We recently returned home from a trip to Florida. It was an extended stay and I loved it. I was there to spend time with family and care for a family member having surgery. Sometimes I get questions about my flexible schedule and how it impacts my business.
The best thing about working for yourself is you are the boss. You set your own hours, you determine where and how you will work. It is also the worst thing about working for yourself. Have you ever have an unorganized boss? Early in my career, I did. You have your projects to work on and then out of the blue you are given random assignments that need to be completed TODAY! It's not fun, yet everyday business owners behave like “ the unorganized boss”. By not planning and setting up your day with intention and focus we are not getting the most out of our time.
I was able to travel to another state for 4 months because of planning but mostly because of systems implemented to be efficient and using a work plan daily. We all have those occasional things “pop up”. Family emergencies, last minute client work and new business opportunities can throw a wrench in any schedule. They can all be accommodated with minimum headaches and drama if you are organized and efficient in your business.
Where do you start with getting organized? How you plan your week is key. What are your goals for the year, the month? This is important when planning your weekly activities. What is the first thing you do in your day? How do you start your work? Your number one task should be to create a work plan.
Did you say you don't have a work plan? It is necessary to plan your week to stay on track. Your marketing strategy leads to a plan of action. How do we reach goals without planning? It's like a budget for your time.
I had a week in February when I decided I was going to work on my business “freestyle”.
I figured I have been doing this a few years, I know what needs to happen. (Note: This did not include client work.) So on Monday after my client work was done at 11 a.m and was ready to get to work. It took me two hours to decide what I would work on. Yes, it took me two hours, with lots of overthinking and analyzing, finally ending in overwhelm. Full disclosure, I am that person that analyzes almost every decision. Three days later I gave up and created a plan to catch up on the work I missed, :-).
It is intentional planning and organized processes that enable me to work from any location. Knowing what your goals are for your business will enable you to think strategically about what you will be focused on each day, each week, each year. I know planning and creating systems for your business can be time-consuming and it is not sexy, but it is productive. For the solo entrepreneur, systems can be the difference between working 60 hour weeks and 20 hour weeks.
There's so much involved in creating a business that the idea of adding one more thing may seem daunting. Start by creating the processes and systems that will save you the most time and keep you organized like the client onboarding or billing/ invoicing and work in the others as you go. You may feel overwhelmed just thinking about it, start with baby steps. Go through one task and write down the steps as you work through it. Documenting a system does not have to be fancy. You can even record short explainer videos from your desktop instead of creating checklists or other word documents. It is up to you how you set up your systems. You can systemize one task at a time.
Before you get started, think about where you would like to save the most time and be more efficient. Is it client care or even lead generation? An efficient system for your business will prepare you for growth as well. As you get more clients you will start to think about getting support or growing the business. This is where systems in your business are key. By implementing systems in your business you will gain a high-level view of the areas of your business where you will benefit from support as well as how to create your strategy for growth.
If you are ready to start creating your systems, signup here for my a free checklist to help you get started. http://bit.ly/2Wnrl0W