Being an entrepreneur is one of the most full-on things you will ever do in your life. From financial responsibility, to taking charge of your own personal brand, there are a ton of things to factor into a hectic worklife. Habits and processes help add structure to a busy week: here are seven things you should factor into your schedule in order to put more method into the madness.
1. Check in with freelancers and associates
When a group of people are working together towards a common goal, it’s important that they properly communicate with one another. Talking regularly with your freelancers and associates will mean that they understand what you’re doing and you understand what they’re doing. Misunderstandings will arise when this level of frequent communication is not maintained.
Even small misunderstandings can lead to all kind problems – disputes on work that’s been done, disputes on pay, etc. Avoid all of that hassle by taking the time to check in with your freelancers and associates at least once a week, whether that’s over phone, email, or IM.
2. Have a day off
You might roll your eyes and think that this isn’t exactly a practical piece of advice, but you’re wrong (I’m sorry.) Taking time off is incredibly important. If you don’t take at least one day every week to recharge, you’ll be running on empty almost all the time. It’s pretty obvious that you’re not going to do your best work with this approach.
If you focus too much on your entrepreneurial plans and not enough on yourself, you’ll feel tired all the time and you might end up feeling disillusioned. You need to be in peak mental health to succeed as an entrepreneur because you need fresh ideas and a sense of creativity. Without a day off, you won’t feel very creative.
3. Engage on social media
Social media marketing is important. If you are able to procure a following across different social platforms, you’ll have cultivated something very valuable indeed. A few simple ideas for social media content that’s easy to produce include:
- Sharing articles commenting on the latest industry news
- Sharing thematically appropriate funny images from other websites (memes, GIFs etc)
- Sharing/retweeting posts from other established accounts and people (influencers and associates)
- Sharing photos/posts that reflect the human aspect of your business
You should aim to put out a few posts on each platform every week. With new, more advanced social media assistants becoming available all the time, this doesn’t need to be a huge time-consuming task.
Make sure you’re also responding to all of your interactions from followers, as this will help you to be seen by even more people, and will help create a sense of community.
4. One-hour financial audit
As an entrepreneur, it’s especially important that you’re acutely aware of your finances. Once a week, spend an hour totaling all of your incomings and outgoings. This is going to be especially important if you have any freelancers or employees working for you, because you certainly don’t want to find yourself in a position where you’re unable to pay the people who have worked for you. Worst case scenario, they might try and press charges.
- Doing a financial audit once a week can help you to identify where you can cut back (if you’re spending too much). Subscription services and coffees & Ubers on-the-go can quickly add up. (Services like BudgetPulse can help to make this even easier).
- It will also bring your attention to investments that are not bringing much of a return, though you might not be able to see this that accurately from just a week’s data. Make sure you feed weekly audits into a monthly profitability audit to get 100% accuracy.
- Check in with clients re invoices — but don’t send out reminders too quickly. A friendly email or phone call is a good place to start if you’re waiting for payment.
5. Review your sales pipeline
Here are a few questions that are worth asking yourself in regards to your sales pipeline:
- Are you still finding new leads?
- Are these leads valuable?
- Can you see any prospects for a sales opportunities?
- Do you have any deals that are waiting to be closed?
Remembering to consider these questions on a regular basis will help you to keep on top of your lead generation and to make sure you’re getting as many sales as possible. If the leads you’re getting all turn out to be duds, do you need to reconsider your sources? If you haven’t found any leads in a while, why not?
Not getting in enough new business can quickly kill a young start up, so prioritize follow ups and sales calls, even if you’re not ‘feeling it’. If you leave it to the end of the month — it may be too late!
If you’re running a product-based business, review your sales data and consider whether you need to up your promotional game, whether that’s on social or via email. If you’re on Shopify, knock up some personalized discount codes for your store, or install LiveChat on your WooCommerce store to increase revenue.
Small customer experience tweaks can immediately make a difference to business bottom line, so don’t always wait until the end of the month to make ‘big changes’.
6. Boost creativity with free association
When you’re working closely with others, you want them to feel that they can speak openly about their ideas. Not only does this help to encourage communication and lead to a healthier work atmosphere, but it could also lead to some exciting innovations. By interacting with your employees in a relaxed context, they will then feel like they can share anything. Make sure that you do work lunches and similar social activities. Perhaps someone who works for you has thought of some new product or service that you could be offering? Under different circumstances they might feel that it is not their place to bring it up, but where free association is encouraged, they will feel free to share.
If you are working on your own — get out there and network with people and other entrepreneurs and book in some time to share creative ideas. You can learn so much from people in different verticals and niches, so don’t be afraid to venture ‘far from home’. (You could even do some meditation and creativity boosting activities to help you recenter).
7. Review your calendar & upcoming tasks
It’s a simple thing, but it is still worth stating: you’ve got to make sure that you check your calendar on a regular basis. Be aware of everything you’re doing over the next few weeks. Ideally, you’ll have all the important dates committed to memory and you’ll just be checking the calendar to be on the safe side.
With appointments, interviews, deliveries, meetings and more to keep track of, the life of an entrepreneur can quickly become very busy – and that’s without mentioning all the work there is to do! So make sure you’re taking the time to look over that calendar every week. There are lots of apps out there to help make it even easier to do this — I love a simple Google Calendar on my phone!
If you’re not doing all of these things already, starting next week they should become a part of your weekly routine. You’ll find that it should make your life much easier. These weekly routines reflect a responsible approach to entrepreneurship — perfect for someone who’s looking for longevity. It’s well worth looking into some professional programs too, to further strengthen your skills as an entrepreneur. What’s in your weekly schedule?