How To Get Through The Summer Months As A Business Owner
Surviving Summer Months As A Business Owner
Before I add a couple of ideas about how to practically manage the holiday time, it is worth noting a very popular internal scream of the Creative mind.
FOR FECK SAKE!
Yup the realisation that the Summer months are pretty much upon us. Ordinarily, we rejoice at longer evenings, warmer climate and the general 'let's get pissed on Tuesday' vibe BUT when you are running a business solo, trying to build a solid customer base, a thriving social presence and a consistent income from your Creative endeavours, any hiccup in production and productivity can result in this shout out.
Before we dive into some practical things you can do to survive the Summer months without losing your marbles let's get real here and note some important real life facts, shall we!
1. Our business will still be there for us at the end of the holidays.
Our clients and customers will also be taking time out over the next six weeks. This is holiday time and you are a human too, who needs a break. Yes, a break!
2. Only you can dictate the pace of your business.
Taking the foot off the accelerator pedal for a few weeks may actually give you the recharge time you need to get the business really firing on all four cylinders in the Autumn.
3. If we were properly ‘employed’ we would only be getting 2 weeks off.
So spending a few days a week on the business is no big deal and is the reality of having your own business. Break time is essential but so is the reality of keeping the thing ticking.
4. The world will not end if you have an untidy house or buy a couple of ready-meals…
There is no such thing as a super humanoid. Cutting corners and taking the easy option is OK every now and then. Remember there are no medals for martyrs.
The reality is, however, how the hell do you make sure your business won't take a hit over the Summer and you will not be fighting your corner come September?
That is the fear, right?
Here is how I suggest you plan to get through the next six weeks, ‘guilt-free’ (well, who I am kidding?) and with a business in one piece at the end of it!
TOP 10 SUMMER SURVIVAL TIPS
1. Take a look at your to-do list OR if you have not already tried my absolute life saver: SCRUM BOARD then do yourself and your sanity a favour and get to it!
Look at what is VITAL for the running of your business and what can wait until September. Things like collaborative projects, ideas for new pieces of work, workshops etc. Is this the best time to be diving into new projects? Why not focus on lining things up for September and focus on sorting your admin, social scheduling out over the next few weeks of the Summer?
2. Focus on keeping your business ticking over rather than growing over the summer.
As I have said previously, many of your clients and customers will be on a go slow as well. I have a management list of what needs to be done during the Summer months to keep my Brand visible and active. September will change course but until then ticking over is the name of the game.
3. At the start of each week, prioritise your scrum board for the week
And remember that you have seven days and evenings to complete the work. I find my productive time is from 8pm-10pm ...ok not very sociable or husband friendly but then again that is the high fly time for my brain. Do you know yours?
4. Ask your children who they would like to see over the holiday and arrange a series of play dates.
You may find that if you have your children’s friends over, your children are happy and able to amuse themselves, and you are able to get some work done. * Don't feel guilty about this from experience my child is much happier playing with friends than her Quote: "Nelly" Mama! ( darn and I thought I was a "fun/hip/cool" Mother hen )
5. Block out days in your diary
When you are on holiday, and your sole purpose is to spend quality time with your children/friends/partner/pet...oh and most importantly YOURSELF! ( Don't forget that bit ) then turn everything else OFF. If you are like me and need to schedule that in, then do it. Look at it like a necessary part of your time to allow yourself to focus on work time.
6. On the days when you have to put some hours in on your business, how about getting up very early,
Do 3 or 4 hours work before mid-morning. Then spend the rest of the day guilt-free.
7. Delegate and outsource wherever possible.
If you don’t have a call answering service, pay for someone to answer your phone in the holiday. It may help you to enjoy your time with the children without wondering whether the phone will ring.
8. Agree a routine on ‘working’ days with your children.
Let them know when you need to be working and when you are free. If they are able to help with your work, then let them… (Just in case my Factory members are reading this, the 9-year-old will NOT be assisting on any of my mentoring advice posts! )
10. Stock up the fridge and freezer with home baking and ‘picnicky’ style foods
Then lunch can be rustled up in an instant, by you or your partner or children.
11. Have some ‘emergency’ activities sorted out, which will keep your children safely and quietly amused for an odd hour or so if a crisis arises in the business, which can NOT wait.
For example, Netflix is my emergency activity for my child. (I would love to be able to leave her painting or doing craft… however, I have no plans for re-decorating the house just yet and respect my sanity for being interrupted 209 times when a new colour is added )
Good luck with your summer!
Have you got a personal plan for managing the summer holidays?
PS if you need some really strong focus when productivity is at its all time low then hop on a 1:1 session with me. I will give you 3 tasks to focus on to get you to the next phase in your business.