Back to School is the perfect time for work-at-home moms to put business resolutions into place for the coming school year. The simple act of making (and sticking with) a resolution will increase your odds for success.
No matter what your ultimate business goals, whether you want to sustain current levels of service, or attain high levels of growth during the coming year, putting a system into place that supports that goal will help you achieve success on your terms.
Resolution 1: Examine Systems – Within your Business and within yourself
• Get it on Paper – Getting every step of every system written down is a crucial step in streamlining your business. Then, you can examine specific items that could be repaired for efficiency or even removed.
• Examine Mindset, Habits and Environment – Whether you’re scared to make sales calls or you procrastinate collecting payments because you feel guilty asking for money, cleaning up these “internal issues” will go a long way toward more personal efficiency and improved business efficiency.
• Consider Marketing Systems – If you want to maintain a more steady workload, look for a marketing technique that doesn’t require much effort but gets regular, reliable results (like social networking). If you want to grow, invest in traditional marketing, which can be expensive but nets powerful results. If you want to earn more profit without putting in a considerable amount of time, leverage existing relationships by using referral offers, repeat customer offers or auto-pay options.
Resolution 2: Putting Self First, Sometimes
• Schedule self care – You give your children a “time out” when they need chill time, right? When you feel overwhelmed, although it may seem impossible during these times, it could be all the more imperative to schedule some “me time” into the calendar. No one functions at full capacity when she’s exhausted, so taking even a one-hour, no-work lunch with a friend, or getting a pedicure at a favorite spa, or taking an entire weekend day to spend time with the family will improve your efficiency once work beckons – and it will.
• Pass on projects – If possible, take on only projects that fit into the criteria you plug into a “non-negotiables” filter. Create a list of must-have items. They may include a free day on the weekend, the ability to take an unexpected day off work if the need arises, or projects that require creative stretch. If a project comes up and doesn’t fit designated criteria, pass it on.
• Hire help – If you aren’t particularly skilled with numbers, hire a bookkeeper. If you’re not proficient at marketing, hire a marketing specialist. If you’re awesome at all things business, but don’t enjoy the housework, hire a housekeeper to free up more time for your company. The key: if you can work more billable hours, or generate more revenue by hiring a professional, then the investment pays off.
Resolution 3: Communicate
• Communicate your vision to your team, affiliates and even customers – Team members, who feel they know what they are working toward, are more effective. Affiliates who know and respect an entrepreneur’s vision can better share referrals and services. And customers who know an entrepreneur is committed are more likely to communicate their needs and desires – making the company more effective.
• Give team members feedback – Conduct regular performance reviews and acknowledge team members’ hard work, and give your team members a chance to provide feedback. This system adds motivation and efficiency for everyone involved.
• Work on your own terms – If you’re booked for the next week and a client approaches with a new project, feel comfortable telling the new client you can’t start until the following week because you’re booked solid. Clients will respect the decision, knowing their projects will receive the same time and attention to detail.