Valentine’s Day is this weekend and if you see this as a key moment in business then this weekend then you should be relaxing, as your hard work is done! Why? Planning.
As I mentioned in my first blog of February, the month of love, in each blog I’m sharing 13 things I love about business. Last week it was all about people – https://scottmedia.uk
This week 13 tips to help you with Planning.
I love planning. The truth is planning is not natural to me, I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about the joys of planning. Although I don’t love it naturally, I’ve learned to love it.
I know myself very well. I’m a big thinker, a dominant personality, with lots of ‘red’ in my personality (using the DISC model), lots of yellow (social, loves people) and very little blue (detail). However, I’ve learned through years of planning and working in newsrooms, that it’s the key to success.
Tips to help you love planning and make it work for you.
- Know yourself:
Are you, like me, terrible at planning and you need to learn that skill?
Are you someone who plans to the nth degree and never gets anything actually done? Get some training to ascertain this, so you can take action to work with your personality.
- Get a physical planner:
These days, it’s very easy to do all things online however, it’s been proved that writing something down makes it more certain it will be done. Very important if, like me, planning doesn’t come naturally. There are plenty of planners on offer.
- Creative planning:
As a creative, you may find the formats of some of the existing planners too rigid for you. If this is the case, create your own planner, in a way that will keep you on track, whether it is colour marker pens or working on larger scale, with big sheets of paper. The main thing is to discover a way that will ensure you plan!
- You are a natural planner:
But do you have analysis paralysis? You plan and research and prepare but you are actually hiding from taking action. You need a coach to work on your mindset.
- Think a quarter ahead:
(if you want to work with the media at least six months ahead).
Valentine’s Day gift guides in magazines or created by bloggers, or online publications will have been prepared before Christmas. Get ready early e.g. photographs descriptions, stories ready to go. Help them plan, and you’ll get good coverage.
- Working with a team:
Help them to plan at least a quarter ahead, or longer if your team is bigger. One person not doing their bit can stall a whole plan so get buy-in from your team. Also listen to their ideas too, if they feel they have skin in the game, they will be more enthusiastic.
- Solo entrepreneurs:
If you work with other freelancers, make sure you add them into your plan, so you know when they need to be given work, and they understand your timetable for producing work.
- Plan for holidays:
Make sure you plan in contingency for when you take holidays. This needs to be written into your quarterly plan, so that you can arrange work in advance. Write and then schedule work for social media posts. Make sure team members, know what they have to take over, if you are away, or buy-in skills to help your business working when you are away.
- Annual special projects or seasonal events:
Remember to add these to your plans, don’t forget them, just because they’re always there. These are the sort of activities where you have to plan many months before, so an overview of the year to go alongside your quarterly plans will help you, if this is relevant to your business.
- Unexpected events:
If your business is one that supports people and there are regular occasions where one-off events occur, try to plan in some ‘wiggle room’ within your quarterly plans to allow for these. This happens to my business sometimes, when serious national events take place, and I have to contact clients to share their views.
How do you communicate with your clients, and potential clients? I send out a monthly newsletter, and I post at least daily on my different social media platforms, and write and post blogs.
All of these things need to be planned for, and should be part of your quarterly planning. Focusing on the theme for each month. Even if you decide to outsource the work, you still need to plan the themes and content.
Plan time to find out what is happening in your industry. What are the latest technologies, ideas, news? Knowing this will keep you up to date, and ensure you are providing the best service to your clients.
- New products:
Think ahead about new products or projects that you want to develop. How are they going to fit into your plan? What will you need in place for them to work? If it involves a new skill, for example, creating online courses and workshop, then find the right people to help.
Next week I’ll be sharing my top 13 tips about my love of the media.