Back to School: 3 Tips to Prepare Your Business for a Successful Year

How do you feel about back to school? Are you eager to get the kids back into the classroom? Or does the endless scheduling of after-school activities send you spiraling into an unorganized tornado? With back-to-school shopping, summer reading assignments, selecting classes, and preparing for a successful school year, the last few weeks of summer tend to go by in a flash. 

See how EPI is preparing for back-to-school season, and how you can use these tips in your business as well! 

Back to School Shopping

The back-to-school shopping madness is upon us. The catalogs featuring graphic tee shirts for the whole family, branded backpacks and folders, and pens in every color imaginable appear almost daily in your mailbox. Stores rearrange their merchandise, putting the uniform staples in the prime spot right inside the entrance. Parents wrangle their children as they nervously check, double-check, and triple-check their school supplies list. For organized parents, this shopping excursion is smooth sailing. However, for those working from three separate lists and trying to buy all the necessities the day before school starts, this time is, in a word, chaos.

How prepared is your business for the coming year? What did you learn from this past year that you can implement in your strategy moving forward? It can be difficult to plan for the next year in your business without a professional business valuation. 

Conducting an annual business valuation will help determine what factors to focus on in the interest of accelerating the value of your business. A valuation highlights areas of risk, shows what improvements have been made to the business, and most importantly, helps ensure the business owner’s goals are being met. 

Recent EPI research found that of those owners who have written transition plans, 43% include a business valuation as a part of their overall strategy. Justin Goodbread states, “A valuation puts your business’s strengths and weaknesses front and center. What’s truly valuable about this is that it enables you to then take action to improve the areas that are lacking.”

Excelling Each Quarter

Typically, a school year is broken into quarters. The projects, tests, and grades from one quarter, while separate from the following quarters, have a strong impact on your overall school performance. If a student struggles with time management in the first quarter, their teacher will most likely schedule a meeting with them to discuss ways to improve for the following quarter. They make a game plan to strategize key initiatives for the upcoming quarter so the student does not fall behind. 

Do you meet with your team regularly to go over areas for growth, successes in your business, and strategic goals? In the second edition of Christopher Snider’s Walking to Destiny, he shares the importance of breaking down annual and even three-year goals into 90-Day Action Plans. These action plans are called 90-Day Sprints. Chris elaborates, “You want to prioritize no more than five personal and five business actions every 90 days and assign them a champion. Your champion is accountable for the delivery of the 90-day action.” 

By checking in on your company’s big initiatives each quarter, you position yourself for growth opportunities, can mitigate issues in performance or execution, and create an aligned company and team. EPI refers to these check-ins as Quarterly Renewals. These off-site workshops foster open communication amongst the team and allow the organization to move into the next quarter with a renewed sense of direction and a detailed task list to reach key company and personal goals.  

Choosing Your Favorite Teacher

Everyone has that one teacher that comes to mind when they look back at their time in school. Someone who gave you a tip on how to succeed in a certain subject. Maybe they taught you that cool trick for how to multiply by nine using your fingers. Or perhaps they inspired you to follow your passions toward your dream career. Regardless of the subject they taught, or how long ago you had them as a teacher, the wisdom they imparted will continue to impact your lives. 

As a business owner, you must constantly educate yourself on trending topics in your industry. Work with a mentor in your industry to gain a deeper understanding of best practices, learn from their expertise, and grow your network of connections in your space. Mentorship can provide both the mentor and the mentee with a lifetime of resources, connections, and ideas that can improve their business and personal life. 

CEPA and EPI Academy faculty member and award-winning CEPA, Julie Keyes, shares, “One reason I became an advisor was to help other owners shorten their learning curve! Some of these lessons you don't necessarily learn in books, and some of this knowledge came to me after the fact, but all of it shaped who I am as an entrepreneur and advisor. Having empathy for my clients provides me with an edge that most advisers only know in theory; I lived through most of the struggles they experience.” 

To ensure the best exit planning education in the marketplace, EPI has brought together a best-in-class collection of industry experts. Our faculty provide you with the most current, specialized, and relevant industry information and insights into their knowledge as leaders in the exit planning space.  

We hope you feel inspired by the kids heading back to school this year by investing in your own education and professional development. The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) program is the most regarded exit planning credential in the marketplace today and is endorsed and accepted by more than 40 major organizations. In addition to the CEPA program, Exit Planning Institute offers a robust library of high-quality, self-paced online courses through our EPI Academy. These courses provide business advisors with continued professional development in a convenient way.