I want to share a little secret with you about how I make progress in my small business. I work by myself and from home and most of the time I love it (I certainly love not having to commute and being my own boss), but sometimes it is difficult to stay focused and to ensure I’m not just treading water. It is easy to create what I call ‘busy jobs’ which make me feel as if I am working on my business, when I am actually not taking any steps forward!
In Autumn last year, I discovered the ‘100 day goal with the Business Bakery.’ What is it? At the start of the 100 days, you set yourself one single goal you want to achieve by the end. It may be a sales goal, eg I want to sell £xxx of goods by the end; or it may be a project which you want to complete by the end of the 100 days, eg creating a new website and having it live by the end. Once you have chosen your goal, you then create 100 micro-actions to get you there. The aim is to do (at least) one small action a day to move you forward to achieving your goal. You receive a workbook at the beginning, a master action list to complete, as well as daily and weekly goal sheets. You will be able to join the private Facebook group and my favourite, the wonderful and inspirational Julia Bickerstaff, who runs the Business Bakery, sends out a daily email to keep you on track. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, it is COMPLETELY FREE!
I have now completed my second round of 100 days and it has certainly helped me focus my mind, get things done, and make progress with my business. Both times I have chosen a sales goal (the second one considerably larger than the first one). Last time around I picked up around twelve days of (unrelated) consultancy work and I have to admit to it distracting me from my micro-actions. However, I still managed to hit my goal, two weeks after the 100 days had ended. This time around I hit my goal just before the end of the 100 days, with several good sales since the end of the 100 days.
Because the main goal is broken down into some very manageable ‘bite-sized’ micro-actions. It does not feel overwhelming because none of the micro-actions are, in themselves, insurmountable (although some of them may get pushed to the end of the list at times!).
Julia encourages journaling and I was much more assiduous with this, second time around. It is a great way of, firstly, keeping oneself accountable and, secondly, looking back to see how much you have achieved, so I am a big convert to this.
I find the Facebook group a great source of support too. Because the group is for small business-owners, not only creatives, there is a tremendously wide range of expertise. I will offer my input to those asking for advice when I feel I can help and I sometimes ask questions to get other people’s points of view. For somebody working alone from home this is a great support network and feels like a safe space to air ones concerns and ask questions, share successes, or just find others who are in the same boat on days when it seems really hard!
If you run your own small business and want to make progress, I cannot recommend this highly enough! Pop over to http://www.thebusinessbakery.com.au/ to check it out. (Yes I know it is an Australian website, but Julia helps people from all over the world and there is a large UK community).
The 100 day goal is not the only thing that Julia does either. One day soon I want to join her ‘Healthy Income Programme’ (which does require a subscription), because I think this is what could really take my business to the next level.
Writing regular blog posts was on my list of micro-actions on both 100 days, so that’s another one ticked off!
I can really recommend getting involved with the next round of the 100 day goal (as I write, it starts on 1st May, 2016). To check it out, just click here.
If you want to catch up with more of my blog posts, why not sign up below.