a woman on a bed with a laptop, holding a cup of coffee - next steps to future-proof your small business

Autumn Rituals To Include In Your Quarterly Business Planning

If you are in the habit of doing quarterly business planning, there are a couple of seasonal touches you can include to help ground you and connect you to the natural cycles your body will intuitively experience. 

Over the last few years, I have tried to become more in tune with the natural rhythms and cycles of the seasons. This has had a profound influence on the way in which I run my business.

It is such a soulful act to take some time to look ahead and sow seeds of intention and desire for your next quarter (or season). Simultaneously, I find that it’s helpful to reflect on the season that has passed instead of rushing straight into planning your next quarter.

Autumn is certainly the perfect time to cosy up and reflect on the past season of growth and to turn inwards as the days start to shorten. Therefore, I thought I would share some of the rituals and practices I have incorporated into my business planning over the past few years in the hope that it will help you create your own moments of pause.

Before getting started on these rituals, I would love to invite you to make this experience feel more joyful. Can you create a warm and restful space for you to reflect? Perhaps you could light a beautiful candle, have your favourite autumn playlist on in the background and make yourself a lovely cup of something warm to ground yourself during these rituals.

You could grab a journal or some paper, open up a google doc or (my personal fave) in Notion. There is no right or wrong way to do this – so, just find a way that works for you.

Ready to get started?

Ritual One

Take stock of all the wonderful things you are grateful for in your business over the past season.

It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘what everyone else is doing’ or the ‘next big goal / thing’ that we can completely miss all the beautiful things right in front of us. Which is why having a gratitude list incorporated in your quarterly business planning is a wonderful way to notice all the small things that have brought you joy in your business over the past season.

For me that’s being able to outsource some work to someone I trust, and for the wonderful clients I have worked with this year.

Personally, I like to do this as a daily practice. However, if it’s something you haven’t done in a while I encourage you to grab a sheet of paper and write a list of everything you are grateful for in your business (don’t stop until the page is full). Surprisingly, you might realise how awesome your business is right now in this very moment.

a woman holding a pen to write in an empty notebook, a coffee cup and a vase with a dried flower

Ritual two

Celebrate all the wins you have had over the past year (don’t forget the small wins too)!

Summer can sometimes feel like a really odd season indeed when running a business or being self-employed. On the one hand we have the freedom to spend our days how we want to. I love nothing more than bringing my laptop into the garden so I can soak up the sun during this time. But for a lot of us it also means juggling childcare. Or reduced income as we spend less time working and more time on all of these things.

Which is why I love to use this ritual as a way to recognise all the small things that felt like a win over the past season. Even if they might seem insignificant to others. Obviously, our wins don’t always have to be financial. In fact, there are tons of other things we can be proud of through the work we do.

It could be as small (read big) as managing to get through the summer holidays. Or managing to stick to your editing schedule (or giving yourself grace for not sticking to your editing schedule)!

For me, some of my small wins include for example:

🍂 Taking some time off over the summer where I truly rested and didn’t even think about my business.

🍂 Getting my work week down to 25 hours – this is a BIG WIN for me!

🍂 I also managed to be fully booked with retainer clients for the year. This was a big goal / desire for me at the beginning of this year. 

Ritual three

Reflect on this past season of work. What has worked really well and where could you make adjustments / improvements?

Running a slow and simple business means constantly checking in with yourself and your values and then adjusting as you go along. Which is why reflecting on what has worked well (and what hasn’t) is such a helpful practice or ritual to do at the start of a new season.

When doing this ritual, I like to simply notice things, without attaching any meaning to them. Usually I do this ritual with the aim of updating my workflows and processes. These are the structure and foundation that helps me run an aligned business that prioritises my energy and mental health.

Which is why I strongly believe your workflows and back-end systems should always be evolving. See if there are ways to improve what you are currently doing. Are there ways to  systemise and make repetitive processes simpler to execute? This could bring more ease and flow in your business.

Lastly, try to spot any gaps or issues that keep popping up:

Take note of any gaps or issues that regularly popped up? If there are, can you identify what went wrong and how you could maybe avoid this happening in the future? Additionally, could you create a system / process to avoid it happening again?

Closing thoughts

In summary, I hope these Autumn rituals help you create an intentional moment of pause during your next quarterly business planning. Most of all I hope these rituals will help you slow down and let the golden hues of Autumn inspire you (and your business) during this season. This is the perfect season to cosy up and nurture your business foundations. Particularly, to weave calm into your processes and embrace the beauty in this season of change.

Stacey is a business strategist who supports heart-led photographers & quiet rebels to build deep rooted systems, client experiences and strategies to help thrive. She is the ideal Co-Creation partner, ready to amplify your energy, intentions and brand magic to help YOU and your clients feel seen, valued and supported.

www.staceyleebrebner.co.uk | @staceyleebrebner

Would you like to receive inspiration from The Slow Living Guide regularly?
Sign up for the newsletter here.

a bed with a book, notes and a cup of tea - your slow living reading list

Your slow living reading list

a plate with toast and blueberries lit by the morning sun - the slow living guide slow & simple blog category

Blog categories

cosy pillows on a bed - the slow living guide blog category home & cosy