A good couple of years ago a friend and I sat down over snacks and drinks and talked about what we want to achieve business-wise, and what we need to implement in order to make that happen. We both do project work in our other lives, so we have a few ideas, and we’ve both made some changes already, but for me at least, life kept intervening.
The last 14 months have been very disrupted for me and my business. Just when I would start to get traction, something really big would come up that would require my full attention. For the last 9 months, it’s been the kind of big that I had to put things aside almost completely, and while I did continue with my day job, even that ended up being very part-time. If you follow me on social media you’ll have seen that I’m planning on being back up and running again properly by Easter. Which means it’s time that I started to ease myself back into things.
Today was the first non-public holiday day of the year, so I went and bought my diary for 2020. I know this seems like an archaic thing to do, but I find it the easiest way to keep track of my market and major family commitments, and above all, for tracking my hours for my day job – I work on a contract basis, so I need to be very on top of that so I know how much to charge.
Ostensibly, I work 4 days a week in my professional career, and 1 day for myself, as The Sewphist. But you know how it goes, I never keep track of those hours, and it’s way too easy to find myself at the end of my day not having put in the right sort of time on the right sort of activities. So this year, I’m not just going to track the hours I’m directly charging for in my day job, but also the hours I spend on The Sewphist, drawing and sewing. And on marketing, which is not the same thing as being on social media, as much as I’d like to think it is. Tell me I’m not the only one who falls into that trap?
I haven’t sat down and done a business plan for this year yet, so I haven’t set my over-arching goals, but what I’m hoping to achieve by starting to better track my hours spent is three-fold:
- accountability – making sure I’m spending time doing the right sort of activities for my business
- effort to results tracking – once I’m ready to start selling again, being able to see a correlation between hours put in and sales (at least I hope this follows)
- having a record of hours put in to guide me paying myself, and then doing so regularly
I can’t actually work in the business at the moment, apart from drawing, so I guess now is the perfect time for me to spend some time thinking about what I want and how I’m going to achieve it.