June 30 is the last day of the fiscal year. While I do not attempt to give financial advice, I do like to use this time for a mid-year check-up.
Evaluate your goals. Do you still have that list of goals you established back in January for the bookstore or for your role in the store? How are you doing with these goals? If you haven’t made much progress, it’s time to develop an action plan.
- What will it take to achieve each goal?
- Break it down into manageable segments (think Bird by Bird) and then establish a timeline.
- Determine how long will it reasonably take to finish each segment and establish a deadline.
- You might also consider asking for help. If you do not have the skills to perform the task in a timely manner, who can help you get there?
Keep in mind that you’ll want to schedule most of the items in your action plan for 3rd quarter completion, before the holiday season begins.
Schedule employee reviews. Mid-year is also a great time to touch base with employees. I think employee reviews to discuss performance and pay considerations should be scheduled on the anniversary of their start-date. But a mid-year review can be a more casual time to talk about the employees goals.
- Do they have any skills they’d like to utilize in the bookstore? Are they talented in graphic design? Do they have an interest in acting? Would they be interested in becoming a story time character? (Audit their talents.)
- What books have them been reading? Have they been writing reviews? Do they know how to submit nominations to IndieNext?
- Do they want to take on more responsibility? Are they overwhelmed? Are they happy? Are you?
These casual reviews should be conducted one-on-one and you could even choose to be away from the store. Just remember that if you’re conducting the review, be sure to listen and take notes.
Evaluate co-op. This is also a good time of year to evaluate your co-op situation. While some filing procedures have changed with some publishers, expectations have not. Do you need to schedule some promotions to keep your end of the deal? Check in with reps to see where you stand with any contracts and schedule those promotions on your timeline.
Shift End-of-Year Thinking. If your year ends on December 31 rather than today, shift some of that end-of-year thinking a bit earlier so you don’t have to deal with it in December. What usually stresses you out during the height of your selling season? Donations? Equipment? Make a list and consider it now. Even if you can’t make a decision until December, just having a list is a step in the right direction.