Fourteen hundred and forty — the number of minutes in a day. Since we can make more money, arguably the greatest challenge of any small business owner is balancing the demands of the forces that compete for those minutes.
“What is the best use of my time right now?” is the constant management question out here on Main Street. And in no other part of the year are we more time-management challenged than in December. The reason is because it’s the only month in the year where we’re faced with allocating time to two very powerful management imperatives: The tactical focus on closing out the sales year as strongly as possible, while simultaneously taking strategic steps to set the business up for a fast and clean start on January 1.
In his book, Blue Highways, William “Least Heat Moon” Trogden said his Osage Indian grandfather once told him, “Some things don’t have to be remembered, they remember themselves.” It’s a natural law that the year-end sales push doesn’t have to be remembered, it remembers itself. But as we come to the two-minute drill in the fourth quarter of the marketplace game our business plays all year, committing precious time and energy to prepare for what comes next requires the discipline and devotion to remember it ourselves.
There are many areas to focus on this month to help you start the New Year clean and fast. But here are five to get you started.