How did we get to the middle of the year?
If you’re a small business owner, July is a great time to take stock of how things are going and review your plans and objectives.
Plans rarely to go plan. I was possibly a little too optimistic with my financial targets at the start of the year, but I’ve caught up and am currently booked up until mid-September, which is great. But it can give me a false sense of security – I know that if I don’t make time to be outward facing, the work will quickly dry up.
Every few months or so, I try to make time for an ‘awayday’, when I reflect on how the business is going, what I enjoy, what’s causing pain and, plan for the next few months. Given how busy I am at the moment, it’s difficult to find the time to do this and I missed the Springtime review, but I’ve learnt over the years that I have to make the time. Taking time out to plan is never wasted time.
To give you an idea of how I plan my away days, my agenda for my next one is as follows:
- Reflect on where my work is coming from and any feedback I’ve received.
- What work didn’t I get, and why? What could I do differently next time?
- Articulate what I want to achieve (it doesn’t have to be all income related!)
- Look at how I’ve spent my time over the past few months:
- What should I start doing? (or find the time to do)
- What should I stop doing?
- What should I do more of?
- What should I do less of?
- Make time in my diary to achieve these.
- Focus on getting one big project started – on this occasion it’s creating some freebies to add to my website.
I’ve learnt from experience that if I’m working full-time on client work, I have no time to network, develop promotional materials or reflect and that when the feast/famine cycle begins. Hence, it’s important for me to plan and ensure I have enough time during the week or month to be proactive. For me, I need around 1 day/week to network and promote my business, but every business is different.
I’m really looking forward to actually going somewhere for my next awayday for the first time since I started my business last year. So, if you see me in a coffee shop in the Halifax area over the next few days, pop over, ask me how my awayday is going and I might just buy you a cuppa!