We're nearly at the end of March - how did that happen?! After what's felt like an almost endless winter we've seemingly time travelled and it's suddenly (supposedly) spring! While I get my head around the fact that we're less than 3 months away from Open Studios (more on that later) I thought I'd reflect on January to March.
As with last year I started out with the Dream Plan Do planner from Patricia van den Akker of The Design Trust. Last year I stumbled at the second hurdle... February (or the look at your accounts and do some maths chapter). With hindsight I think this was because I knew things weren't going well with my business, and had a combination of feeling stuck and not wanting to face facts (such a lovely heady combination....). Anyway, by the start of this year my facts had been very much faced and I was ready for new beginnings!
So here we are and I've completed the March chapter and lined up my next 90 day juicy goal (which relates to making a success of said Open Studios - I'll be writing about this a lot more over the coming months but if you're interested now you can read all about it here!), but for now I want to reflect on the first one.
Patricia has put the book together in such a way that you look at your business but also other aspects of your life too. I think this is particularly important for business owners as it's so easy to get totally absorbed in your work, and then forget about anything else that isn't essential to everyday life. At the start of the year I looked at the wheel of life and the wheel of business (an example of the former is below) and it was pretty dire - I'm pleased to say though that I've achieved all of the things I aimed to (including my financial targets for the first three months which is a relief as well as a surprise!). I think this is partly (and perhaps ironically) due to taking more time away from work - you can read my earlier post about this here.
My first 90 day juicy goal though was to work out what on earth I'm doing/offering then update everything to reflect and promote that (sounds simple enough - it wasn't!). Admittedly there are still a few tweaks needed (and I may need to revisit my plan to use Facebook advertising to get in front of my customers better...) but I made such good progress that I'm basically considering it achieved. As I mentioned in my post last Thursday, I had no plans whatsoever to launch a Kickstater so that was an extra job! I have to say though that coming to the end of March having achieved my goal and funded my Kickstarter (it's still running until 9 April here folks!) has made me feel a lot more positive about my business generally.
You can get your own Dream Plan Do planner here (not sponsored!) - you have some catching up to do but sticking to the schedule isn't essential. This month I really found the SWOT analysis helpful (something I've always hated doing in the past) and things like that can definitely be done at any time. Fingers crossed I keep up with it this year as I'm really seeing the difference it makes to be a bit more disciplined. Then check back with me in another 90 days!