Happy 2019, Tiders! To start off the new year, Tuesdays Together groups met to learn about “Business Planning.” Here in the nation’s capital, we are so lucky to have someone like Sarah of Love & Spreadsheets as a member of TTDC! Sarah didn’t just chat about a generalized business plan, this girl taught us about seven…yes SEVEN types of plans we should have for our businesses! Before you start feeling like you’re behind and unprepared, let me share a bit about each one because you may already have some of these in place.
First, is your “Weekly Plan.” This includes things like working hours, office hours, and your weekly workflow. Do you have a plan for your week? Do clients know when to expect a response from you? Is your plan driving your business? Or is “whatever the day brings” consuming your days?
The second plan is your “Financial Plan.” This includes elements like sales goals, revenue plans, and spending plans. If you have a solid financial plan in place, you won’t have those moments of panic after receiving bank or credit card statements.
In addition, Sarah suggests having a “Marketing Plan.” This includes content planning, advertising, and networking. Do you spend too much time wondering what you should post to social media? Or randomly throw money towards styled shoots and Facebook ads? We’ve all been there. Having a marketing plan makes sure that all those tasks you’re already doing and spend quite a bit of time (and money) on are working together to achieve a goal….not just a few more IG followers.
Another plan we should all have is a “Project Plan.” This one is my personal favorite because I have always enjoyed planning creative projects! A project plan consists of both internal and client projects. I use HoneyBook to plan client projects and a mix of Pinterest, Trello, and printed mood boards to plan internal projects.
The fifth plan Sarah suggested to us was a “Growth Plan” for goals, education, connection, and (maybe) hiring/outsourcing. Do you set growth goals? What do you like to use? How do you break down your goals so they aren’t overwhelming and become achievable? Many of us love the Powersheets from Cultivate What Matters. I’ve also been enjoying my Sugar Paper planner that gives me plenty of space each month to record monthly and weekly goals! Is making new connections a goal of yours? Attending monthly meetings with your local Tuesdays Together chapter is a great place to start!
A “Maintenance Plan” was Sarah’s sixth suggested plan. Just like our vehicles, our businesses need regularly scheduled maintenance to prevent and problems/damage. It’s up to you how often you do them, but the most important part is to get them planned and accomplished. It’s helpful to not only do these yourself, but also to bring in some outside opinions. I have gotten such great feedback when I spend time reflecting with other creative business owners who have pointed out things that I didn’t see! Get together with a few other business besties and have them ask questions, look at your website, run ideas past them. I’m sure you will find a few things that could use a tune-up!
Planning for down time, a much needed break, a chance to recharge your batteries is the last plan, which is a “Rest Plan.” These should happen regularly for smaller breaks and include larger breaks from time to time, too. As creative entrepreneurs, it probably feels like you’re always tending to your business. If you’re not working with clients, you’re blogging, editing, planning, emailing, educating, learning, etc. etc. Make sure to take care of yourself. Plan time to put the phone down, turn off the computer, spend time with friends outside of what you do, or spend time relaxing by yourself…whatever you need to find balance and enjoy the moment.
Weren’t those great suggestions from Sarah?! She gave us SO much to think about and plan for this year!
Thank you to everyone who attended January’s meeting! And a special thanks to Sarah of Love & Spreadsheets for sharing her business planning skills and Rachel E.H. Photography for taking pretty pictures! We were all so thankful to Rising Tide founder, Natalie Franke for attending this month’s meeting, too! (She’s back on the East Coast! Yay!) As usual, we had a wonderful time gathering in the spirit of “Community over Competition,” and hope to see you again soon!