The holiday season is the time to spend with good friends, family, to celebrate and to enjoy! As the owner-operator of a small business (as studio-owner or an instructor) heading into this time of year can become overwhelming as we try to keep business on track while entertaining, traveling or taking some much-deserved down time. What we want most of all; is for our businesses to run independently - if only for a short time!
To create the space for the holidays or vacations, we have to utilize systems to streamline and simplify our businesses.
Stepping away from the "noise" of your studio can be valuable. Time away can offer a new perspective and bring clarity around the vision you want for your business. In fact, I strongly encourage participants of my program to build in down-time in their schedules - I am a big believer in the value it brings!
There are a few strategies for systemizing your business that will help to keep things on track while you are away.
Here are the top area's I suggest you consider:
If your clients don't have their sessions scheduled as standing appointments, then this is an easy way to remove the hassle of chasing clients to book. Now is the time to schedule your clients sessions, not only for during the holidays but all the way into 2016 also. Let your clients know of your cancellation policy and offer them more than one way of reaching you to cancel.
We all know that social media can help build our presence (which is great!), but sometimes it is just so time-consuming, right?! However, with a little planning and some useful tools, you can set up a system that will allow you to sit back and relax while your posts get posted, and your tweets get tweeted. Using schedulers like HootSuite and Buffer are awesome for this time of the year. Personally, I find the interface of buffer more appealing but HootSuite has some functions that buffer does not. In Buffer, you can set up your schedule of posts for specific days and specific times of day (afternoon and evening posts tend to have more engagement - FYI). You can add articles and graphics too. Make use of the button you can add to your browser, and then it's a single click to add it to your schedule! Now you can wish your clients a Happy New Year without having to in front of a screen on New Years Day - how awesome is that?!
As a manager, you may rely more than usual on your staff so that you can spend some time out of your business - great! Actually, what I should say is; it works great IF you have the right system in place. The system you are creating looks something like this:
1. Communicate Properly - walking out saying "I'll see ya in 2 weeks" is not good practice. If you plan on being away, then assigning specific responsibilities to each individual will make it more likely that tasks and actions get accomplished. Ideally, take the time to sit down and offer guidance as to what they should be aware of, any issues that might arise and what should happen if they do.
2. Check In. If you are not going entirely off the grid, check in with your instructors while you are gone. Just once or twice. Being on the phone everyday defeats the purpose of you being away from the business!
3. Debrief. Once you get back, find out how things went while you were away. This sort of follow-up will not only help to avoid any surprises (!) but also show you where you can potentially improve the "system" for the better going forward.
This 3-step system can be used in any type of delegation scenario in your business.
You might be amazed at how much confidence you have leaving your business with these systems in place, and how much time you have on your hands.
Maybe you'll even have time for some Black Friday shopping! Which of these systems are you ready to implement in your business?