Time to embrace the back-to-school mentality


Todd Hinson


Business Columnist

Monday, September 3, 2018

The back-to-school season is a time for new supplies, new routines and reconnecting — whether you’re going to school or to work.

For me, back-to-school is more than a date on a calendar. It’s a feeling and an opportunity to give ongoing tasks some new perspective, review where things stand and take the opportunity to have a fresh start.

Some strategies to put the back-to-school attitude to work include:

■ Review progress on your annual goals. We’re two-thirds of the way through 2018. Are you also two-thirds of the way to accomplishing your goals? Develop or revise your plan and get busy now to give yourself the best shot at achieving your goals before the end-of-year holiday rush beings.

■ See your business through fresh eyes. Remember your first day walking into elementary school? You took everything in with a sense of wonder. Walk into your business and look at it as though you’re seeing it for the first time. Does your space, signage and collateral make you stop and take notice? Are your employees dedicated to creating a positive customer experience? If not, consider steps to revitalize your space for you and your customers.

■ Push yourself out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Look beyond what’s safe in your day-to-day job and the ways you market to your customers. Stretch a bit. Consider different ways to conduct your outreach to customers and coworkers. Volunteer for a committee in your company or a local organization. Consider taking on a special project or register for a class to learn something that will positively impact your organization.

■  Expand your network. Like children reconnecting with friends at school, take this time to reconnect with your community — both personally and professionally. Get involved in your local Chamber of Commerce, other professional organizations or church. Commit to volunteering for a local nonprofit. These activities are good for our community and can also provide opportunities to meet a new customer or referral source.

■ Embrace selling season. Vacations are over, and routines are re-established, making Labor Day to Thanksgiving a good time to connect with prospective customers. While you should always be mindful of showing gratitude to customers and key accounts, the pending holidays make checking in that much more meaningful. Take time to strategize and implement ways to proactively reach out to people who may have been too busy during the summer months.

There are serious benefits in tapping into your school-year days mentality. Use your renewed energy to put some fresh perspective and serious momentum in the rest of your year.

Todd Hinson is co-owner of Allegra Design Marketing Print in Rocky Mount.