Spring has sprung (kinda) and the days keep rolling on. You're either feeling great about your progress, overwhelmed by everything on your plate, or in that massive gray area where you're either not sure what's next or not sure what to focus on. Though we (hopefully) take time for spring cleaning our homes – flipping mattresses, changing smoke detector batteries, cleaning out the garage – we often forget to give our businesses the same kind of attention.
There are four key areas where a good spring cleaning will do you a world of good.
It's tax season! Many folks already have their taxes done, but I know there are some procrastinators out there. And that's okay – what's most important is that you have an understanding of what to keep track of to make taxes – and all your financial matters – easy. This guide to self-employed taxes
is a great read if you want to get a better understanding of taxes, without getting caught up in a bunch of jargon. Whether you're trying to make Tuesday's tax filing deadline, or you just want to be better about organizing your financial life for the future, here's a list of self-employed expenses and tax deductions
that you should be tracking. Bookmark this one!
2. Calendar. Your time is precious. It's also valuable. Maintaining a calendar or planner (or if you're me, both) will help you stay on top of what's important. Notice I said *maintaining*. It's not about just signing up for Google Calendar or buying a fancy planner – you need to use these tools in order for them to work. Look at your schedule and ask yourself some questions: What do I need to make time for? What can be removed from my schedule? What do I want the rest of the year to look like? If I want to launch [your next product or service] by [the date you have in your head], when do I need to start? Plan ahead and focus on what matters.
It's easy to get stuck in a rut – especially when it comes to marketing. If you haven't reviewed your marketing strategy lately (or, you know, if you don't have one at all…) here are some things to think about: What are your current objectives? What do you want people to know about you – which key messages should be shared? Which platforms have been working best with your audience? Is there something new you need to learn or try? What are the essential marketing tasks you should be doing on a daily or weekly basis? I'm currently running my six week marketing mastermind and it feels great to have a concrete list of things to work on. I'm using Get Clients Now! to guide me along and The Next 12 Months planner to help me a) track launches and milestones and b) make sure I'm keeping myself visible.
Your surroundings matter. I started my entrepreneurial journey as a professional organizer back in 2006. One of the things I quickly learned was that often times mental clutter ends up manifesting itself as physical clutter. When we clear our space, we can also help clear up mental clutter so that we can think clearly and focus better. After a crazy last few days that involved both a conference and a family emergency, I tried to sit at my desk and just start working. But there were a million scraps of paper and notes in two different notebooks (from trying to work while scrambling around), stacks of business cards from contacts I've made the last two months…I didn't even know where to begin. But, I tapped into what I know – I need space mentally and physically in order to focus and accomplish anything. So, I spent an hour clearing off my desk, organizing my notes and quickly reviewing the cards to prioritize who I'd contact. Because of that, I was able to dig in this morning and work faster than I would have otherwise. If your space is a disaster, or could just use a lift, download this organizing plan worksheet
I hope these tips help! If you have any questions, as always, contact me anytime.
You'll also receive tips from me on how to organize, systemize and automate your business.