As kids across the country make their way back to school, we’re reminded of what the start of a new school year means for students: a clean slate, new subjects to study, new teachers to learn from, new classmates to learn with—and maybe even a whole new school to attend. The beginning of a new school year represents a new chapter in every student’s educational journey. Why not use this fresh start to similarly rejuvenate your small business?
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three lessons from the beginning of a school year that you can use to inspire your company:
1. You’re getting older
As the school year commences, students (at least most of them) begin the next grade level.
It might seem kind of silly in retrospect, but at the time, don’t you remember how third grade felt so much more important than second grade? And how fifth grade felt so much more important than fourth grade? That’s because as kids grow up, teachers expect more from them—and rightfully so.
The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time for you to check in with your business to see whether you’re meeting the goals you’ve laid out for yourself. Your business is getting older, too, after all. So you should expect more from it.
Did you learn enough last year to put yourself in a position to ace this year’s inevitable challenges? If not, it’s time to hit the books.
2. Don’t be scared to learn a new subject
Some students love learning about every subject. Others are disengaged with school until they stumble across a certain topic they fall in love with. All of a sudden, the kids in the latter group become experts in a niche subject, though they never would have found out about their love for the topic if they weren’t exposed to it in the first place.
Have you attended any professional development workshops recently? Have you gone to any conferences to network with new people and tap into new ideas?
Like the student learning a new subject for the first time, maybe it’s time for your business to try a new platform or take a new approach. For example, you might find using a platform like Slack makes it incredibly easier to communicate, thereby accelerating your team’s decision-making abilities and making them more productive. Similarly, you might find that an accounts receivable financing service like Fundbox can help you reclaim control over your cash flow—making it that much easier to grow your business.
Don’t be stuck in your ways. There are always new things to try out, and there’s always more to learn. Who knows when you might stumble across an idea, platform, or service that transforms your small business?
3. Sign up for extracurricular activities
For students, school is more than just homework and tests. To pad their résumés and improve their chances at being accepted to more competitive colleges, kids sign up for a slew of extracurricular activities: sports, model UN, the debate team, mock trial, student government, what have you.
Similarly, your business is about more than just generating as much revenue as possible. So with a new school year upon us, it’s worth asking a simple question: When’s the last time your company gave back to the community?
Not only is community service simply a good thing to do, it can help your coworkers become that much closer with one another as they work together for the greater good. On top of that, your company could benefit from free publicity, and you may even form a beneficial new relationship with other organizations or businesses.
You may have graduated some time ago, but as a small business owner, you’re still a student at heart. Use the beginning of a new school year as an excuse to assess your business and make appropriate changes. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You may eventually find yourself wondering how you ever did things differently.