Despite flu shots and our best efforts here at home, I returned from my latest business trip with the flu. And this year the flu is nasty, though Tamiflu was a godsend. As soon as I started to feel even slightly better, my husband got it rapidly followed by my daughter.
I tell you this not as a woe is me story but rather as an opportunity to show you how you can keep your business running even when you are down for the count. Yes you can still keep your small business running with these three simple strategies.
Fortunately, I got sick on a Sunday so I was able to rearrange client meetings on Monday and Tuesday. I had just been traveling, so I left my travel autoresponder on a few extra days in the hope that I would not be inundated with phone calls and emails. That worked until Wednesday. Fortunately, by Wednesday I was able to sit in bed with my laptop and put in three to four hours of client work each day. I also had a special e-newsletter scheduled, so I knew I had to get that written. But other than that, I put all other non-client projects on hold.
What went by the wayside?
Cooking meals for my family. I have wonderful friends who dropped off soups at the front portico to avoid our germs. Bob picked up a roast chicken one night. We ordered in take out another evening and we got by. I often joke that no one starves in Cucina Avery.
Laundry. I spent the better of Sunday catching up on dirty clothes. I loathe doing laundry so it was nice to have a break.
Networking meetings. It’s my goal to network at least one group per week and with three individuals. No one wants to see you anyway when you are sick.
Website project. Sorry, Sacha. I am catching up on my to do list this week.
A presentations course I had planned to start taking this month. The world is not going to end if I start it in March.
Time Management – Calendar
The first system I have is a calendar. It’s color-coded with post-it notes as I am a visual person (no surprise!). By having a plan set in your calendar you can easily know what you can move to when. You will be amazed how much you can accomplish when you have written goals.
Finding System – a better way to File
Of course, the paperwork piled up while I was sick and now my office is not as organized as I would like. But last summer, I set up the finding system* in my office and it has been a complete game changer for my business. I know exactly where my client files are and can easily put my hands on any document I need in seconds. I also know that I can organize my office over the weekend in under half an hour. That’s not daunting at all, right!?! And don’t most of us not organize our offices because it’s so overwhelming?
(*Barbara Hemphill and Productive Environment InstituteTM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
I have ready-made templates for ezines in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. My team (see Support below) knows exactly how to format each ezine to get it out in my brand style and with minimal effort.
Each process of my business is outlined in an Operations Manual and my team knows where to find it in Dropbox. If I need to ask a team member to take care of a task for me, I don’t have to teach him/her how to do it. It’s already written in the manual.
This takes time to create. Frankly, all great systems have an up-front investment of time. But when you are well, taking at least one day a month to focus on your business not just work in your business is mission critical to your success.
Count on Your Support Team
Can you delegate some of your work?
If you don’t have any sort of a team in place, please start looking for the right people. My business world changed when I started delegating out the tasks that are not my strength. I began with a Virtual Admin (VA), bookkeeper and website developer.
I now have an Online Business Manager (OBM) who knows my business goals and has a team of VAs to help me accomplish them.
I had a rough draft of the e-newsletter already. I knew that my amazing team from Sassy Lasses could easily take over the editing and they already handle the back-end administration. Problem solved.
Want to see more? Check out my video at (youtube link).
How to be a Solopreneur with the Flu
If you want to learn more about how to use systems to enhance your success at work, let’s schedule a phone call
Here’s to you staying healthy!