1st Quarterly Check in for entrepreneurs
GUYS! The first quarter of the year is a wrap!!
As entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs, I feel we do a TON of planning at the beginning of the year.
We find a word to guide us through the new year, we make vision boards, we reflect on the past year and plan for a progressive new one. We outline BIG GOALS for our businesses & brands.
These are all awesome things, I did them right alongside you.
However, I want us to keep that energy going all year long.
So join me in a quarterly review!
Let's start with your word for the year. If you didn't have a word, maybe you had a theme? Or a focus? or none of these and you can skip this part.
My 2018 word was INTENTION
For me, this word meant to be applied in my content creation, collaborations, services and how I engaged with others. I wanted to not just go through the motions of business, but instead have intention behind everything I do.
So let's check in:
- have I actively applied my 2018 word these past few months?
- have I kept it at the forefront or have I let it slip?
- what actions can I take moving forward to keep my word active the next few months?
- does the word still mean the same thing to me?
- do I need to change my word?
Check in with your 2018 and see how you feel about it, does it still apply? Have you kept it active in your work as intended?
Some things you could do to keep your word present these next few months:
- doodle it in your planner this month/week
- write a social media post about it
- blog about it
- create a design with it and print it out so you can have it in your office
- make a wallpaper with it and keep it on your desktop or phone
We made some huge goals this year. Do you remember them? I hope you wrote them down somewhere, let's get them out and evaluate how things are going.
Check in with your 2018 goals:
- do you remember them without looking them up?
- have you been actively working towards them?
- have you achieved parts of them or even completed some?
- do you need to adjust them?
- do some of your previously set goals not align with your vision anymore?
Check things off if you've accomplished them! Now look them over and see the actions you've been taking these last few months have been working you towards your big goals for the year.
It's totally okay if you need to readjust them. That's healthier for your business than ignoring them completely and not setting any new goals.
Now let's see how we can work on our big goals moving into the 2nd quarter:
- write them out again, even if you're keeping them the same. Reaffirm them.
- share your goals with a friend or business buddy.
- share some or all of them on social media if you can be public about them.
- look over your big yearly goals and see how you can break some down into a smaller goal this month
- break that down further into several weekly goals and possibly even break those down into daily tasks. Let's actively work on your big goals!
Did you create a vision board? This could have been a big poster board, a notebook, a single piece of paper, a video, a blog post, etc...
There are many styles of vision boards created across endless mediums.
If you created one, take a moment to meditate over it.
This doesn't need to be intense. You don't need to sit on a pillow in a specific position while zen music is playing in the background. Let's just take 1 minute and without distractions, look over your vision board. Try to do so without judgement or any negative talk. Sometimes that part is particularly difficult.
Go on, I'll be here when you're done.
Now that you've given yourself time to soak in the vision you had at the start of this year, let's dive into it a bit more.
- do those visions still hold true? Do they still resonate with you & your business?
- do you feel out of sync with it?
- does it feel good to look at it? take a moment here to ponder why/why not
- have any of your visions come to fruition? Have they started to?
- do you keep your vision board within sight regularly?
How many of you absolutely LOVE creating these vision boards? If so then why not recreate them every quarter? Even if you're still in alignment with it, why not give your vision board some renewed energy each quarter?
Plus they're really fun to make! You can recreate the same vision board in a different medium if you want to get creative!
Learning is an important part of progress! Let's take a non-judgmental look at what we've learned so far this year.
- What has worked well these past few months? Promotions, social media posts, strategies, collaborations, projects, challenges, etc...
- What didn't work?
- What had a different outcome than expected?
- What mistakes were made?
- How could they be prevented?
- What was your best ROI (return on investment)? not just monetary investment, but think of your time & effort as well.
- Who have you observed that has done something that you could learn from?
- Who have you worked with or talked to that inspired you or taught you something new?
- What efforts were made in learning new things in your personal or business interests?
- Out of any and all courses, lectures, presentations, webinars, books, podcasts, etc... that you digested, which was the most profound?
This is a powerful section, so spend some time here. After honestly going through and reviewing what worked and didn't work, take a moment to learn from them. Why did something work so well? Why did another effort lack?
After this evaluation, you can create strategies moving forward that can turn over more in your favor.
We've got to chat about your money! I know some of you are probably a bit overwhelmed in this category since tax day is right around the corner. That's also why it's a great time to look into it!
- If this year's taxes were overwhelming, was it related to the systems you have in place (or don't have in place)?
- do you do regular bookkeeping?
- If you have multiple revenues of income in your business, what was the most profitable this last quarter?
- What was the least profitable service or product these last few months? Do you know why?
- Have you evaluated your spending? Are you spending too much or even too little on your business?
- Check in with your profits this last quarter, how do you feel about those?
- Are you on track for any monetary goals set?
- Do you feel good about the systems you use for getting paid?
This isn't everyone's favorite subject. You might hate it so much that you've outsourced it.
If bookkeeping is such a headache for you, try reaching out to a biz buddy and set up a monthly date to sit down and go through your expenses & profits. Keep in mind they don't have to be local! I get on a Zoom call with a friend and we sit there often in silence just getting our shit done. As simple as that sounds, it's powerful. It's a blocked out time with a specific purpose that someone else is holding you to. You can do this for more than just bookkeeping.
SYSTEMS & BACK END
On a regular basis it's a good idea to take a good look at all your systems. Look over your site, your project management, your client management, the systems & tools you use to run your business in the front and in the back!
- Run through your client experience. Before they even talk to you, what are they seeing, how are they guided, do you have automations in place that need to be reviewed?
- What about processes you have within your services?
- Do you send out client guides, welcome packets, etc...? Review them to be sure they're up to date and on par with your brand & what you offer.
- Check in with your opt-in. Does it need updating?
- Do you have an automation sequence set up in your newsletter system? Give it a look. Test it out.
- Were there any errors, or issues created by one of your systems or lack of one in the past few months?
- Check in with the analytics of your site this past quarter, how do you feel about them?
- What can you do to get the traffic you're looking for moving into the 2nd quarter?
- Which post or page got the most traffic these past few months?
There are endless amounts of systems and tools you may or may not have in place. I can't pretend I know all you awesomeness you got going on in your business. Just don't be afraid to give them a regular check-up! It keeps you looking updated and your messaging relevant to your brand & services.
This is the final area we'll look over. We want to keep our profiles and branding current.
- Does your profile image need an update?
- Look over your bios on whatever social media platforms you have a presence on, are they representative of your message? Your personality? What you offer? Your brand?
- Do any of your visual branding elements need a refresh?
- Revisit your about me section of your site, could it use a refresh?
- When is the last time you did an introduction on your favorite platform?