Your Q4 Step by Step Business Plan (Behind the Scenes part 3)Oct 27, 2021
We made it to part 3 of our series taking you behind the scenes of running a business on a pretty limited schedule and this week I wanted to share how to survive Q4. But honestly, I want you to more than just survive.
I want you to thrive.
Q4 is a special time of year. It is super inspiring with all the holidays and family time, but let’s be honest it is also REALLy stressful. Not only do you have all your normal responsibilities but you add on the holiday stress. We are a family with 17 different Christmas trees. (I should do a whole blog post on that, but I LOVE the holidays). Anyways, you layer in end-of-year schedules, holiday planning plus normal day-to-day life and it is a lot. As a business owner, the stress of this season is enough to make you want to throw in the towel now before we even get to the major holidays. So I wanted to share a few tips to do things differently.
And with that, your Q4 step by step business plan.
I am going to break this into two parts. The first is just general let’s get our shit together. And honestly, I follow these steps whenever I start to feel anxiety around my schedule creeping in. Don’t panic and instead do this:
- Find space to think. As in slow down. Set aside a few hours. Go to a coffee shop. Get out of town (not kidding). The #1 thing most of you will not do is this step. It is the hardest one, but your brain and your creativity need time to process. You have to be able to let your thoughts settle to get to the next level. (Didn’t mean for that to rhyme!)
- Get it on paper. Now that you have taken a hot second to think, you are going to brainstorm it all. This is not a fancy step. It is literally taking a blank sheet of paper (which p.s. The planner has this step mapped out for you in it) and getting out everything that is in your head. As much as I love a well-organized checklist, this is not. Sometimes my brainstorming checklist this time of year is everything from Christmas present ideas to summer vacation plans to business launches. Get it all out.
Here are a few good prompts to get you started:
What do you want to accomplish between now and the end of the year?
What is holding you back?
- So now that you have found some space and gotten it all out on paper, it is time to prioritize. Think of this as the "make it happen". I personally love taking out a big whiteboard and mapping out the months and then placing 1-2 goals per month. It is super easy to see what fits where. This is a great time to map out your own personal goals as well. In fact, I start with those and then follow up with the business ones.
- Last but not least, Delegate. So many people get nervous about this step but this is where the magic happens. You don’t have to delegate a task forever. It might just be short-term.
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Now that we have our goals and priorities straight, I want to layer in some Q4 business tips.
Q4 Business Tips
Q4 is different than any other time of year because now, not only are you competing with yourself and your goals but every other retailer out there. I say this with love, but if you think you get a lot of emails now, wait until November 1st. Am I right? So you don’t want to half-ass anything you do during this time frame because your customer and ideal client are probably already feeling overwhelmed. Make sense?
There are a few ways your can better prepare your business for Q4:
- What dates do you need to be aware of? (Actual holidays, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, etc.)
- What product releases and service offerings do you have coming? (if you focus on products)
- How can you cater to current clients, friends, and family? Do you need or want to? This looks like...
- Private sale / upgrade
- Friends and family discount
- New content / extra training
- Personal check-in/ Thank you note
- Content / Follow-up to help them use their resources
I hope these questions inspire you to really think about how you want to navigate your business and your goals between now and the end of the year. And while some of these questions are BIG ones, I assure you, sitting down for 30-60 minutes and answering them is not only going to save you time but help you reach your goals and keep your sanity.
Having your Q4 step-by-step business plan will save you stress and headache during a time that is meant to be enjoyed with loved ones (and yummy food and drinks!)
Looking for more on this topic? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!