Summer is almost here and I know this is the time for many people to spend some extra time with their family. Natasha Vorompiova, founder of SystemsRock, was gracious enough to share her advice and experience with the FreelanceMom community on what she recommends you take a look at if you want to take some extra time to enjoy the summer, but not let your business suffer. Natasha always has useful insight on using systems to get organized and reclaim your time.
5 SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR GIVING YOURSELF A BREAK (WHILE STILL MAKING MONEY)
Summer is quickly approaching.
You want to take a vacation. You need and deserve one!
It’s been so long since you’ve been able to really hang out with your kids, catch up with friends and family, show your garden some love, and just kick back and enjoy yourself.
But can you really relax when you’re running your own business?
After all, you can’t just put a sign on your door—or activate an email auto-responder—saying: “We’ll be closed until August 24th.”
So what can you do?
1. ALLOW yourself to have a break. You need to recharge and replenish.
If you attempt to put the same amount of time into your business as you were when the kids were at school, you’re going to burn out and break down.
Let clients know you’ll be on break.
2. Determine the minimum amount of money you need to make in order for your business to stay afloat and let yourself just break even while you’re on vacation.
If you’ve been keeping track of your expenses and profits, you know your breaking even point.
If not, sign up for a free account with Outright to help you manage these financial aspects of your business.
Once you know the facts, determine the number of clients you need in order to meet your bottom line and line them up ahead of time.
Some of my clients find it really useful to offer their existing customers a special package or upgrade. Others have a lot of success with asking past clients for referrals.
3. Put your business on autopilot.
Eliminate as much manual work as possible. One of the main reasons you started your own businesses is to experience more freedom—freedom to be in charge of our schedule and go at your own pace. Use technology to help you attain that.
Requesting testimonials can be automated by creating a Google form with questions you want clients to answer, embedding it in a template of a “I’d love to hear your feedback” e-mail, and sending it every time you need to request a testimonial.
Here are 5 areas you absolutely must automate in your small business.
4. Hire help.
It’s summer. You can find very affordable interns, because students are on vacation and looking for extra cash. Of course, the trick here is finding a responsible person who can actually help and not create additional work for you.
This is where having systems (especially ones that are clearly documented) in place comes very handy.
- If you didn’t get a chance to do this yet, here is a step-by-step process:
- List your daily business responsibilities and make a note of those that can be delegated.
- Use this template to create a brief description of what needs to be done and how.
- Put all descriptions in one folder and advise your new hire on how to navigate instructions for projects.
- Before committing to working with someone, give them a test project–something small and useful. Pay them for their work and decide if you want to have that person on your team.
5. Recognize that a little time goes a long way.
Many of us don’t have a lot of time alone during the summer. Having 1-2 hour chunks of time for focused work is a luxury. So, when you do get it, make the best use of it.
Use the smaller periods of time for preparation. Short work periods can move forward a big task. Plus, when we are under pressure to finish something quickly, we might easily accomplish a task that normally would take us 3 times as long.
10-20 minutes can be enough to write an outline for a post, find an image for an article, make changes to the proposal template and send it to the client, etc.
These extra 10-20 minutes are everywhere.
You’ll find them when you are standing in line at the grocery store, waiting at the doctor’s office or subway platform, or waiting for a friend to pick you up for dinner or for your daughter to finish her dance lesson.
As you can see, summer does not and should not be stressful.
Use your summer time wisely!
Make time for yourself and your family as well as your business. With a little bit of effort it is very doable.
What areas of your business can you put on autopilot this summer and where do you find ‘hidden’ time and how do you use it?
Natasha Vorompiova is the founder of SystemsRock, architect of business systems that work, a Certified Book Yourself Solid Coach and teacher at Tadah Learning Center. Her clients are small business owners who start their businesses with passion and a desire for freedom, but find themselves stuck and buried in day-to-day operations. Natasha creates systems that ensure clients get more done in less time and pave the way for greater profits and long-term success. Check out the FREE Systems Chick’s Guide to Transforming Busyness Into Business for simple ways to grow your business.