Working on your business. How to schedule 60 business improvements each year
Have you ever felt like every part of your business is just sorted? Everything is filed beautifully, your paperwork is up to date, your brand visuals, website and packaging is perfection. Your marketing and socials are completely scheduled. Your dream clients just throw themselves and their coins at you? You can’t even imagine how you could make your business better? Nope? Me either.
I think this business nirvana is a non-existent destination sold to us by the ‘it’s easy to get rich on the internetz!’ club. And by the relentless social media imagery we see of businesses that ‘appear’ to be completely relaxed, well oiled, highly profitable business machines. We tend to feel like we’re behind and we should ‘have our shit together’ more. It’s overwhelming to think about how much we would have to work on to feel like we were completely organised. The to-do list when running a business is relentless and the time to work on it doesn’t seem to make itself known. We try and set aside time to work ‘on’ our businesses rather than ‘in’ it for more than five seconds but again and again we push it aside to do the paid work.
I like to remind myself of two things that help ease the pressure of feeling behind. The first is to remind myself that NO business is ‘set and forget’ and that you will forever be improving it. Your business is an ever-evolving beast, transforming constantly as a result of new ideas, market demands, unavoidable restrictions and any other myriad of influences. My business will never be perfect and if it was I honestly think the lack of challenge would bore me. Secondly, the old chestnut ‘progress over perfection’ works perfectly when pursuing business improvement. Doesn’t ‘better’ seem so much more achievable and less overwhelming than ‘perfect’?
The old chestnut ‘progress over perfection’ works perfectly when pursuing business improvement.
I recently asked my Instagram family how they juggle their content creation,marketing and working ‘on’ their business with their paying work. 80% of people responded with ‘I don’t know! Please let me know when you find out!’. So it seems we’re all struggling to find a way to tend to our business babies while also paying the mortgage, being a parent/partner and generally trying to live a balanced life. I’ll be honest, it frustrates the bejesus out of me that I never seem to have the time to make improvements to my business so I sat down to think about a realistic strategy I could use to see some real and constant change. The method I constructed is so simple which for me is the key. It’s not complicated, it’s not hard and it’s achievable with my schedule.
My simple method for finding time to work on your business…
It’s all about the small tweaks
A little change here, a little tweak there. Small, manageable and totally achievable changes that over time make a huge impact. I’m all about the word ‘tweaks’ with my clients as I find it’s a friendly little term that doesn’t illicit overwhelm or fear of disappointment like the word ‘goals’. Goals are excellent and have their place but for me the word actually elicits negative thoughts of things unachieved. Tweaks however feels good. Small. Doable.
5 tweaks a month x 12 months = 60 small improvements per year!
- The idea is to choose 5 small tasks (tweaks) per month across a range of business fronts. For example, I chose social media, digital marketing, products / services, process and kept the 5th item free for anything that doesn’t fit in those categories or it could be a repeat of the above.
- Write one tweak under each heading. The tweak you choose might be for short term gain, general improvement or you could play the long game and break down a larger project into small steps.
- Over the course of the month, at your leisure, pick one tweak to start and complete (in the same sitting). It might be updating your Instagram bio picture and editing your description to more clearly explain your business. That’s one tweak down.
- Keep each tweak small, no more than 30 minutes each or it could start to become a full blown project. We’ve already established that we never feel like we have time to tackle big projects when we’re busy, so keep it short and sweet.
- Download and print the monthly planner and business improvements checklist and put it somewhere you will actually look at it. Somewhere near your computer or office desk perhaps. Somewhere it’s in your face and that you can’t cover up with coffee cups, scribbled notes and chocolate wrappers (😬 it’s a weakness, what can I say?).
At the end of the month you’ve made 5 small changes that are contributing to a more functional, effective and beautiful business. At the end of the year you will have made 60 tweaks to your business. Can you IMAGINE the improvement that’s going to make? Huge!!
And it doesn’t have to stop at 5. I often find that by completing one small, easily achieved job I feel more motivated to complete similar or larger tasks. This might just be the gateway you needed to finally sitting down and really investing the time in your business.
Here’s a list of quick business improvements to get you started
Update your Instagram bio picture and description
Install a planning and scheduling app on your phone
Create a branded hashtag and go back and hashtag your best posts
Pin 5 of your Instagram posts to your Pinterest account
Add call-to-actions to your website (buttons or links directing your visitor to take action. Request a quote etc)
Setup Google Analytics
Create a Google business listing
Setup your social media feed on your website
Spend 10 minutes updating and improving your pricing guide
Improve the description of a service or product on your website
Setup an upsell or cross-sell app on your online store
Do an audit on your branding design. Identify the top 3 items that have the weakest branding so you can add them to future monthly tweaks
Find an auto reminder app or system to remind clients/yourself of due dates
Create an online form for clients/vendors to fill out to reduce email time
Contact a virtual assistant for pricing
Sign up for digital signatures for project sign offs or contracts
Sign up using the form below and download another 30+ small business improvement ideas to help you get your monthly plan started.
The tweaks you make will be dependent on the type of business you have and where you are in your business journey. To help brainstorm your improvements you could write a list of your biggest pain points and your biggest goals and work backwards, breaking each solution down into bite size pieces. So what small changes could you make each month to improve your business overall?
Keep each months planner so you can look back and track your progress throughout the year. Find yourself some nice paper and a clipboard or pin it to your wall and enjoy ticking off each section as you complete them!
Me? I’m going to buy some beautiful recycled paper in a soft neutral colour to keep it on brand and too beautiful to ignore! Please leave me a message here or over on my Instagram if you found this useful. Happy planning!
Sign up to the Now or Never list to get your monthly planner
50 quick business improvement ideas
to help you create a more functional, effective and beautiful business.