Business Planning and Strategy Workshop – Useful Links
Fabulous Tips from Emma Morley of Trifle Creative
1. What is your ultimate GOAL? Get it written down put it down in words & out into the Universe.
2. Make a plan, For each week, month, quarter, 2 years etc. Make a plan and have goals daily, weekly, monthly and annually.
3. Set timelines and deadlines - you can do this simply in a spreadsheet to start with (software at a later date maybe of use)
4. A business plan is a good framework and structure to put your thoughts along with ideas or strategy. Don’t fear this daunting task. It is worth writing things down even if it is just for yourself. Take your time and take inspiration from templates but do it in your own way. If you need to write one for a team or investors then consider your audience but don’t be shy. Write those ideas and dreams down, even if they seem far away and impossible. There is power in the written word and ultimately it will help you plan.
5. Work out your time and what else you need to cover - expenses, travel and overheads, TAX too (and put it away into a savings account each month). Even if it just you and your services (no products) DO IT. Financial planning will help you understand what you need to earn and what you need to charge.
6. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – what if that basket breaks?
7. Get an online calendar get organised and set tasks (most allow you to do that)
8. Work out when & where you work best; focused tasks in the morning - Creative in the evening? Try and suss your natural rhythms rather than working against them. Where can you focus best? Is it at the kitchen table, a dark room or with natural light? Try and work for a power hour (or half hour) with a 5 mins break. If you have to work late at night (as I did - is there anyone else that could do the morning breakfast/get dressed rush?)
9. There are probably a few daily tasks you can do with the kids around but try to keep that time to focus on them. I was strict with myself about not being on the phone when my daughter was around. Those years go too quick.
10. Get the annoying jobs done first and out the way - don’t leave them to pile up.
11. Action NOT distraction: Recognise what distracts you (hanging out the washing, Facebook, etc and set yourself goals to achieve before you do them then ‘reward' yourself with 15 mins daydreaming, looking at the anthropology website or the washing! I’ve heard of someone who used a timer approach!
12. Tell everyone what you are doing and practice your ‘in a nutshell’ mission ‘elevator pitch’ to anyone who will listen - taxi drivers make for excellent sounding boards.
13. Get a good accountant or financial head as early as possible. If you’re skint ask around you might have a friend happy to chuck a spread sheet together for you.
14. Don’t try and do it all. Work out what you are good at and where your weaknesses are. If you don’t have time to learn a new skill find someone else. Try local networks and People Per Hour and freelance networks on Facebook.
15. Productise if you are a Service Based Business, break down what you do, look at how you can add on to your core service, what else fits?
16. Sharing the load - ask for help from your partner/family/friends. You will need support whether you have kids or not so get out there and ask. People are willing to help and listen but they won’t know you need it unless you ASK.
17. Things don’t always go right - how you handle problems and issues can be make or break. Take responsibility -> own it -> solve it & learn from it. It is rare you will make the same mistake more than twice.
18. Find the thing that you love and get really good at it.
19. Comfort zones are where ideas go to die.
20. Give yourself a name (even if it’s your name) and social media accounts and USE THEM. Get Social Media savvy – it’s the cheapest way to market your offering/services.
21. Where are you working? Sitting is the new smoking so it is really important when you work by yourself to remember to look after yourself and get up and move! Get out for a walk, get fresh air and don’t sit hunched up all day.
22. Create a working environment that is comfortable, stimulating and inspiring. Try and invest in your back health with a decent chair or at least buy a supportive back pillow if you are working from a kitchen chair. You will be ok like this for a while but I have learnt the hard way on this one!
23. Take time out to think - 15 mins walk, fresh air or a bit of yoga. Something to rest your brain and re-charge. Look after yourself and your well-being. Book time out in your diary and stick to it.
24. Take time out to look after yourself in whatever way. A short break in the sunshine, a massage or a trip out for inspiration. Reward yourself and look after your own well-being.
25. Fear regret more than failure.
26. There is never a ‘right’ time. You know enough. Go give it a shot. Life is short, regrets are long.
10 Tips to overcome Fear
1. Accept you will feel fearful and plan interventions to manage it – Who can you call for support?
2. Surround yourself with positive supporters and stay away from naysayers who are risk adverse.
3. Use your contacts – LinkedIn is a great resource. Don’t be scared to ask people for coffees and help, they are often flattered and more than happy to assist.
4. Do your homework – speak to people who are already successfully doing what you want to.
5. Write a thorough business plan and do financial forecasting, then have someone business minded review it. Test your ideas and do market research.
6. Be realistic - you probably won’t be successful overnight so plan for a 2/3 year business build. Having a transition plan from the old job to the new business is a great idea.
7. Save some money to support you through the transition and discuss your family finances and plan with your partner.
8. Learn about marketing and social media - without customers and clients your business isn’t a business.
9. Get help – you don’t need to do everything yourself. Websites, photographs, logos, promotional material all take time and often look more professional when done by a professional. Skill swaps are a great and cheap way to get help.
10. Keep motivated and prepare yourself for wobbles – use tools (visual tools, visualisations, affirmations) and get support (business network or a business coach).