I am amazed at the amount of useful and free tips and advice available. Webinars, teleclasses, e-books, newsletters, free reports, CDs. All from excellent providers including Chris Cardell, Ben Croft, Steve Clarke, Wendy Dashwood-Quick. The challenge is that I could spend at least two days every week just learning about social media. So, here are my tips for this week.
1. Focus. I believe that the gurus talk about spending 80% of your time in your business and 20% on your business.. With a start-up I would probably recommend 60-70% in and 30-40% on. Yes it is great to have twitter, facebook, a great website, LinkedIn and all those other mechanisms. They should not take up all of your time. The balance is focus. Keep the balance right.
2. Plan. The easiest way to manage all of those tasks is to plan. Put some structure in place. I have some simple rules. Accounts are done the first day of the month (for the previous month). I network twice a week. I do my admin on a Friday and I only tweet etc once a day. Set some simple targets to help get all aspects of your business into the time available – that’s planning, service development, marketing, finance, admin….have I missed anything?? oh yes – delivery! A useful website that gives a task management tool and other resources free is venture navigator at www.venturenavigator.co.uk. they have online assessment tools, resources such as articles and an online community.
3. Take Time Out. This one is probably more important than the first two. I have been over-focusing on my business and really didn’t notice until I started to put on weight (I had stopped running), was dashing up to my office at every opportunity, and seemed to only be able to talk about my business. Great that I am so passionate but when you start waking up every morning at 3.00 a.m. with your brain whizzing full of new ideas, you should realise that it is not sustainable. Back to my relaxation activities. Running, relaxing baths with music and candles and a technique I find really works when I cannot sleep. I count backwards from 500. I have never got to 200. It really works. For me, it;s more effective than counting sheep, imagining myself somewhere wonderful, clenching and relaxing muscles and all those other techniques. Try it. For anyone setting up a business for the long-term, yes you will need to work hard but you also need to pace yourself.
On to this week. Monday the accounts. Tuesday, I attended Business Link’s half day Boot Camp taster workshop. A free half day to find out about the Boot Camp programme for high-growth businesses. High-growth means expected turnover of £500k within three years. If you have this, you can apply for their residential boot camp. Well worth investigating. Wednesday – client coaching. Thursday was the Women’s Monthly Meeting of the Essex Business Networking at the Miami Hotel in Chelmsford. The first Thursday of the month from 10.00 to 12.00. Free and brilliantly run by Glenys Chatterley. The EBN is open for all. www.essexbusinessnetwork.co.uk
Reading For The Week – this week it is “The Beermat Entrepreneur” by Mike Southon and Chris West. An interesting and easy read covering the essentials from great idea (you can write it on a beermat) to “seedling enterprise, sapling enterprise and mighty oak”. The serious of hurdles are listed in one of the appendices.
Want to have a laugh? Here is first video film featuring my thoughts on a Social Media seminar by Wendy Dashwood-Quick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO4OKrF7UU4
My father-in-law is 91 on the 6th August. He is very sprightly and despite recently being unwell with various visits to the hospital, he remains fiercely proud and independent. Within a week of his return from hospital, he dismissed his carers and whenever I talk to him, he speaks of one project or another. We planned to visit him today. I got up early and took the dog for a 3 mile run. Returned, showered, dressed and turfed Guy out of bed. We all piled into the car and set off from Kelvedon onto the A12. I then phoned Harry (his name is James but I renamed him Harry when it got too confusing when they are both together) to say that we were on our way. Silence.
“Oh, you’re coming today are you?”.
“Yes, it is your birthday today”.
“Oh, I was expecting you tomorrow”.
“It is your birthday today”.
“Oh, I thought it was tomorrow and people are coming to decorate the house today”.
“I guess we are coming tomorrow then”. Don’t you just love your family? So, about turn, back home and here I am on the computer again.
Have a lovely weekend everyone.
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