Last week I wrote about how a lot of the time in business, you need to be open to possibilities and leave time to take a chance on opportunities that may come your way; but that's not to say the recipe for success is to flounder around in the deep with no real clue about where you're going! There's a fine line between having your eyes wide open and being blinded by the light, so it's vital to employ some systems to enable you to take stock and ensure you're still making the correct decisions for your business vision.
It's also super easy to become so bogged down by the everyday, especially when all your hard work and risk taking starts to pay off and the enquiries are rolling in. If you let it, all of a sudden 3 months have gone by and your intray is piled high with admin, your bookkeeping falls by the wayside and your blog reader is chocker block with amazing content that's just ready for you to devour. And let's be honest, when you've got glitter to play with everday, who really wants to be knee deep in postage receipts?! But being strict and ensuring you're doing regular overviews allows you to assess what's worked, what hasn't, and how to grow for the future. Here's my favourite way to ensure you're working on the business, not just in the business.
It's both a joy and curse for small business owners that they end up having to wear so many hats on a day to day basis; I personally love that my job varies so much day to day but juggling so many different tasks can leave you overwhelmed and unsure as to what you actually achieved last month! We're so busy on a day to day basis that after a while, the successes and triumphs can almost be cast aside to concentrate on a more pressing task at hand.
Every month I write a basic 2 page report covering achievements for the past month like sales, press features and successful networking, and plan some small goals for the next month. I use a templated document that simply and easily allows me to take stock on what has been a success in the past month and look forward to what I can hope to achieve in the next month and includes a small space to set goals. It's a quick and effective way to document successes and can be pulled upon should you need to provide information to a future stakeholder in your business. I've made my working template including examples available to download here, but of course feel free to adapt the headers and markers based on your own business!
Orla Kiely Presentation A/W13 shot by Stephen Lawton via House of Tribeca