Back-to-school tips for business

This year to incent my kids to complete their summer math workbooks I offered something that would have motivated ME as a kid – cold, hard cash. The results were pathetic! I think my 7-year-old received a couple of bucks and he was the high-earner. When I asked them why they weren’t more focused on the math I got a consistent answer: “Summer is for relaxing, not homework!”

We live in Minnesota and goodness knows, summer is fleeting. Those of us who are business owners have the same temptation to relax. But now that fall is here it’s important to refocus on your business curriculum. If you’ve been on summer break here are some things to do:

Check your math facts.

  • Are you current on all your billing?
  • Are any of your clients behind on their payments?
  • Are your expenses in line?
  • Are you profitable?

Review your history.

  • What are your sales-to-date?
  • What are the results of your latest marketing effort?

Catch up on your summer reading.

  • What have your competitors been up to?
  • What are the latest trends in your industry?
  • Are there any current economic, social or political issues that will affect your business? How?

Study for finals.

  • What does your fall forecast look like – will your year be a good one?
  • Which customers and referral sources should you be contacting?

Of course, you can’t tackle all this at once. Set some time aside to study. Because of the schedules at our house, homework is relegated to that most challenging part of the day, the hours between school and dinner when everyone is tired, hungry and crabby. I don’t recommend this! Try to schedule a time when you can attack the work you need to do with some energy and enthusiasm.

Of course, I don’t like homework any more than anyone else. When I thought about having school-age kids I rarely saw myself throwing math facts out like a drill sergeant or harping on the reading logs. But ultimately it’s about results so we stick to it. Would love to write more but it’s time to run the kids through their spelling lists…