1. Set goals for the end of the year now.
I’m watching the Phillies play their hearts out. They have a goal they are working toward. Just like a sports team, you are working toward your World Series. Choose 1-3 goals you want to accomplish before December 31st and start taking action on them now.
2. Keep your pipeline flowing.
Summer networking is tough. There are fewer events to attend and getting people together seems almost impossible with vacations and trips galore. Keep your pipeline flowing by checking in with a simple email or a phone call (and leave a voicemail). Make sure follow-up doesn’t fall through. Write down a list of the people you want to stay connected with and put reminders in place – on your calendar – to make it happen.
3. Do 3rd quarter estimates.
September 15th is the day estimated taxes are due to the IRS. Talk to your tax accountant and make sure you are on track and on time. Also, this is a good time to go in and have a discussion on any new tax laws that might affect you.
4. Review sales tax.
We talked about the Wayfair decision and the results on sales tax in almost every state in a prior newsletter. Ensure you know your obligations with state sales tax before the end of the year and make the proper payments. If this is still confusing to you, get an appointment with me before the end of the year.
5. Budget. And then review and budget again.
What is going up? Rent? Insurance? Look at any upcoming increases and be prepared for them in advance. Do you have any deferred payments related to vendors? If you have to hit a milestone and then pay out, look to see how close you are and make sure you are ready when the time comes.
6. Take care of yourself.
What have you done for your personal and professional well being? Squeeze in a quick weekend trip, get to the spa, sit outside on your back porch and enjoy the warm weather while it’s still around (for us East Coasters). Take care of YOU.
7. Clean up your books.
Don’t leave unpaid invoices sitting around. Contact your clients and get everything reconciled. Pay off your credit cards. Pay dues or membership fees that you can in advance to save money. Make sure your expenses are entered. Use the downtime to get caught up.
8. Save money.
Put away money personally and professionally for investments and taxes. If you realize you haven’t been saving enough for tax time, start that separate account now and get money flowing in.
9. Keep learning.
Is it time for any continuing education? If you are a CPA, lawyer, etc. you probably have hours to get in. This is a great time to do it. And even if you don’t have required continuing education, this is a perfect time for taking a course, attending a webinar or researching a new product. Never stop learning.
10. Look at your professional services.
Who handles your insurance, taxes, payroll, legal, rent? Are you being treated with respect? Are these relationships ones you want to continue or do you need to make changes? Your own mini-advisory board is vital to your success, make sure it’s formed with people you trust.