We have all heard the old saw ‘the early bird catches the worm’, and probably rolled our eyes as children when our parents/grandparents/teachers chanted it at us ad infinitum when it came to homework, or making beds, or anything else which sounded remotely like cutting into fun.
Unfortunately though, when it comes to being a grown up, and business, the simple truth is this; the early birds, or the people who are willing to put in the preparation for their future now, are those who will catch the metaphoric worm – in other words, they will make a profit in the leaner times when those who sit back and say ‘tomorrow is another day’ will be feeling the pinch.
It’s already mid-September. Hard to believe isn’t it? I remember writing this blog in early January, getting ready for the start of 2013 and wondering what the year would bring. But the hard truth is this; once we hit November, the silly season is upon us, and realistically, focus is gone until the end of January. Are you going to be one of those people who suddenly sits down at their desk at the beginning of February 2014, and realises that for the last two months, they haven’t been doing any real business – and they don’t have any planning set up for the next quarter of the year?
This is a prime opportunity for you to be the one grabbing that worm, freeze-drying it and putting it in the equivalent of an invertebrate term deposit for the future of your enterprise – whether as an entrepreneur or as a leader within corporate.
Get your schedules in place now. Ask yourself what you need to do in terms of cash-flow if January is a time when traditionally you don’t have a high turnover in goods or services. Set up potential clients for the first quarter of 2014 now – make realistic contacts rather than ‘maybes’ and lock them in place. Get written agreements in place with existing clients and suppliers for the same period in terms of pricing structures and with clients, if possible, retainers. If you are in corporate, go through any staffing issues now – look ahead to the Christmas/New Year period carefully and try to apply as much of a ‘crystal ball’ mentality as you can – quite often from past experiences it’s clear who can be relied on to be available if disaster strikes over the holidays.
Too often, we get caught in the ‘oh there’s heaps of time to sort that’ mindset – I am guilty of it myself. It’s much like the pile of ironing or washing at home – it grows and grows until it suddenly reaches the point where you realise, like the inimitable Bridget Jones, that you are wearing your bathers to work instead of underwear.
Don’t let your business reach the stage of Speedos or bust.
Be an early bird, as much as the sound of the alarm may drive you insane – and see the way you work fly in 2014.
If you want your business to be online-ready in 2014, make sure you are at the LBDG Business Forum in Sydney on 23 October, where the best in digital and social media will help you catch the early megabyte! Book here.