Summer: Time to Plan a Vacation…or Add Some Heat to Your Business Plan?

By Jodi Kling, Relationship Manager on Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

It’s approaching 9:00 in the evening and I’m waiting to board my delayed flight to Seattle for a long weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this mini-getaway and it’s finally here. Other travelers at the gate are continuing on to Asia, hitting the seas for an Alaskan cruise, or heading up to beautiful British Columbia. The end of June is upon us and both the Summer and vacation seasons are in full swing.

Sitting here, having reached the halfway point of 2011, I find myself thinking about my year so far. I put my traveler’s mindset aside for a moment, and realize a mid-year review is due. It makes perfect sense, because as things quiet down in the office, and clients are more difficult to reach as they head out for their summer vacations, this is an optimal time to do a check-in with your business plan. Or…perhaps you didn’t quite get around to putting together a business plan in the first place, so why not do it now?  

There are certain key questions to ask yourself: What are the key influences on your day-to-day flow? Clients, employees, operations, and regulation all probably sit at the top of the list. What are your goals in relation to each of those business elements, and where do you stand with them as of now? Not only can this exercise help you identify how well you’ve done in these areas to date, you can also quantify how much more needs to be accomplished in the next six months.

For your client base, are you looking to add a certain number of clients per month or quarter, or increase assets under management? For your employees, have you clearly identified who has what responsibilities? Are you looking to grow your staff? Or, from an operations standpoint, think about your systems: What is working, what could be improved, and how automated is your operations team? And with regulations constantly changing, are you in the know as to what’s current, and are you aware of how new regulations will affect your business?

As you can see, there’s plenty of business self-assessment to be done as we approach July—and a so-called “quiet” season can be one of intense activity from a planning perspective. While the other guys are stuck in the summer doldrums, you can be looking ahead—as you keep your year-end goals in mind, stay active and motivated, and move strongly into the Fall season.

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