If you have successfully completed a business plan, then some of your goals will naturally roll over. However, it’s a new year and we all like to set some goals, whether they’re personal or business orientated.
A lot of people may start a business and just think money, money, money.
Of course, we are all in it to make a buck or two but always keep the reason you started your business at the heart of everything you do.
For example, Julie Deane set up The Cambridge Satchel Company purely so she could send her children to private school. Yes, she has gone on and grown her business, bought premises and achieved more then she set out to do, but without goals (and that reason to keep going), running a business can feel quite overwhelming.
How will you define your successes? How will you know where within your business you need to push yourself or spend more time?
When can you take a minute and say, ‘I’ve done a really good job’? Without goals, it’s like driving on a road without any signposts. How will you know when you’ve arrived?
We set up businesses for different reasons, but if you stick to your core values and your reason for existing, the rest will come.
The good news is that with a great routine, you can stay on track and keep your business moving in the right direction.
It’s really important to know when YOU work at your best.
Are you a morning person or do you find that you concentrate better in the afternoon? I have worked out that if I need to write copy, by 1pm my brain works three times SLOWER, so I always factor writing into the first few hours of my day to minimise on how much time is spent procrastinating.
Make sure you schedule time in for breaks. Taking a walk at lunchtime is not only proven to improve our health and mindset but it gives you time to think through any issues allowing you to go back to your desk recharged and with a clear mind.
If you make this part of your weekly or monthly routine, then at the end of the tax year, you’ll be the one skipping to your accountants, knocking the door, ready to file your tax return.
How do you do this?
File your receipts monthly, using either a manual file or there are lots of online options out there for you. All you need to do is take a quick snap of your receipt and upload it - Quickbooks and Sage are well known tools. If you prefer the more old-school approach, create a spreadsheet and log every invoice and receipt that comes in and goes out. Put a date in your diary every single month to do this. By breaking this job down, a potentially overwhelming job is pretty much done.
When I first started my business I sometimes did 2 or 3 months at a time - what a BIG MISTAKE. Not only did it take hours to upload into quickbooks and print it all off, but it meant that I didn't have live figures of my accounts as and when I needed them to know how well the business was going. Now I religiously do them monthly. It still takes time but it's not quite so painful!
Working for yourself has many benefits. However, the downside can be cashflow, and when you start to see the profit rolling in, it's easy to get carried away.
But when everything is hanging off the financial success of your business (and you have no other income) it’s really important that you prepare for the 'tougher' months and leave as much money in your business as you can for that extra layer of protection.
Take out only what you absolutely need to live on each month and follow the 50/30/20 rule.
Use 50% to pay your rent or mortgage, bills and necessities, 20% towards your financial goals, such as pension and paying off debt and the final 30% goes towards your wants such as eating out, entertainment and having fun! Don't just keep dipping in because you know you can.
Set your goals and don't get greedy.
It pays our bills, it gets us referrals, it gets us repeat business - you get the picture.
It is (of course) really important that not only do we deliver for our clients but for our own self-esteem and self-worth. Doing a good job can make us feel on top of the world. With this in mind, it’s really important that we set boundaries, you assign value to your time, skills and expertise (that is after all what they are paying you for).
It is all very well to say yes to extra work for recognition, but make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons and not being taken for granted. Don't be a busy fool.
Saying yes to extra work could mean you take on too much and end up dropping balls, so, just remember, sometimes it's ok to say 'no'.
This doesn’t necessarily have to mean taking on a team member/s, but it can mean taking advantage of external resources such as a virtual PA or consulting with a marketing or social media agent. Whatever it is you may need to help your business grow to the next level, there are people out there who would love to work with you.
If your business is growing and you’re not sure of your next steps, then finding a mentor can be a fantastic opportunity for you. Believe it or not, there are people out there who will give you their time and help you. They’ve been there and done it so can help you in many ways.
These individuals can help with strategy, help you become more efficient, help you in the planning process, set targets and help you achieve your goals.
Have a look at the link below:
Along with the financial side of the business, the other important element that you must consider is protecting your business through Trademark or Copyright. The Difference Between Copyright and Trademark - while both offer intellectual property protection, they protect different types of assets. Copyright is geared toward literary and artistic works, such as books and videos. A trademark protects items that help define a company brand, such as its logo.
It is also important that if you are a creative and producing work for a client, to make sure you distinguish who owns the work you have produced and ensure this is communicated or included in the written documentation. Once you have your Trademark and Copyright set up, this will be easier to navigate.
For Trademarks visit: https://www.gov.uk/topic/intellectual-property/trade-marks
For Copyright visit: https://www.gov.uk/copyright
Healthy habits are key and by practicing them daily will keep you in shape to run a successful business.
The highs and lows of running a business are real, but if you follow some simple steps these will help you thrive in every aspect of your life and knowing you are in a good place mentally and physically, will help you feel positive and confident in tackling anything that comes your way.
What is self-care?
It simply means taking care of your mind, body and soul – everyday. Learning what your body needs is something that will benefit everyone.
The suggestions below will all help you to live a happier, more fulfilled lifestyle which in turn will lower stress and anxiety in a busy world.
In an era where we are increasingly more and more busy, it is so important to schedule in your time for self-care. Do not feel guilty for this as the calmer and more grounded you are, the better you will perform in your home life and work life.