Make the most of harvest season…in your business, too

It’s harvest season.

That’s true for people who make their living from the land.

And it’s harvest season for you, too, as a business owner and consultant.

These six weeks from mid-September through the end of October can be golden, and one of the highest productivity times of the year.

That’s because, among other things:

– The pressure’s on if you have annual goals that you still need to meet (and most of us do).

– There’s still time to adjust to the lessons you’ve learned this year, for better or for worse.

– It’s a perfect time to work ahead and prepare for a better year ahead.

– The clock is ticking to get things done before attention and energy are diverted by end-of-year holidays.

Here are just a few ways you use the golden days of September and October to bring this business year to a good close:

1. Do a business tune-up

Check the effectiveness and ease of use of your key business processes.

2. Problem-find

List the main sources of aggravation or frustration in your business. Prioritize them for improvement.

3. Cause-find

Identify the root causes of problems you already know you want to, or must solve.

4. Create an action plan

Create an actionable and realistic plan to make changes you haven’t been able to get traction on yet. This may be a clue, too, that the root cause of some problems isn’t what you thought it was.

5. Get rid of low-hanging problems

Take care of some of the relatively easy to solve problems at your company.

6. Do a vision check

Check and/or update the vision that guides your company or team. Start with these questions:
– Is it still accurate?
– Does it address the customers you serve now?
– Is it compelling?

7. Get customer feedback

Update your knowledge about your customers and what they want and need from you. Use surveys, interviews, onsite observations or meetings, or a combination of tools.

8. Innovate

Brainstorm new product and service ideas for your current customers and markets. Or brainstorm new markets you can serve with the products and services you already have.

9. Clean sweep

Simplify, streamline, or do a good fall “housecleaning” of your office, inbox or email stream. Simplify your social media processes.

10. Experiment

Experiment your way to a solution for a problem you haven’t been able to solve yet. Or start learning a new skill you know you will need in the future by creating, and then completing, a learning experiment.

These ten ideas are just a few ways you can create even greater yield…and enjoy it more…during the golden weeks of September and October.

Put harvest season to work…for you and your business.' About Jan Richards

Principal of J. G. Richards Consulting, Jan helps companies improve profitability and revenue as they decrease business complexity and costs. This occurs in many ways, including: streamlining business operations; project management for major change and process improvement teams; coaching leaders of major change programs; creating long-range visions and strategic plans. A WIC Board member, Jan oversees WIC's strategic initiatives and mentoring programs.


  1. Great post, Jan! Fall is such a critical time to boost efforts for a strong year-end and start to the new year! I appreciate the reminder! This is the time that my business coach and I sit down and step back to review what worked and what didn’t this year and what things I’ll put on my ‘goals’ for next year. It’s also the time that I assess where all of my clients are in their relationship with me…as well as touch base with them re: their plans for next year…remember, that most of them are establishing BUDGET for the next year and you want to be accounted for!

    Again, great reminder….now I’ve got to go do some of that harvesting!

  2. It is so important to invest in ourselves and occasionally step back from our day to day world. Each year in October for over 15 years, I have attended IMC Confab ( ) Oct.22-24 in Reno. It is a great opportunity to focus ON your business of consulting with other like-minded consultants. It offers a casual environment to network and collaborate, and attend great sessions presented by seasoned consultants, experts in their fields, sharing practical advice, wisdom and experiences. WIC members are eligible to get an affiliate/member rate as I’m a member of both organizations….Check it out….

  3. Thanks, Jen. I’m glad you have a process for last-quarter-of-the-year reflection, improvement, and planning for the year ahead…and continuing to stay on clients’ radars as they plan for the new year that will be here sooner than we know!

  4. Cherryll, the IMC Confab is a great experience and resource. Thanks for sharing information about it with WIC members, as well.

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