With summer behind and the school year looming, many people get into planning mode as autumn approaches. September can often feel like a new beginning and it’s a great time to think about upgrading your business or your own skills, and we’ve got some ideas to get you started.

Students need make sure they have the right tools for the classroom, from kindergarten to university – do you have the right tools for your office? Take stock of items that may be wearing out, or things you’ve been thinking about adding to your workspace. A better chair, whiteboard, or maybe a desk organizer.

And of course, it might be time to take a look at your technology. A good clean up of digital files you may no longer need (or that can be filed on a service like Dropbox to save space on your hard drive), and making sure your software is up to date is a good step towards digital organization. Computer repair services can help create back up files and give your system a tune up.

One of the best things about this time of year: back to school sales. Take advantage of bargains to upgrade your supplies and equipment.

What about you and your staff? After the summer season when the pace slows down, perhaps its time to add to the skill set of your team. Seminar season is coming up, keep an eye out or sign up for e-news alerts from business organization to get notices of workshops.

The multiple campuses of Okanagan College offer many classes in continuing studies and distance education, so you don’t need to take too much time away from your business. Evening and weekend options are convenient, and topics range from bookkeeping, to human resources, to marketing, and much more. Certificate courses are longer and take some dedication, but investing in your own education or that of your staff is an investment in your business.

If you have a business plan that has been sitting on a shelf for a while, it’s time to have a look at it and see if you’ve met your sales targets or goals…and then set new goals for the next year, five years, or ten years. Write them down (maybe on that new whiteboard?), as studies show when you out your goals on paper you’re much more likely to meet them.

This fall, set aside some time to take your business back to school and make sure it’s in great shape.

This article first appeared in the Business Examiner, and is provided courtesy of the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.

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