The 4th Quarter

For those of us who played football, or are a fan of the game, you remember what it was like to enter the fourth quarter.  It’s the “end game”.   The last 12 minutes (in high school, anyway) where you must turn up the volume, ramp up the adrenaline, and make every play count.  For those of you who don’t play sports, my apologies for the sports references-  but if you’re a business owner, these feelings and emotions should be similar.   You WANT to finish the year strong and to have loose ends tied up as much as possible to start anew.

What are eight ways you can end 2020 strong?

  1. Receivables. End the year collecting as much as you can.  Make an aging report and filter to find the easiest targets.    Target the “uncollectable” balances and turn them over to a collections agency.
  2. Inventory. Walk through your warehouse (or wherever you store goods) and ask yourself if you need everything on the shelves.  If the answer is no for some items, develop a plan NOW to dump the losers.
  3. Upgrade.  Do you have some ancient systems being used by your staff?  Anything you can think of that would help your staff do their jobs more efficiently?  Why not invest some capital in systems this year and benefit next year?
  4. Invest.  Have some extra cash on hand?   Unload some of it in the form of investment before the end of the year.  Investment could be in anything from equipment, land, buying a business, short-term bonds, or by donating to a non-profit.  Especially with the upcoming election, the unknown is real-  thinking of mitigation now by investing extra cash could pay off later.
  5. Budget. Making a budget along with projections for the next 18-months will pay off huge one year from today.
  6. Close staffing gaps. What holes are open on your staff that you can fill before the end of the year, giving you another 60 days to train them before 2021?
  7. Review your insurance policies. This should be done annually- where you meet with your insurance broker and discuss the business and any changes that have occurred.   He/she is your biggest ally when loss occurs, so make sure you’re protected in advance.
  8. Discuss an exit strategy. One day you won’t be running your business any longer.  It’s just a fact of life.   How is your business going to survive your exit?   Thinking about this now will save heartache later.  Pro Tip:  It takes THREE YEARS to sell your business, on average.

Doing these simple things will polish up your business as we come to the end of another year.   Let’s end strong, together!


Ryan Dietrich | Area President, Cleveland, Ohio


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