For many small businesses the summer months are often a bit quieter. Lots of people are on their well-earned holidays or taking time off to be with their families. The weather is hot, the days long and suppliers have shut down for two weeks. It may be a time to relax a little, dress down in the heat and pick up a few of those tasks you’ve been putting off until the calmer days of August. September will soon be here though and, as someone who worked school terms for many years, to me this month is more like New Year than January. A time for a new pencil cases, clean notebooks and some September resolutions.

Blogs, motivation memes, business articles will all encourage you to take a look at yourself closely in January and to set your goals for the year. Of course New Year is a brilliant time to assess where you are and where you want to be, but I find taking stock in the autumn is also vital and it’s why I think you should be making some September resolutions too.

We’ve all made those promises to ourselves early in the year with the support from everyone else who is also trying to loose weight, stop smoking or become a millionaire. Some of us may even make it to February before reality sets in. Life inevitably starts getting in the way and good intentions get left behind as spring marches on! A year is a long time for a lot of us to commit to, especially if it means getting out of bed an hour earlier to hit the gym, or write a new blog post every week.

It may be your family have a new routine in September due to schooling, or you may have had the best extended holiday for many years and come back totally chilled and determined not to get so stressed again. Setting some new targets now, or relooking at those you wrote down in the dark days of January, means you only have to commit to four months before you have a good reason to rejig them again. And, although some accountability is important, you won’t have the pressure of the ‘New Year Resolution Police’ checking up on you and watching your every failure to tick DONE each day! You know the ones!

Autumn also a great time to look carefully at those processes you have put in place that just aren’t working efficiently or for trialling new ways of working. It is easy to get to this point in the year and put off starting something new or innovative ‘until after Christmas’. Take advantage of post summer enthusiasm to implement change, but more importantly if you, or your staff, have returned with post-holiday blues, take the time to find out why and what you can do to ensure next year everyone returns fired up and ready to make a difference to your business.

So grab a new pen, maybe some highlighters, a sparkling new notepad and get ready to start the new term revitalised, energised and with some great September resolutions and achievable goals for the rest of this year.