This week we are in part 2 of the series, “The 3 Maintenance Plans Every Solopreneur Needs”. Last week, we looked at why you need a personal maintenance plan and this week we will look at why you need a business maintenance plan.
What is a Business Maintenance Plan?
There’s another name for it, “Regular Reviews of Your Business”. Fancy name, right?
This is a block of time set aside to review and examine your business to see how it is doing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
This week, our focus will be on quarterly reviews, which is a long enough chunk of time so you can see what is happening in your business and make adjustments as needed.
Why Should You Have A Business Maintenance Plan?
To become an intentional and strategic leader of your business.
As a solopreneur, you wear a lot of hats. Marketer, bookkeeper, customer service, service provider, project manager, and a whole lot more.
Each role is time and energy-consuming in its own way, often leaving little room for anything else.
Does the thought of adding something new to your schedule make you shudder? If it did, that means you need this time for review even more.
Having freedom and flexibility in our schedules and fulfillment in our work are probably two of the biggest reasons many of us started a business. The reality often turns out to be that our business becomes another j-o-b.
All too soon we get lost in the day-to-day of running the business as we move between our roles of a business owner and worker bee and everything in between.
When we finally do come up for air, we wonder where the time has gone, why are we so tired, and sometimes ask, is this worth it?
This is where setting time aside for the upkeep of our businesses and keeping it in working order (remember the definition of maintenance from last week?) becomes so important.
So how do you do this?
From personal experience, I know this step is a must. There are way too many distractions at home. You will always find more “should do’s” and excuses that will make it harder to focus and concentrate.
There are a lot of benefits to writing by hand. When you put pen to paper and ignore the digital world for a while, it can help you process your review questions differently. In a good way! So, grab your favorite pen, some paper, or a journal, turn off your phone, and start writing.
Create An Environment:
This may seem like an odd thing to consider, but it’s important. Creating an environment that works for you will set you up for success. It gives you space to think clearly, can spark your creative side, and can make the review process more enjoyable.
Start Asking and Answering Questions:
You need to go into your review with a plan. Are there specific things you need to know about your business? What goals you are tracking? You need a list of questions that you have about your business ready. Here’s a basic list to get you started:
- What worked well in the last 90 days?
- What didn’t work well?
- What did I say yes to that I enjoyed and/or moved me towards my goals?
- What should I have said no to?
- What is important right now? (Family, Friends, Career, Personal, etc.)
- Are my goals still worth pursuing?
- Are my goals in alignment with my values and priorities?
- What goals/projects need to be carried over into the next quarter?
You can customize these questions to reflect your unique business and situation.
Taking the time to ask, and thoughtfully answer, these questions allow you to identify trends in your business, identify opportunities, consider pivots you need to make, and note what did work and celebrate it.
Getting lost in the day-to-day often means we keep going from one thing to the next without acknowledging the wins and successes, and that’s not healthy.
At the end of your review, make a list of what you discovered and what you learned. Take a few minutes to ask if you need to change plans, adjust goals, or simply keep doing what you are doing.
AND DON’T STOP THERE!
Now that you’ve completed your quarterly business review, get it back on your schedule in the next 90 days.
Do you have a Business Maintenance Plan?
Do you regularly set aside time to review how your business is doing?
Are you tired of your business running you?
Then it’s time to think like a CEO and redefine yourself as the intentional and strategic business owner you’re called to be.
How will you achieve that? By scheduling purposeful time to review and examine your business regularly.
When you take time each quarter to:
- Determine what worked
- And what didn’t work
- Review Important stats
- Evaluate what you learned and plan for the quarter ahead
You are taking the necessary steps toward running your business instead of your business running you.
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Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer, WordPress Website developer, and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her dogs Oliver & Mochi. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. Marta also fully believes that change starts with gratitude and that gratitude can change everything. Find out how with the “Grateful Friday 7-Days of Gratitude Starter Kit”