There’s nothing like the crisp cool fall mornings here in the high desert of New Mexico. It is my favorite time of year. The nights are cool, the days are warm. The air sparkles. Hot Air Balloons are populating the early morning sky. Soon there will be hundred’s as the opening day of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta draws near. A short drive north to our neighboring state Colorado and you will see the beauty of the fall leaves in a myriad of oranges, reds, and yellows against the stark white of the Aspen. I recall sitting with Dad and watching the huge leaves of a walnut tree tumbling in a fall breeze across his lawn last fall. They appeared to be a troop of gymnasts arrayed in fall colors turning cartwheels. Ah Fall! A time of harvest, reflection, and preparation for the coming winter. Soon it will be a new year.
I’ve cleaned one of the VegTrugs in our miniature backyard vegetable garden already. The cucumbers just didn’t do well this year. I’ve prepared the soil and think I’ll move this year’s strawberries runners into it for next year. Maybe strawberries will do better. I’ve stopped dead-heading my heirloom flowers and letting my favorites go to seed so I can collect them. I’m thinking of moving some more red sage to the east flower beds and cutting back on the morning glories who seemed to have consumed the borders this year leaving no room for anything else.
Here at SunDog, we’ve been doing some renewal, reflection and preparation ourselves. Returning from conference with stacks of material from the vendors we talked with and renewed by the powerful keynotes, we’ve been doing some preparation for the New Year.
Much like my vegetable garden and flower borders, business owners need to assess their crops and prepare their soil from year to year. Which ones are productive? Do we have ‘all of our eggs in one basket”? Which ones might need removed? Does the soil need help? Do we need some new seeds?
October is an ideal time to do this. It is the start of the 4th quarter of the tax year and a good time to review where you’ve been, where you think you will be at year end and start some preparations for the New Year. How are your sales, gross margin and profit margin? Will you hit your goals you set at the beginning of the year? Is your product mix working? Is your system giving you the numbers you need in a timely, accurate, readable way? Are your processes efficient? Could they be streamlined? Are your books on track for year-end tax preparation?
Take some time this month to reflect on this year and think about what you need to do to be ready for year end and enjoy the beautiful fall weather, all the wonderful colors and balloons. I can’t wait….fiesta starts Saturday!