When fall comes there is a feeling of excitement and newness in the air! For me there’s a rejuvenated feeling and I’m motivated and energized to do work in my business, make plans and goals and reorganize things. Learn how to go “back to school” for your business and infuse your work with new energy! 

What does it mean to go “back to school” for your business?? That may sound crazy, or even boring if you didn’t love school like I did growing up. No matter what your feelings about school, homework, or recess, you probably still loved the shopping trip that happened the weeks before school started – back to school shopping! 

Get supplies 

back to school for your business pencils

It’s not just about shopping (or is it?) but there is something inspiring about picking up a pencil with a motivational message on it, or finding pens or a notebook that are in your brand colors! You can search on Amazon, or check moo.com’s selection of notebooks and office supplies. Poppin, bando, and Staples also have fun, grown-up office supplies. It’s probably the designer in me, but I love it when things like that coordinate. Take a look around you and notice what you need to replenish to get your job done. A new pack of sticky notes? A fresh pad of paper, or a new stash of pens? Amazon makes it easy, but a trip to Staples is always fun. Or grab supplies the next time you hit up your local grocery store – the displays are out right now and things are on sale. 

Also, think of this as a chance to update your look. Remember getting new school clothes, or a new school haircut? Update your brand’s look too! Maybe you need some new images to share on social, or updated package design? When was the last time you updated cover photos on social media? Or updated your business website with some fresh art or copy? Don’t forget, people love to see something NEW and it gives you a chance to share it with your customers and get some new eyes on your products. Oh, and if you want to get a new haircut or update your personal look, that’s cool too! 

Get organized

back to school for your business get organized

File those papers, clean up that random pile in the corner, or make that run to the thrift store to drop off donations. But clearing your space and making it functional for you, you are clearing away stagnant energy and drawing in a new flow of energy! And plus, it always looks nicer when you have a cleaner space to work in and is more efficient. 

Sometimes I rearrange the furniture in my office, rotate out the artwork on the walls, or clear out old art supplies that have expired or I just don’t use anymore. The thing I LOVE about getting rid of stuff is that it makes space for new things, new experiences, new clients. But the universe can’t bring anything NEW in if you are holding on so tightly to stuff that is just dead weight. Let. It. Go. 

Take stock of what’s working and what isn’t 

I recently listened to some podcasts where they talk about systems in their lives that are working, what which ones are not! And then they offered up suggestions for how to change those systems. Why not do that for your business? 

Here’s what’s working for me: I set up a budget check-in reminder on my calendar and each week I go look at my accounts, reconcile my budget in excel, and then make an intention to stay on track for the month. It has been working! 

Here’s what I need help with: consistently posting blogs and content. I’m trying out some different things – one of them is using one day a week (like a Friday, when things are fairly quiet anyway) to work ON my business and cue up some content. The other thing I’m trying is working ahead on content ideas so that I’m not scrambling, or just posting random things that come up rather than being intentional about my posts. #truthtalk 

So what is going well in your business? 

What is NOT going well, or always seems to fall through the cracks? 

Make some honest observations and a commitment to change on process or system this fall that is not working, while celebrating what is working! And remember, sometimes a system that works for a short time may (for whatever reason) not always work – because you’ve grown and changed, and so has your business! Don’t stress it, just look for ways to improve it or change it up.  I’ve seen this happen with the change of seasons, too – a dinner plan, or content strategy might work for summer, but it needs an update for fall! And that’s OK!

Set goals and intentions. 

back to school goals

 

They say that the new school year is like an early new years resolution time for moms – because kids go off to school again after summer and it’s a chance to get back to work, get into a new routine, and have some space in our schedules to think about goals! Well, my kiddo doesn’t go to school yet, but I’ve always felt this energy in the air around September. It’s a fantastic time to set some goals, and I feel more motivated than usual to do so. Harness that energy and set some goals for the end of the year, and start thinking about next year too! 

Other ways to look at goal setting during the fall: a new workout routine, a new dinner schedule, or learn a new skill set. The shift in the weather and our schedules allows for – often demands – these other things to shift as well. 

Research or do some planning for the holiday rush. 

back to school research for winter rush

It’s going to be Christmas before we know it. Fall goes by fast and it’s gone – and you find yourself struggling to get through the busy holiday retail season. Is your business ready? What things could you be doing now to make the holidays easier (or more lucrative) during the November – January months? Get your team together (or a group of your business besties, if you are a solopreneur like myself). Maybe there’s content you could be creating, ads or campaigns to design, or new markets to research. Is there a new wholesale account you want to try to win? Or a new market segment you want to break into? Brainstorm with others you trust who care about your success. Write those goals down (see #4) and start penciling out ways to make this happen (work backward to NOW to figure out a timeline), or make a list of the things you need to have done before the rush of the Christmas season is upon us. 

Literally, go back to school 

back to school

Diving more into goals and research, what have you learned lately? What books have you read and how has this helped you grow? Look at fall as a time to literally take yourself back to school and learn something or study something. Do you need help with writing better copy for your business? Maybe you need to learn to make some website edits or take better photos of your products. Or perhaps there’s an aspect of your business you need to learn more about like manufacturing, selling, or producing your products more efficiently. 

If you are a creative like me, give yourself some creative homework or schedule a field trip. I love working through a new art technique a little at a time, or taking a class. Or make a trip to an art museum for some inspiration and a new perspective. 

Some classes I like to take: 

Art classes at Layor in Bend
Challenges from Shannon Lee Strategy on social media (follow her or sign up for her emails, she’ll let you know when there’s a new challenge!)
Courses I can do in my own time, like those on Skillshare or on the Entrepreneur store

Books on improving your business and work-life are at an all-time high – find one that speaks to you or check out this recommended reading list

Take the opportunity this fall to “go back to school for your business” and make some positive changes! You’ll feel like you’re fall-ing in love with your business all over again!