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The 4 seasons of business planning

August is the last month of winter and WOW what a wet dreary month it has been!

Sorry you haven’t heard from us in a while.  We got distracted with a few re-organisation projects on the go.  I started writing this post – like I usually do – the last week of the month.  However in this case I started writing in July! Well that has been and gone haha.  So here I am, at 10.30pm, trying to pick up where I left off weeks ago so that I can share my thoughts and tips before August comes to an end.  Better late than never … right?

Recently, I was privileged to hear some amazing pearls of wisdom from people who are at the top of their game.  This advice was so good and memorable I had to share.

The first one was understanding that winter is a season to work through and plan for, so that you can be ready to enjoy spring and summer when it comes.   Winter is a time to take stock, nourish and nurture yourself, your people and the business. 

When I listened to this, I realised that the new financial year starts in Autumn, then the review of past performance and strategic planning tends to follow soon after in time for action in Spring. 

Winter is a time to make the most of what you have acquired and work hard to prepare for the busy spring and summer months.  Winter is not an easy season, and nor is it meant to be.  Often, we overcome our biggest challenges during the challenging cold winter.  Then only to experience our greatest growth in Spring and early Summer.

Mountain peaks with snow on the top will at first seem insurmountable and overwhelming.  But the warmth of the sun creeping out as you get closer to the peak and the longer days give us the sense that spring is coming.  There will come a time when we will no longer be stuck in the cold, battling on.   

Who is a Game of Thrones buff? 

These characters knew the effect of the seasons all too well.  From the beginning and throughout the series, we heard the phrase echoed – “winter is coming”, then for it to be confirmed “winter is here”.  Maybe that is why those in the North who fought the battles managed to survive against all odds.

The other pearl of wisdom I came across recently was when an experienced director shared a quote during a meeting.

“Those of competence tend to attract the greatest flow of work until they are submerged with it and can no longer swim”

These words rang like church bells in my ears and provided a flow of many ‘aha’ thoughts.  Perfect timing too.  It was only earlier that week that I was contemplating a review of my life workload.  Things were getting crazy and overwhelming. 

I have been wearing four hats of responsibility for the past year: Family, Business and two voluntary hats (and not minor roles either).  Since listening to this wise advice and knowing I had to done something, I have taken off one voluntary hat and the other is under review.  There have also been some minor adjustments at work and home ?.

The other valuable ‘aha’ moment I had when driving away from the meeting, was the importance of creating a team and a support network. 

Spreading the load so that growth is possible is so important for SMEs.  Kiwi business owners are not natural delegators.  We just seem to just get on with it no matter the load or the burden. 

What we may not realise while doing this is that we are setting ourselves up for failure.  If we are not there the business doesn’t operate or key things can come to a halt. So, what are the chances of you unplugging and having a real holiday that is not during a Xmas shutdown??

Here at Stapleton Consulting we are working with some clients who are in change mode.  All for different reasons too.  But they all have something in common.  They want the best team around them to be successful and more time for them to work on the business. 

Now is the best time to be reviewing your structure and dealing with the pain points you have in your business.  Don’t leave it until the Xmas rush to do something.  Recruitment season is coming up fast and doesn’t matter what they say about a slow-down, good talent and expertise is still hard to find. 

Give us a call and let us help you see the forest for the trees.