Fall is all around us — the cooler temperatures here in Atlanta are truly a joy.
With seasonal changes come some challenges. Allergies, for one. And for freelancers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, the change in weather can indicate oncoming shifts as we look toward the end of the year.
Change is a big part of small business life, and sometimes it’s a challenge to adapt when things are moving quickly. Here’s how you can stay stable, but agile, during these transitions.
Take Care of Yourself
You’ve probably heard it before, but tending to your own mental health is important, especially if you’re running a team or business. If you’re burnt out or overwhelmed, it’s really hard to tend to the demands of others.
So pay attention to your mental health as the end of the year draws closer. If you’re struggling, look into working with a therapist or mentor. There are plenty of meditations apps and group therapy options, as well, if you need alternatives.
PRO-TIP: Take breaks! Be sure to schedule vacations (for you and your team members) on your calendar so you ensure that you get some time to recover after periods of productivity.
Take Care of Your Team
Speaking of team members, business owners and managers can keep their employees happier, and teams more stable when scheduling regular check-ins with them. This also improved the team’s engagement.
“Creating a culture of togetherness and loyalty to the team can be valuable within a business. Some employees may work harder when they feel like they’re more strongly connected to the collective within your business,” write experts at Indeed. “By engaging in direct conversations with your staff members each week, you can build stronger personal bonds with them, while also keeping them updated on other work within the company to give them an understanding of their place in the team.”
Listen and get feedback from your people — what you learn is priceless. And you can also gauge whether or not team members are in need of a break before stresses start to pile on.
Take Care of Your Financials
The fall season is a great time to start planning next year — that goes for your financials, too. If you don’t already have accounting software, install an app like Quickbooks, Freshbooks, or Xero to get things started. Here is a list of the 25 best small business accounting software apps to consider as well.
“Small business owners benefit from accounting software because it helps them track accounts receivable and accounts payable, have a clear understanding of their profitability, and be prepared for tax season,” writes Rebecca Freedman.
And if numbers aren’t your thing, it’s time to delegate that work to another team member, bookkeeper or hire an accountant.
Take Care of Your Operations
To help ensure that you’re not investing energy in places that don’t offer returns, take time to audit where you and your team spend that energy. Meetings? Client communication? Task management?
Before next year is in full swing, this is a great time to determine if there are processes you can streamline or automate (we like Zapier and Mailchimp for some things). Cutting back on inefficiencies makes more room in your schedule for bigger opportunities to come along.
An operational audit should also determine where you might need more resources, so that you can plan out next year knowing where your support will come from.
Take Care of Your Brand
Too often marketing is the last thing we think about. Think of how many small businesses suffered in earlier this month when Instagram and Facebook went down, because that’s where they did most of their marketing.
You don’t have to have an online presence everywhere, of course. The key to successful marketing is consistency, so that your audience knows what they can expect from you with stable and regular content. And if you can’t handle it all, it might be time to hire a marketing professional to help you stay on track with your marketing strategy.
Stay Strong + Stable With a Community
Sometimes you get tunnel vision as a freelancer or small business. You forget to step back and breathe sometimes. Having a community around with like-minded peers can give you some perspective, though, just getting out of your basement office might also help too.
That’s why more and more freelancers, business owners, and remote workers are joining coworking spaces. It’s the support that businesses need to work effectively and successfully.