Now that we’ve entered the 4th quarter, it seems like time keeps ticking away faster and faster. The New Year is just around the corner, and we’re not slowing down any time soon. Well, you know what they say: time flies when you’re having fun!

You may have had a great time running your business in the last year, but you likely have some concerns as well (after all, you’re human!), especially as we enter the last quarter of 2013. So, are you nervous? Clueless? Do you know what you’re supposed to do in this last quarter?

Think back to the beginning of the year. Did you happen to write up some business goals? If not, don’t fret. Try writing up your business goals at the start of next year—and keep moving forward.

But, if you did record your business goals, you’re in great shape. Pull the file, clear off the dust, and let’s get to work!

Checking Off Your List

Once you sit down and review your business goals from the beginning of the year, you should be able to identify those you’ve achieved and those you haven’t had a chance to tackle yet. Cross the achieved goals off the list and give yourself a pat on the back. Woohoo!

While you’re marking items off your list, you’d be wise to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you on schedule to hit your financial goals?
  • Do you have a solid idea of your anticipated revenue for this quarter?
  • Will you be able to reach or surpass your financial goals with the anticipated revenue?

If you don’t already know the answers to these questions, you should. You should already have some type of map of chart envisioned (in your mind’s eye or better yet, on paper) so you can predict what money will come in and whether you’re coming out on top—or not.

That roadmap will help you figure out how to attack the all-important 4th quarter.

4th Quarter Game-Changers

Did you know the majority of sales are made in the 4th quarter? That’s right! Whether you provide a product or a service through your business, the 4th quarter is usually the busiest time for consumer purchases. Get this…

First of all, every person who operates within the American modern society is conditioned to shop (sometimes ‘til they drop!) in preparation for the copious number of holidays that are crammed into the 4th quarter of our calendar year. Many shoppers have been pinching their dollars all year long, just waiting for the holiday season to arrive so they can start spending. Plus, businesses with an annual budget often push under-spending departments to burn through those budget dollars by year-end, lest they lose funding for the following year.

So how will YOU ensure your business taps into this burgeoning end-of-the-year spending?

Be a Strategic Player

The best way to prepare your business for your busy 4th quarter is to develop a strategic plan. Sit down and take a look at last year’s books and compare them to this year’s books, then do the same with goals, milestones, and so on and so forth.

Figure out where you need to improve and revise your end of the year attack appropriately. The goal here is to create an opportunity where you can find it.

Give all your clients a good reason to seek you out or take the initiative and seek them out first. Let them know you’re having an end of the year promotion or sale and consider offering some sort of incentive or free gift with the purchase of your products or services.

Do yourself a favor: Start now! Think about how to attract new customers or catch the attention of your existing clients (both online AND in print). What’s in store for your marketing projects? Could you use a brand refresh? What new advertising or content marketing campaigns do you plan to launch in the New Year?

BIG 4th Quarter Goals to consider:

  • Make more money than last year
  • Increase social media fan base
  • Increase perception of industry knowledge
  • Become subject matter expert

WARNING: You don’t want this year to end the same way as last year, especially if you did poorly. Chin up and keep moving forward. The good news is there’s still time to make this year extraordinary—but you have to get on the horse before you can ride it.

Many businesses do a big push for marketing materials at the end or at the beginning of a year. If you’re a business owner who’d like to make one last big push for this year or start the New Year off right, contact me at Spot-On Branding.

Let’s make this your best year ever!