Sep 7, 2015 by Deborah Shane, Small Business Trends

In small business, careers and life, we are marathoners not a sprinters. Big differences in each process and commitment.

2014-2015Most long distance runners pace themselves and know that it is the second half of the race that allows them to finish strong. They know how to conserve energy, deal with lows and not get too high, which are all important cycles that they must learn to go through. Sprinters train for a quick short, burst of energy.

Preparing for a marathon as a runner is a similar process as preparing for a long, successful career. Longevity takes a strong foundation, flexibility and willingness to change.  Nothing runs perfect and many times those pesky interruptions or dips we experience, show us things we need to adjust, tweak and move on from. I find that the more I review and refine as I go along, the more things go the smoothest. One of the worst habits people get into is NOT regularly reviewing and refining their process, procedures and results.

How willing are you to evaluate what’s really going on and make changes, to finish the year strong and set yourself up to launch into the new year with clarity and momentum?
Willingness is the key, yet elusive for many. We can never get lazy for too long. Things change quickly today, and can pass us by and then we can become obsolete rather quickly. It’s easier to stay up to date, than try to catch up.

How To Finish the Year Strong
1. Regularly Review Your Process and Procedures
Make sure everything is working smoothly, properly and that communications and activities are getting the results and outcome that you are expecting. This can include your phone system, voicemail message, website contact me form, social media activity, or links back to your website.

2. Know Your Financials
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. The question is are you making money or is it costing you more to be in business than it should? Don’t ignore knowing your numbers and what your cost of doing business is.

Here are some numbers that you should know and review: cash flow, net income, profit and loss, sales, price point, gross margin, total inventory.

To finish the year strong, get some financial help through your bank, credit union, investment advisor or business consultant.

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