We’re gearing up quickly to enter the final quarter of the year. This is the time when businesses are putting in high-performance efforts to maximize the yearly numbers to encapsulate the great success of the whole team during the past 12 months. This past year wasn’t as difficult as the one before—but it hasn’t been easy to stay ahead. We all want to finish strong in 2021 and start 2022 off with even better standings.
The end of the year can provide just the urgency you need to push your business to the next level. Here are a few ideas you can implement to make the final quarter of the year your best one yet.
Gear Up for the Holidays
The holiday season is one of the best times for businesses to boost their sales to end the year. Consumers are looking to spend more in celebration of the upcoming holidays. Take advantage of the increased spending by incorporating holiday trends and deals into your marketing and sales strategies.
Start by marking your Calendar for mid-October. Halloween is the first holiday to arrive, and there are many creative ways to dress up your business to attract new customers. For example, a Spooky Sales Event can get more customers through your doors, and employees dressed in costume will make for a memorable experience.
Next up are Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s. So use your Calendar to start planning out Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to put up in your store and on your website. Many people will be making their gift purchases during this time, and it’s a great way to grow your client base or your online presence.
Hold an End-of-the-Year Survey
Use the remaining months of this year as a springboard into 2022. The more preparations you’re able to make now, the faster you can hit the ground running at the turn of the year. Again, your customers can help you prepare for the new year better than almost any other source.
To leverage your customer base, start putting together an end-of-the-year survey. Include questions about their customer experience throughout 2021, highlighting any key changes you might have made during Covid-19. For example, what aspects of your business model did they like, and what can they do without? The feedback you receive will help you develop a plan for the next Q1.
Other questions you can include can touch on individual products, your branding, or even your humanitarian efforts. Any input is good input. You’ll have more data to work with in order to develop a business that consumers love from top to bottom.
End the Year With a Goal
You’ve been setting goals all year long, so why stop now? Hopefully, you’re close to reaching the goals you set at the beginning of the year. But, alongside those goals, you can end 2021 with an additional goal specific to the final quarter. This end-of-year goal will be the sprint to end your marathon.
Of course, the best-case scenario is if you’ve already reached your annual goal and you need an additional one to exceed all of your expectations for the year. For example, you might have set a goal for the year to reach one million dollars in revenue. If you reach that goal in November, you still have a month left in the year to crush that goal even further. Set a “before you leave for holiday” goal on top of that to bring your revenue even higher by year’s end.
If your year-end goal seems too far out of reach, use this time to set a new goal that’s attainable by New Year’s Day. Then, even if you fell short of the mark you hoped to reach at the beginning of 2021, you’ll be able to conclude the year with a win.
Incentivize Your Workers
While you might be amped to end the season as strong as possible, your employees might not have the same motivation. Employees may not have the same vision that entrepreneurs and business owners do—which is understandable. But as a leader, you can help them love work and business—you’ll want to find a way to incentivize them to keep their work ethic running strong.
Remember that doing a service project together is motivating too. Do something that really matters to your team. Does someone on your team have an important relative or neighbor that needs help? Pitch in and do something for someone your team member knows who needs help. Help that person and watch how your team pulls together for the project—and each other.
This is another chance for you to leverage the holidays in your favor. Holiday bonuses and time off for the holidays will perk workers up instantly. Attach incentives with goals that can be measured. This way, employees know just how hard they need to work in order to receive their promised rewards.
In addition to incentives in the distant future, a gift of goodwill can often spur productivity heading into Q4. For example, take your team out to dinner or provide some brand new office equipment as part of your pitch to end the season on a high note. This will invigorate them as they chase down the additional incentives you extend.
Take Time to Review
Even though we’re only three-quarters of the way through the year, there’s so much you can analyze and learn from by reviewing the past nine months. This final quarter is the perfect time to look back on how your business has progressed since January and use that knowledge to make preparations for 2022.
You can look at quarterly revenue numbers, social media growth, website traffic, and much more. What strategies did you implement that worked well? What mistakes do you want to avoid making again? Use the data you’ve tracked to transfer working plans into next year’s Calendar. The time you spend reviewing 2021 will set the stage for a more successful future.
Every quarter is important, but the months leading into the new year hold a lot of potential. Start taking action today to end 2021 with a bang.
By Hunter Meine