Are You Leveraging the Dog Days of Summer?

It’s that time of year, the heat begins to wear on you.   Even if your business thrives during late July and into August, you know the dog days have arrived.  The Greeks and Romans first coined this term as Sirius (The Dog Star) appeared to rise alongside the sun in late July in the Northern Hemisphere.  They believed the two stars being so close together created this hot period during the summer months and the “Dog Days” were born.   

Today we think of it as a time of year everyone moves at a little slower pace due to the late summer heat, especially if your work is outside.  If you and your business are feeling a bit of a late summer lull, the dog days of summer may be biting you.  Don’t despair, here’s a few ways to make the most of it.   These next few weeks can be a great time to hit reset as you move into the second half of the year.  

5 ways to make the most of the dog days….

  1. Review your goals for the year.   How are you doing?  Are you on track?  Where are you ahead and where are you behind?  This is a great time to have a healthy discussion with your team and make sure everyone is still on the same page.
  • Schedule a meeting with your CFO and/or your Accountant.  Are your numbers for the year on track?  Most of the time your numbers tell a pretty good story of how your business is doing.  Are there any unexpected changes in your cash flow occurring?   IE: If your A/R is climbing faster than sales you may have an issue with collections. 
  • Perform a Mid-Year SWOT – If you have already preformed a SWOT with your team, a short cut might be to simply review the most recent SWOT you performed and make sure everything captured in that last session is still relevant.  Make adjustments and update as needed.  Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats both you and your team should know them!
  • Mid-year Assessments – When is the last time you performed an internal assessment with your management team and employees?   This is one activity where months turn into years very quickly with businesses.  We have found that most team members of a company provide very constructive and open feedback when given the opportunity.   But you won’t know if you don’t give them a chance to tell you.
  • Take an extra day or two off – You have earned it!  There is no better way to see how well your business is running than to extend a vacation or weekend a couple days and see how the business runs without you.   Nothing exposes holes in a business faster than having the owner step away from it.  Conversely, you’ll see where systems and processes are performing. It forces your employees to step up when you are not there.   

Yes, the “Dog Days” of summer can wear on you and your team, but don’t waste them.   With a little effort they can be very productive.  Both you and your business can come through them refreshed and healthier and ready to take on the rest of the year!

What about you? Do the Dog Days effect you?  Did you know about the origin of Dog Days or did you think it was because someone’s dog wouldn’t fetch a stick on a hot day?  Have you thought about leveraging the Dog Days in your business?  If you are challenged on exactly how to complete any of the above challenge, please feel free to reach out.  We probably have a tool that would help you.

As always, we value any comments in the space below.  

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach