If you're a business owner, I strongly urge you to budget for a reasonable profit target as a percent of sales, and then make your expenses fit in. The idea is to put profit front and center as a necessary outcome ... to make it happen on purpose, rather than let it happen by accident. Now, let's build on that idea. First, what is a reasonable target for profit before tax? It varies by industry but I suggest that most of us should be able to shoot for 10% of sales, pretax.
Every business leader / owner I know has too much to do. That is particularly the case in the fourth quarter of each year. The challenges include, but are not limited to: The ongoing need for solid short-term improvements to finish the year strong. Get an inclusive business planning process in place for next year. Tax planning to minimize taxes for the current year. Take care of personal / family commitments that tend to expand during the holidays. The fundamental challenge is between the short term commitments and the long term priorities, or as Stephen Covey put it, sharpening the saw versus sawing. If you are sharpening the saw, you are not sawing, so the short-term production suffers. But if you don’t sharpen the saw, longer-term production suffers. Neither choice is very attractive.