Prep Your Business for a Successful Fall: 5 Key Questions

As a business owner, you likely keep close tabs on company goals and performance. In the process of powering up for a strong finish to the year, consider the questions below.
08/30/2016 04:30 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2017
Simple drawing of a cloud and a ladder against  a turquoise sky.
Simple drawing of a cloud and a ladder against a turquoise sky.

As a business owner, you likely keep close tabs on company goals and performance. In the process of powering up for a strong finish to the year, consider the questions below.

1. How well are you and your management team delegating?
Do you believe you simply don't have the time to train others on specific tasks, even though doing so would create much-needed room for working on higher priority issues? Instead of falling into the habit of taking on too much responsibility, learn to identify high capacity staff members who are ready to tackle new challenges, and then make the commitment to getting them up to speed so they can alleviate your workload.

2. Do you know when to redirect your energy and start fresh?
In Psychology Today, Robert L. Leahy describes how the sunk cost fallacy often leads to "backward looking decisions." He goes on to write: "We can think of sunk cost as focusing on the past cost rather than the future utility. You are concerned with what you 'paid' for something rather than what you will get out of it in the future."

Take a close look at the health of your business. Is there something you've invested a significant amount of resources towards that no longer serves the organization? A shift in focus may be in order.

3. Are daily to-do's crowding out big picture goals?
It's easy to assume that a bustling calendar and a busy team means you're headed in the right direction, but the reality isn't always so. In fact, it's easy to confuse a full schedule with a successful day. Instead, make sure you are leaving room for your monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Otherwise, short-term tasks can easily crowd out long-term objectives.

Refine your system of calendar management and goal tracking, setting reminders to incorporate important goals into your list of appointments, and encourage staff members to do the same.

4. Have your priorities changed?
Nearly eight months have passed since many of us drafted our goals for 2016. As you've experienced new things and adapted to the current business climate, there's a possibility that one of your company goals for the year is no longer as important as you believed it would be. Adjust your focus and refresh your next steps to reach your target.

5. How is your motivation level?
If you lack focus or energy, you are at risk of losing momentum. Instead, develop and employ an effective plan of action. Moving ahead may be as simple as tweaking your schedule or shifting your environment; it could also be more involved, such as surrounding yourself with people who exude positivity and inventiveness. No matter the obstacle, start small and be consistent.

You may also like 10 Daily Habits That Lead to a Happier Life. For more of Diane's etiquette tips, visit her blog, connect with her here on The Huffington Post, "like" The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, or follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.