When we are halfway through the year, promise and potential linger thick in the air. Potential to thrive and potential to flail. There’s still time to take the bull by the horns and turn the year around to be something great if it’s lacking, or drive the car off the cliff Thelma and Louise-style with a fall from grace. This is the Q3 double-edged sword that pierces through to Q4. Here are a few tips to charge into Q3 strong and set yourself up to meet year-end goals.
Q3 Planning Checklist
As you head into Q3, reacquaint yourself with your Q1 mindset and year-end goals. Do your Q3 priorities line up with Q1? Are your goals still the same, and are you on track? If not, what needs to change to get you back on track?
If you’ve veered off a bit and need a little help determining how to get back on track, or even if not, consider using our Q3 planning checklist and the “Four Ts”: Time, Team, Tools, and Trends to help you identify barriers that might be holding you back.
Prioritize and ensure you take the time for a diagnostic review of your business. How are you meeting benchmarks? What has gone well in the past 6 months? What has gone poorly? What are the obstacles at play? Are there any new opportunities? It is important to spend this quality time with your business now, so you can be sure of how you are tracking the last half of the year.
Review how your current team is serving your business. Do you feel you have all the right players in the right roles? Is someone struggling and could do better in a different position or with some additional training? Has someone proven they could shine with more responsibility and an expanded role? Is there a need or opportunity to hire for a net new position?
Similar to “Team,” how are your current tools and processes serving your business? Is there an opportunity to introduce automation or a technology upgrade? Do certain pieces of oft-used equipment need a repair or replacement? Now’s the time to make that step and ensure your current tools aren’t weighing you down.
Evaluate relevant market trends that may have an impact on your productivity now or in the future. Determine if any proactive or retroactive action steps might be beneficial to reduce impact. Changing trends can also be to your advantage, so don’t forget to review if valuable opportunities might be at your fingertips.
Having the right mindset is essential for staying on track. Studies have shown that many people tend to lose motivation at the midway point. While it’s not wrong to celebrate how far you’ve come if you’re exceeding your goals, focusing on this too much can be demotivating and cause business leaders to loosen the reins. You’ve accomplished so much, it’s ok to let go just for a little, right? This is a slippery slope, as letting loose a little so easily turns letting go of your grip completely. Take the time to celebrate your successes, but quickly work to refocus your mindset on how close you are, with some more left to go, rather than how far you’ve come. This mindset adjustment has been shown to keep people on track when they are close to meeting their goals.
Let’s say you’re not on track but rather feeling behind. Why keep putting the pedal to the metal? Your foot is starting to hurt, and it’s not even possible to win the race this far in, right? Not! Q3 can be a redemption quarter for anyone; it’s not too late to turn things around. If you’re behind on your Q1 goals and find yourself feeling hopeless and losing motivation, this is a situation where it’s helpful to consider how much you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come. Consider the areas where you’ve brought yourself closer to where you want to be in the first half of the year, rather than focusing on how far you have left to go. You’ve likely been laying all the necessary groundwork for a killer Q3 and 4. Don’t give up on yourself now.
Switch Things Up
Adaptability is the name of the game if you’re not on track at the start of Q3. Something isn’t working, there’s no getting around that. Be flexible and know when it’s time to change lanes or adapt. Don’t continue barreling towards the wrong outcome. Either rightsize the ship or change the destination (though the latter shouldn’t be the solution without some serious consideration and evaluation). As you work through the aforementioned checklist with the 4 Ts, make a game plan for what needs to change. Be open to feedback from team members and mentors. Consider a quote I love: “All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation”- Max McKeown. For more tips on developing a more adaptable leadership style, also see: Five Keys to Adaptable Leadership – Staying Relevant in a Changing Market.
Participate in a Business Diagnostics Session
Have you ever considered partnering with a business coach to run a diagnostic session on your business and help keep you in the right direction as you head into the latter half of the year? Whether you’re on track with, exceeding, or not even close to meeting your Q1 goals, a business diagnostics session can be incredibly helpful in helping you finish out the year right.
At Eagles’ Wings Business Coaching (EWBC), we use the SOAR (Strategy, Operations, and Results) approach to develop a comprehensive review of your business and outline its strengths, weaknesses, and strategic opportunities. As part of the EWBC diagnostic process, your coach will also pull together a Balanced Scorecard detailing your findings and review them carefully with you in a 90-minute session. Together, you will identify 3-5 manageable next-step action items to avert future problems and extinguish five-alarm fires before they start. Also, check out: Five Ways a Business Coach Could Help Your Small Business.
Q3 is a time when everything is still possible. You can still achieve your wildest dreams or get stuck in your own way and see them slip through your fingertips. It’s not too late to rise up and make the changes you need to maintain your growth goals. Let’s finish this year off with a bang!