So you know I’m all about goals, vision setting, objectives, etc. I mean, that’s how I live life and how I get to do all that I’ve been purposed to do. God knew! Ha!
So, here I am again talking (well, really - writing) about goals. But this time, it’s about business goals and Q1 objectives.
Since it's Onyx’s 10-year anniversary as a Black-, Woman-, Veteran-, and LGBTQ-owned (whoa, that’s a lot of identities and intersections 😊) business, I’ve decided that each month, I will make one blog about my business journey. I mean, 10 years in the game is big…and I started this business at 32 years old…without a guide, mentor, or model. Just me, my business partner, and a hefty dose of faith. So, I am going to be real with y’all about my journey as a businesswoman and hopefully these specific blogs will help other novice business owners and maybe even reach big companies that are interested in investing in small businesses like mine and yours! Let’s see. God knows! (It keeps making me laugh when I write that and it reminds me of DJ Khaled’s song).
Ok. So this is March…and this is often the time we pay extra special attention to the end of Quarter 1 (Q1) goals – oftentimes aligned with goals in finances, human resources, strategic planning, and more. In mental health Q4 and Q1 tend to be our busiest quarters because…well sadly… it aligns with the onset and reemergence of some tough mental health disorders such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (seasonally based) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (usually in relation to past childhood traumas and the triggers that emerge during the holiday season). We even see an onset of depressive symptoms across the board – largely due to unmet annual goals, the reminders that things aren’t how we dreamt it would be, sadness about going into another year while feeling unsatisfied and uninspired, and so much more.
Since we are a mental health company, we are prepared for a spike in mental health service requests, more sessions with our current clients, and more speaking engagements to provide peace, space, and tips to get through these two tough quarters.
From a moral perspective, it makes me sad that so many people are in pain. And, I am a healer so I know I can help. From a business perspective, this is the peak in our business and I must make logistical and strategic goals to ensure that we are properly positioned so we can still maintain and sustain the business during our low quarters (Q2 and Q3).
OK, so let me go a bit deeper, here’s my process:
Make Q1 and Q4 goals during Q4 of the previous year. Straightforward – In November of 2022, I review our annual goals; collect data from our counselors, trainers, clients, customers, and leadership team, sit in prayer, reflection, and manifestation; inform the leadership team; ask for their thoughts and goals; work with my Accountant + inform him of my thoughts and get his financial feedback while looking at our financial trends; consult with Operations and the Directors to decide on hiring and termination decisions for the next year; pray again, and make moves.
By time March rolls around (Shout out to the changemakers – present and past – that are women and to the Women-owned business leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs…I see you!) I’m ready to review, assess, evaluate, and pivot.
What I’ve learned each March/April over the past 10 years is this:
Pay attention to your financial reports each month…compare them with your income budget and your expense budget. Ask ALL your questions to your accountant. Think about how the reports will affect the rest of the year.
Hire when it's right, not just when you feel like it. Since we had a few transitions last year, we decided to welcome some of our old team members back instead of hiring brand new people. This allowed us to spend less time on culture building (because the old heads were already familiar) and more time on opportunity engagement.
Meet with current clients and customers and ask about their future plans and partnership. Since we have a mental health school-based component, this is the time of year when those schools issue their RFPs. We need to know where we stand in the process.
Remain visible. Most people have a short attention span and a limited memory. In Human Development, we refer to it as Fluid Intelligence. However, when you continue to post your work and let people know you are actually committed to your industry and change, others will believe in you too. So, March is a perfect time to emerge from the winter slump, make some posts and reels, and let people know you are still in the game.
On the heels of Black History Month and the onset of Women’s History Month, please celebrate the Black Women in your life! We need to be loved and seen…and not just for our work, but for our essence.
Later gator. Smooches