Whether you’re a new VA or have been in the game for some time, we ALL know that our VA business can be so much more than a means to earn an income. For starters, there is the flexibility to work AND live in a way that was previously unattainable when we were ‘working for the man’.
We get to set the rules and the boundaries in our business, and that’s an amazing benefit that comes with running your own business.
But when you’re your own boss, it can be easy to get caught up in the ‘doing’… so much so that we may even risk losing sight of what we’re building and why.
And let’s be clear here; there’s no one else who has the power to pull yourself out of that funk better than you. It IS your business after all – your love, your passion, your responsibility.
By simply spending some time working ON your business, you can breathe some fresh life into it.
It’s something I do every year after the Christmas and New Year’s rush is over… I plan some quiet time when I know I can have the headspace I need, and run through these steps to craft my plan for the year ahead.
CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
That’s right – cast your mind back over the year that was and take stock of what you’ve achieved. Get out your pen and paper and make a list. What have you done that has been a personal win for you? Whether it’s landing your ideal client, achieving a financial goal, learning a new skill that you can add to your service offering, or simply keeping the wheels turning – it’s all worth celebrating.
DO A BUSINESS SWOT ANALYSIS
You may have done a SWOT analysis in the past, but it’s not a once-only exercise. Your SWOT is something that is ALWAYS going to change as your business evolves over time. And it’s not hard to do (if it is, you’re doing it wrong!). What are your strengths, challenges (weaknesses), opportunities and threats in business. Look at your key services and ask yourself honestly what’s working and what’s not. What are the gaps you need to fill, and how will you do that?
SET SOME GOALS
Goal setting is an exercise that we should all be doing, and if you’re writing down your goals – all the better! One thing is certain; if you don’t strive to achieve something, nothing will happen. Without goals or targets in your business, you risk losing focus, momentum and direction… and that’s not a nice way to operate. Setting goals allows you to take control of where you are heading – to set your course and navigate a path to where you ultimately want to be. Do you want more clients? Is there a financial goal you would like to achieve? Perhaps you want to develop a new service, or build your business into a team or agency structure. By committing these goals to paper, you are already on your way to achieving them.
DEVELOP A STRATEGY
Use your SWOT and your goals to make an action plan. Perhaps you can break it down into 30 / 60 or 90 day sprints where you focus on a particular element and follow your strategy to achieve the outcome. It’s your helicopter version of a to-do list, but it’s designed to move your business forward in a dramatic and tangible way.
By spending time ON your business, you are setting yourself up for success. You are being a focused and proactive business owner who understands the benefits of stepping back to grow.