Fall is the perfect time to start planning if you’re creating a business strategy for the new year. If you want your team to “hit the ground running” in January, they need an idea of where you want them to end up. And this is where a few lessons from growing up on a Minnesota farm are helpful.

Harvest is my favorite time of year. Harvest brings noticeable change. If you’ve ever watched a combine moving through a field, you know how fast things change. In the morning, there’s a tall field of corn. By evening, the stalks are gone.

There’s a satisfaction that comes with the harvest. You can see where you’ve been.  You can see how far you need to go. The challenges are easily understood.  And that’s what makes the harvest such a great guide for creating a business strategy for the new year.

Yellow and brown weathered corn stalks stand tall against a bright blue autumn sky as the harvest approaches.

Not that harvest always goes smoothly.

It’s a race with mother nature to get everything done before the snow begins to fall. Some years things get delayed by too much rain making it impossible for the big tractors to make it through the field. Some years it all goes smoothly and the harvest is done before Halloween.

A combine works its magic across a field of crops at the sunset on this golden autumn farm in the Midwest.

The combines, the actual machines that do the work of harvest, are amazing. They know how to separate the grain from the rest of the plant. They keep what is useful and let go of what’s no longer needed.

Once the combines have done their work, other equipment is used to till up the field and incorporate the discarded plant parts back into the soil. These plant remnants decompose and help nourish next year’s crop. Understanding all parts of the harvest are valuable, even the ones that are seemingly discarded, is important when consider when creating a business strategy for the new year.

Close-up of autumn leaves in warm colors with blurred patches of the light in the distance.

Fall is a chance for owners and executive teams to consider what they want to keep from the year:

  • What has happened that you want more of in the coming year?
  • Who has grown in their roles and is ready for bigger challenges?
  • What emerging needs of your customers were you able to fulfill?

And just as important . . .

  • What is it time to discard?
  • What systems in your company are outdated?
  • What do you keep doing out of habit even though it doesn’t work anymore?
  • Where could you become more efficient?

Reflecting on how your current year has gone lays the foundation for the direction you take when creating a business strategy for the new year. There are always lessons to be learned on what to keep and what to discard.

How might reflecting on your past year help you build a stronger foundation for the new year?

If you like the idea of being more intentional about your work and goals, sign up for my upcoming BizLife Masterclass. We meet monthly starting in January. You’ll gain insight and perspective while getting support from other business owners.

Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a group of employees, this will be a game-changer for your business.

Click below to sign up or find out more: