For small farm, food, and drink businesses, Summers tend to be a full marathon of activity. Small business owners have all-hands on deck and maintain long hours and days just to keep up. There’s little time to think, and only time to do, to grow, make, and sell.

In our experience, there are 2 starts to the year for small businesses, where things slow down a little: September and January. During these months, things start to change, and some of the pressure eases. Now, there’s time to catch-up, to re-assess, and re-focus. It’s the perfect time to prioritize. We recommend asking yourself some of the following:

  • What did you learn over the last season?
  • What issues or successes did you notice in the day to day?
  • What can you make use of or improve on?
  • What needs to happen next?
  • What do you need to plan for?
  • What can wait until later?

These types of questions can help to debrief yourself and take stock of your business and where it stands now. During your next selling season, you’re going to get too busy again, so you can help yourself by taking some of the weight off by planning ahead of your busy season. Even if it’s as small as making yourself a calendar of tasks, or prioritizing a written to-do list, or assigning tasks for others to complete. Every little thing can help. We know that for small business owners, time is a precious commodity, but planning ahead when you have the opportunity, even if it’s only a few hours, will help things move more smoothly when there is no time left.

Consider some of the free applications available that could help you to manage yourself. Applications that can be used on your computer and your phone, for ease, functionality, portability, and tracking. Programs such as Asana, Trello, or, ClickUp, or even task list apps like Todoist can help you to organize and manage yourself. While most of these are designed for teams, they can easily be used for individuals and small business owners who have little time to get a lot done.