My attention has been diverted away from my own business of late, three months in fact. I have been so busy with existing clients – and new clients coming on board – that I have neglected my own business.
I have long been a proponent of structuring your week for the various functions of your business. For me that’s client days on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Wednesday is business development day and Fridays are my follow up and admin days. This system has worked well for not only me, but for clients and readers of my material.
But, I’m here to say that sometimes it all just goes to pot and doesn’t happen that way at all. I have not had a business development day, nor follow up day since before Christmas, and it absolutely kills me. I know I should be working on my business; I have a million and one to do’s associated with growing my business, improving my marketing, introducing new programs. So what happened to me? Simple – life.
It all started with an eight-week summer school holidays. I resorted to burning the candle at both ends of the day in order to spend the day time with my kids. And that got the minimum of work done, the important stuff – the client work. Without them I wouldn’t have a business so they had to be my number one priority.
When school started back I made small inroads into my business and continued with the client work. We have been extremely fortunate that many new clients have come on board in the first three months of this year. And this is fabulous. But unfortunately for me I found myself stretched for resources to cope with this increased workload. I’m sure you’ve been there too. As much as I have planned for resources, I am extremely fussy when it comes to bringing people into our team. Not only do I have to be comfortable that they can do the work to our standards for our clients, but they also have to fit into my wacky world.
Yes I did just describe our business as wacky. You know why? Because I realised that not only are we able to assist our clients in many ways that other accountants are not able (or willing) to, but we have a different approach – we “get naked” with them. I wrote more about this concept on the ABN blog. It allows us to develop a relationship that is stronger than just client and service provider; it’s one of friendship and mutual respect for each other. And this means we require more from our team members than just doing the work; they have to care – really care – about our clients, and let’s face it, not everyone is like that.
So my search continues for resources, but I know I will find someone. We are breaking down all the old barriers of what it’s like to work with your accountant and forging a new path – who wouldn’t want to come along for that ride?
But, I still haven’t solved my problem. My coach has asked for one day a week for me to be working “on” my business. So I have to find it, I’m not letting him down. I’m rearranging my week. Here goes:
If you know me at all you know I am an early bird, up at 5am every morning. Lately this time has been all about clients and email. So I’m changing it up.
From 5-7am I am working “on” my business” – five days per week. That’s 10 hours – more than enough to get some of my to-do’s happening and satisfy my coach (and me).
During school hours I complete client work (and yes for the moment that means giving up business development Wednesdays). But I am going to try and reclaim Follow Up Fridays as it’s such an integral component of business. I have been able to follow up here and there at other times during the week, but not within my normal structure which makes me feel more in control of my marketing funnel. So the plan is to see the return of “Follow Up Friday” Yay!
As school holidays begin this week, I may well have to burn the candle at both ends for two weeks to cope, but that’s short term.
Conducting my business development day in two-hour blocks over the week is certainly not my preferred option, but sometimes you have to adapt to what’s going on around you. For three months I have been frustrated that I have not be able to work on my business. This solution will alleviate this frustration.
So there it is folks; I’m real, I’m human, I’m not perfect and even my own systems can fall over, but it’s all about adapting and getting back on the horse.
Have you fallen off your horse? What will you do to get back on?