5 Things Business Owners Must Do in Q4
Pumpkin spice season. Sweater weather. Not summer. We all have different names for the last 3 months of the year, but in the business world they are just Q4.
These last 3 months are when I press down on the accelerator to hit all of those goals I set for 2020, and I tend to do the same with my clients. There’s no shame in the hustle here! We all have revenue targets to hit, and personal finish lines begging us to be crossed. We’re setting our businesses up for the rush of fall, the lull of the holidays, and then the craziness that comes with the new year.
And if you’re really smart (and I know you are because you’re part of this community) you’re already taking some time in the coming weeks to check-in on your business’s needs for a strong 2020 finish, and preparing your 2021’s product launches, sales goals, marketing plans, budgets and big picture goals.
I personally love checking in with all of my clients in October and going through these big points together.
And in case I don’t get the joy of chatting with you about all the awesome things in your business - I’m leaving my list here for you so you feel ready to finish 2020 strong and rise even higher in 2021!
1 - START GETTING YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER:
Go through your business credit card/debit card/spending accounts and categorize each purchase the best you can. Once your expenses are categorized, your CPA/accountant/bookkeeper can properly organize your deductions, and prepare a PnL (profit and loss) sheet for your taxes.
I also go through your personal bank accounts juuuust in case I accidentally used my personal account for a business expense. (It happens, and it’s definitely not the end of the world) If so and it’s a minor expense, I let it go. If it’s like the year I paid my S-Corp registration fees with my personal credit card instead of my business card (whoops!) - I make a note for my tax preparer to properly reimburse me.
And speaking of taxes - be sure that if you owe quarterly payroll taxes those have been paid at the end of each quarter. Even if you’re just paying yourself as an employee, yes, you still owe these quarterly taxes. The good news is, if you use a payroll processor, like Gusto (obsessed!) or ADP, they do this automatically for you.
Why the urgency to get all of this to your tax preparer or financial person? Because, if you have employees or contractors, you owe them W2s and W9s, respectively, by January 31, 2021 for their work in 2020. Also, I prefer to rip the bandaid off and get my taxes done ASAP so they're lingering in February and March when I am always super swamped.
2- GET LIABILITY WAIVERS, TERMS AND CONDITIONS + PRIVACY POLICIES, MEMBERSHIP AGREEMENTS, WORKSHOP AGREEMENTS, TEACHER TRAINING WORKSHOPS, AND ALL OTHER AGREEMENTS IN ORDER ASAP:
There is no better time than NOW to make sure that your business and your clients are protected in the event of an accident, or an unhappy client, especially with the new COVID-19 fitness industry guidelines and regulations.
LIABILITY WAIVERS aren’t just for group fitness classes - they should be used during:
personal training sessions,
and any setting where someone is moving their body under your supervision.
They can cover you in-person and online, and if you’re streaming workouts off your fancy new fitness platform, you absolutely need a Liability Waiver to cover your ass.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS + PRIVACY POLICIES are having a moment. Because so many of us have taken our fitness businesses online, TnC’s and PP’s are the operational documents for your online platforms. For everything you need to know about them here’s two recent blogs I’ve written for you.
As for those Membership Agreements, Teacher Trainings, and Workshop Agreements - they aren’t just extra paperwork. They ensure that:
Your cancellation policies are clearly stated. You absolutely need your clients to understand these, and late fees, come the new year and the January rush.
Billing policies are outlined to ensure there is never a dispute.
Clients have clear expectations as to what they need to do, and what they can expect from you.
3 - CALENDAR 2021
You have BIG goals. I know, you know, and we need the universe to know it so we can manifest these goals into a reality.
Grab a piece of paper, or even better a calendar, and start writing out:
What products are you going to launch this year, and when;
What are your business goals for each quarter - revenue, subscribers, followers, products, all of it;
What are your personal goals for each quarter and this year (personal development is just as important as professional growth);
Speaking of - what workshops or trainings you want to attend to support both your personal and professional growth and development;
Non-revenue or subscriber/follower based business goals; and
Any client specials or sales you anticipate running, and what the ramp up or launch timeline looks like.
4 - PUT TOGETHER YOUR ROUGH MARKETING PLAN FOR 2021
Once you have your goals written out, start to put your plan of action into rolling them out! And if you don’t know where to start, take a deep breath and let’s start together with some of these questions:
If you are hosting a workshop, retreat or teacher training, how far in advance do you plan to announce it and sell tickets? Will there be early pricing?
If you’re rolling out a program (think 90-day transformation) or online course, what does your pre-launch and ramp up look like? How much time do you need?
If you’re hoping to grow your email list, what freebies are you putting out and when?
Every goal you have will take time, but support it with thoughtful marketing. With thoughtful marketing you can reverse engineer the results you’re hoping for by offering solutions to problems, speaking to objections and making your product/service so desirable that they can’t help but invest in themselves, and it!
Trust me when I say that I hear myself and it's way easier said than done, but it’s also 100% doable and even more so with a little help from friend. I’m going to be putting together a mini-workshop on creating your 2021 Marketing Plan in the very near future so stay tuned and hang tight. Until then, I’m always available for 1:1 coaching to sit down and create your custom and completely made for you plan.
5 - KEEP OUR CLIENTS ENGAGED AND ON TRACK
The simple truth is: unless you’re in retail or food + beverage, the holidays tend to be the slowest time of the year, and this year we’re adding the pandemic into the mix. This means:
Your client’s time is even more limited.
Your client’s spending + budget might be affected.
It gets darker earlier, and it’s way too cold and dark to get out of bed early in the morning.
Work obligations and end of year targets become all consuming, especially in a year that work targets have already been all over the place. .
Family starts visiting from out of town, or clients are heading out to see family….
You get my point. The cards are stacked against consistent workouts and healthy habits this time of the year, which as fitness business owners can affect your bottom line.
And since the holiday season will look different this year in light of everything going on in 2020, you must MUST must keep your clients engaged, on track, and focused on their goals.
From the mental and emotional perspective: yes, fitness is a great way to offset calories but it’s even better for one’s mental health. Your time with your clients is often the best of their day/week and what keeps them sane. With stress tenfold during the holidays, they rely on this outlet.
From a business standpoint (and there’s no shame here): if you keep your clients engaged, you will keep the business running. Clients = revenue, and if you’re looking to offset the holiday slowdown, it’s done by not letting your clients slip away with holiday excuses.
Remember fam that Q4 here at team DSB is all about collaboration, community, helping you get your 2020 wins and supporting you through it all. If you’re looking for that helping hand to get you to your next level, don’t ever hesitate to reach out - support and your biggest cheerleader is literally a click away.