2023 has been a year filled with ups and downs for small business owners. With looming issues such as inflation, fears of a recession, and an unreliable supply chain, owners have had to adapt to an unpredictable economy.
But, despite these obstacles, EWOC wants to ensure our community of minority women entrepreneurs is prepared to enter the last quarter (Q4) of the financial year.
Q4 spans between October and December. And, according to an article by the National Federation of Independent Business, it is the most profitable and busiest quarter for many businesses.
Since owners experience an uptick in work and sales, they must develop strategic plans to position themselves for success.
To help you with that process, we created a list of four best practices to keep in mind for Q4.
Check them out below:
- 1. Reevaluate Your 2023 Business Goals
The start of Q4 is a time for entrepreneurs to conduct a business check-in. This practice is beneficial because you can evaluate whether you’ve met your goals, need to shift plans, or finish any incomplete projects for your business and clients.
Some tasks you can complete include:
- Updating your website.
- Checking your business analytics.
- Calculating your monthly income
Once you complete this process, it’ll give you a clear understanding of the status of your business and how you can create a robust Q4 plan.
- 2. Plan Your Marketing Calendar
Marketing is a high-priority task to complete during Q4 because it is the biggest shopping period of the year. Key dates such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas help owners rake in many sales.
The holiday season also inspires us to be creative with our marketing plans. Entrepreneurs have coordinated successful campaigns around these dates by creating holiday-themed ads, social media posts, and email campaigns to market to their target audience.
You can also offer lucrative discounts that most consumers can’t deny. An approach productbased entrepreneurs can utilize is selling product bundle deals around November and December. For example, a candle-making company can sell fall or winter candles around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The company can offer additional incentives such as free shipping days and gifts to make it even better.
By working on these strategies in advance, you can focus on providing quality customer service and delivering products on time.
- 3. Check and Stock Up On Inventory
Q4 inventory management is another priority for business owners if they have to order additional inventory or packaging items.This tip is essential for product-based entrepreneurs since supply chain issues can cause item delivery delays. Inventory management software can help you track in-stock items and deliveries from your vendors or suppliers.
If potential customers cannot find the items they want or the items are out of stock, the customers will go elsewhere to find them, which can affect your reputation. To help with this issue, you should review your Q4 sales from last year and check popular items so you can prepare to meet customer demands for this year.
You can also use this time to hire seasonal staff if necessary. In today’s society, consumers expect everything to be readily available, especially items advertised for the holidays. Additional support will help you provide your customers with a seamless, hassle-free experience.
- 4. Plan for 2024
Since Q4 is a busy time of the year for entrepreneurs–personally and professionally–you should start planning for Q1 now. The work doesn’t have to be strenuous, but you can reflect on your 2024 goals and assess what went well this year to carry it over into the new year. You can also evaluate what you want to improve. Doing so will help you have a smooth transition into the new year.
Some tasks you can complete include:
- Reconnecting and receiving feedback from customers.
- Reaching out to prospective clients.
- Gathering your financial documents for tax season (cash flow, expenses, income statement, etc.).
EWOC values cultivating a space for small business owners to grow and prepare for a brighter future. We hope these above practices will help you with fourth-quarter planning so you can finish the year strong.
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