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The final quarter for most businesses is best described as a sprint to the finish.  Businesses start the year with a defined set of objectives to be accomplished.  When business owners realize that the year is almost over, they get highly motivated to close the year out strong.  This motivation is not always directed in the best way.  Without focus on the most impactful areas of the business, the energy and effort spent may not provide the returns desired.

To ensure the best possible return on effort spent, paying attention to the following tips is critical.

Tips to finish strong

Revisit goals and objectives

Spending time to establish goals and objectives at the start of the year is a great way to begin.  As you execute through the year, events and business conditions change, and the original objectives need to be updated. As you begin the drive to the finish line, taking time to review existing goals and objectives and adjusting to reflect current conditions is required.

Communicate objectives and align team

Once the goals and objectives have been reviewed and adjusted, communication with the full team is required.  To create the best conditions for success for your business, having alignment across all members of the team is essential.

Just informing the team of the metrics and measures is not enough.  Each team member must understand their specific role in achieving the overall goals and objectives in the organization.  When all members understand their individual role and how they fit into the overall scheme, you will have established the best foundation for success.

Focus on actions, not objectives

Now that your business objectives have been reviewed, updated, and communicated to the team, it’s time to get to work.  Defining the actions required to achieve the desired objectives is next.  Constructing the tasks and activities required to achieve your objectives is foundational to reaching the desired results.

Once the team is engaged in executing the plan, be sure that you focus on the actions and not the outcomes. Like a marathon runner, with a goal of completing the race, do not focus on the 26.2 miles that must be run. Focus on each step, your pace, and pay attention to the route.  Perseverance to stay on task is the best way to reach the finish line.  Making constant changes to the task at hand can take you off course resulting in missing the finish line.  Stay focused on the actions and the outcome will be the result.

Prioritize actions

Ok, so now we have the objectives defined, the team aligned, the plan built and communicated, and everyone is focused on the actions and not outcomes.  Awesome!  We are on our way.

Well, the next challenge is to remain focused on the priority actions.  In our chaotic world, individuals and teams can lose track of what the important actions are in the endless list of things to get done. Prioritize actions daily to ensure progress to the ultimate outcome stays on track.  Unorganized effort does not win the game.  Focused effort will.

Plan, Do, Check, Act

Driving a business is sometimes like the movie Ground Hog Day.  You wake up, exercise, eat breakfast, shower, and get to work.  The routine you have established comes with muscle memory, so you go through the steps sometimes without even thinking.

Break the spell.  Make each day as productive as possible by following a quality assurance model.  The approach is referred to as Plan, Do, Check, Act.  This is an iterative process follows a defined approach.

1.    Plan – Define and communicate your plan.

2.    Do – Execute your plan in an organized and focused manner.

3.    Check – Gauge your progress on project measures to ensure you are on track.

4.    Act – Update plans and actions to refine activities to get and stay on track.

Conclusion

Focusing on the most important objectives for your business is key to finishing the quarter strong. Understanding the measures that are most critical to your business is the first step.  Once this is defined, put all efforts and energy into maximizing achievement.

A short Blog post, while capable of informing its reader, is not a complete source of information to enable the best performance. Seeking detailed and ongoing consulting support is always advantageous for your business or organization.  If you would like to discuss our services and support related to consulting services, please visit Taylor and Willis CPAs and Advisors |Consulting (twcpas.net).

Our firm works with many clients on these and many other issues.  To learn more about our Complete Set of Services or to discuss how we may assist your organization, please Contact Us.