groups and events to check out and most of them (like Mamas & Co.!) are in full swing at this time of year.
Our meet-ups are the first Wednesday of every month and we cover all kinds of fun topics and throw in a glass of wine for good measure. I might be biased, but it’s the highlight of my month! If you’re thinking of becoming a member, you can come to one meet-up to check us out before joining. Get out there and mingle and you could meet potential clients, future business partners or just all-around awesome peeps.
Back-to-School doesn’t have to apply just to the kiddos. Plenty of adults view this time of year as a perfect time to invest in furthering their own education. Whether it’s taking an Adult Ed course with the City of Toronto, or attending a one-off seminars at Mars, there are many ways to better yourself. Mamas & Co. endeavors to bring short-yet-powerful seminars to their members on things business owners really need to know. Our monthly Learning Labs are evening sessions that focus on topics such as SEO, web advertising and branding. Check our Events for upcoming Learning Labs.
How are you kick-starting your business this fall?
Lianne Kim is the founder of Mamas & Co. and helps small businesses succeed with her business Think Big Sales Consulting.