Riding the Workload Roller Coaster - Balancing Work & Life
Joking aside, being a sole entrepreneur can be a bit tricky, especially if your area of skill is seasonal.
The biggest challenge to nail down is your full weekly/monthly budget, and to plan with it. Budgeting and setting aside funds for future emergencies is a MUST. You must be prepared for the unseen, whether you work for yourself or an employer. Dave Ramsey suggests a $1,000.00 emergency fund, and 4-6 months of budget set aside for the unpredictable. That means enough money to pay all your bills for up to 6 months, even if you are bringing absolutely no money in. Dave also suggests spending cash, where possible (Kelly has been following this practice for over 6 months and LOVES it!), because when you touch money, you are less likely to spend it (there are also Apps for saving ‘change’, a note from Ashley).
(Briefly I mention “you are spending it on latte’s, people”, which is a reference to the Latte Factor – look it up!!)
So, how about some recommendations for the SLOW and BUSY seasons??? Here we share our brain dumps for each side:
WHEN IN THE SLOW SEASON…
- Keep a positive perspective.
- Take a vacation when you have the time to do so.
- Update your outreach efforts (website).
- Re-strategize your marketing efforts.
- Prep your marketing efforts so they are ready to execute (i.e. schedule your facebook posts).
- Touch base with clients for feedback.
- Reflect on areas for improvement.
- Re-evaluate your budget.
- Decide what the next investments are (new tools, hardware, software, etc.).
- Prepare any other special needs/processes for busy season (training, new hires, etc.).
- Prep your taxes.
- Meet with your vendors (CPA, Attorney, etc.).
- Catch OTHER people on their slow seasons.
- Educate yourself – research and take classes and read.
- Learn from your competition.
- GET SICK… it seems to always happen!! J Joking aside, this is the time to take care of you, pamper, rejuvenate, and all that fun self-love stuff.
- Draw up guides to follow for your processes… in-house manuals, pricing guides, interview questions… streamline your processes.
WHEN IN THE BUSY SEASON…
- Hire additional help.
- Keep up good calendar management, and don’t be hesitant to schedule BREAK / FAMILY / MEAL time. Don’t forget your priorities and responsibilities.
- Communicate clearly with clients.
- Find Apps that save you time in communication, project management, invoicing, billing, etc. (Kelly mentioned GetHarvest and also uses HoneyBook).
- Learn to say “No” – know your limitations.
- Chunk your work to maintain focus.
- Take regular breaks throughout your day.
So, in what other ways do we improve overall?
- Asking for feedback from clients (directly via email, questionnaires, online forms, printable or digital PDFs, etc.)
- Follow up with good habits, such as “Thank You” notes.
With that, we close! And remember, ACTION IS THE DELICIOUSNESS OF LIFE, so go get ya some!
Please share your additions to the above lists, in the comments below!!