In less than we think, we will be cheering and saying goodbye to the year. If your year has been anything similar to mine, you may be also dreaming about taking a break, about holidays, about time off and just eating all that delicious food you will have during Christmas!
If I am totally honest with you, I was so close the other day to prepare one last newsletter to send on the first week of December saying: “See you in 2023!”
And just sit back and relax, and just let December pass. I will get back to it in January. But… I decided that I don’t want to leave things unfinished and pick them up later...That has never been a good tactic.
If something I have learned this year is that being organised and plan ahead has really help my business.
So I thought… one last push, and then I will completely disconnect and relax during the holiday period knowing things are under control and ready for when I will come back to work.
Nothing worse than trying to relax while having at the back of your mind a to-do list!
Would you join me on this? Well, if you do… here is what I am planning to do this December.
My 90 day plan
This is a new technique I have applied to my business these last months and it really helped me achieve my goals.
I used to check my objectives and goals at the end of each month, and that was fine but it is hard to see the progression and the bigger picture. Doing a 90-day plan helped me to see my progress and I can tell you, I have achieved all the goals I set for the last 3 months!
I will be planning for January, February and March. That plan doesn’t have to be super detailed and accurate, it can just be marking specific goals by the end of the month.
I also have a little plan structure in place for each month. In the first week, I prepare all my newsletters and content for the month. I try to do that in advance, so plan a minimum of 2 weeks ahead. I have a general idea and maybe tweak things as the days pass by, but having a general idea of what I am talking about every month really helps. Then another week is "pitching week", where I focus my energies on connecting with other businesses and pitching to clients.
Write your main task and divide them into weeks, so you are more focused on the tasks and you stop your mind from jumping from one thing to another. Also, I am a big fan of a to-do list and being able to tick things off!
One thing I used to do as well and should go back to it is writing little wins. I just write them in a little corner of my notebook/diary. Doesn't matter how little they are, they are wins and have to be acknowledged :)
My bank of images
In the same way that I have a topic to talk about, I create images that go with the topic in advance. I try to shoot them all on the same day so they have the same style and lighting, so it shows consistency and it looks nicer on my Instagram and Pinterest. Plus, people can then easily recognise them and associate them with me and recognise my style.
Then I will have a folder with all of them ready to use and I don't have to worry about creating new images every week.
If you haven't got the time, the energy or the interest, then it is worth thinking about outsourcing and investing in professional photography. That way you can get high-quality, on-brand pictures edited similarly.
Then your images on your website, social media and emails will look consistent.
Being consistent and constantly showing up are 2 main things have helped my business so much. It sends a clear message to your dream customers telling them that you are serious about your business, that you are there for them.
That way, when they need your services, they will remember you.
I offer a brand photography service for business owners, if you want to get all the information, just send me an email here:)
December tends to be the busiest month for everyone: Christmas drinks, office parties, etc so trying to get new bookings or dates for photoshoots can be a hard task.
That is one of the things you can leave for next year!
I offer the possibility to book for January, and that also helps me to have a better idea of how my calendar will look on the next year and my availability.
Plan events ahead
You may start the new year very motivated and with clear plan for the next months, but inevitable you will feel down or a bit sad after the festivities. Plus normally the cold weather doesn't help either.
I feel like one thing business owners should schedule into their calendar is that possibility of feeling low. There will be days you won't feel it, and that is okay.
That is why I think it is important to have that in mind and also book yourself into activities that take you away from your laptop. The issue then is that you may feel like you don't deserve or want to do a day off right now, or maybe you just came back from a break... but you definitely could do with not checking your emails for a while. You may also feel guilty for feeling that you aren't working...
Why not to check in advance if there is any networking event or class that you would like to join?
I recently realised how important is networking. I knew it was important, but I never give it as much time as I should. I think most of us feel a bit awkward going to a networking event. People say it is because is out of our comfort zone, and they may be right, but I think is because we need to find the type of event that works for us.
I discovered a new networking event community that I really enjoyed: "How Does She Do It?!"
Jo Ferrone is a lovely host that makes you feel comfortable and welcome instantly. It felt like going for a coffee with friends who are in the same professional path than you. I already signed up for the next one, so if you are going as well let me know and I will meet you there!
I found this event on Eventbrite, and it is normally where I go to find any other networking events.
Having something to look forward to would also help to keep yourself up after the holiday season.
You could even book yourself a little weekend away or a day off spend in good company. Never underestimate the power of resting. I need to apply these advice to myself more often!
Notes to take with you:
- Make a 90 day plan and set smart goals.
- Plan the topics you will talk about.
- Prepare a bank of images to show up consistently.
- Plan ahead, not only projects, also down-time!
I think December it is a great month to plan your next year ahead, so when January blues knocks at your door, you can invite it to go away!
This can be an unpopular opinion, but January is my month, it is a month for new beginnings and I want to make sure it is a good one :) I hope yours will be a good one too!