“Rocks” is a term used by the Entrepreneurial Operating System (“EOS”) to refer to priorities — the three to seven most important things you must accomplish in the next 90 days. Company Rocks are priorities for the company, departmental Rocks are priorities for your department, and individual Rocks are priorities for you or another individual. There is no magic formula for what constitutes a Rock — it’s simply a priority that will take longer than seven days and up to ninety days to complete.
The fourth quarter is a great time to start looking ahead to 2022 but also look back on what you planned to get done in 2021 but haven’t yet accomplished. Here are some suggestions for your consideration.
Do your year in review ASAP, rather than wait until December
One benefit of doing an early review is that it gives you an opportunity to act on problems, rather than take them into the following year. Consistent issues with an employee, systems, and processes that aren’t working well, or a prospect list that hasn’t been well-nurtured are only a few examples of situations you can remedy now.
Make a list of everything you have achieved (or survived!) in 2021 (so far)
Entrepreneurs tend to brush their small successes under the carpet since there’s always something more to do. Seeing a list of the things you’ve achieved isn’t just a feel-good thing, it is inspiring and motivating. You’re probably not as far away from the finish line as you believe you are.
Review your financials
Entrepreneurs who follow their numbers are far more likely to succeed than those who avoid them. Your financial reports will tell you how you’re doing, and you may be able to make some adjustments prior to year-end if necessary. If you are not completely savvy about your financials, now’s a good time to schedule an appointment with your accountant or business consultant. And don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. In my experience, most small business owners need help in this area so you’re not alone.
Budget for the New Year
Once you’ve looked over your 2021 profits and loss statements, now is the time to start working on a budget for the new year. Look over bank statements, any plays that didn’t produce results, consider cutting back on items, and don’t forget to include a budget for re-investing into your business. Whether that is for marketing, purchasing items, or engaging in business consulting to grow and improve your business.
Strategic Planning & Preparation for the New Year
If you work with a team, whether internal or external (i.e. consultants, advisors, business coaches), now is the time to meet with them to discuss the future of your business. What are your “big bets” for 2022? What are the tactical plans that you need to accomplish to make your big bets come to fruition?
Client and Vendor Appreciation
2021 has been an exceedingly difficult year. If your customers and vendors have stuck with you through these tough times, you’ll certainly want to show them some love. One way to show your clients and vendors appreciation is to send either holiday cards or small gifts. If you’re planning to send out gift items or holiday cards, try to purchase your items as early as possible to have them sent out in time for the holidays.
Website & Social Media Audit
Do a quick run-through of your website and social media sites. COVID has driven many of your customers home and they are online more than ever. Make it a priority to improve and expand your online presence. Check your existing sites to see if all of your links are working properly. Remove sales and promotions if you’re no longer running the campaigns, any irrelevant comments from the comments section of your blog, don’t forget to remove spam-like comments. Delete any services that you’re no longer offering. If you don’t have much of a social media presence, now is the time to get started and have a content plan for 2022.
Review contracts to understand contractual obligations with both your vendors and your customers. COVID brought about some unique circumstances. It’s a good time to reevaluate your contacts to see if things need to be changed or renegotiated.