Is it too early to be thinking about summer plans on tax day? I had a coaching call this week with an entrepreneur and that’s what she wanted to discuss. For her, June was a major month for convention, travel, vacation, and kid-out-of-school-time and she wanted to be prepared. I had my AHA before the call was done: If you are an entrepreneur, it’s not too soon! While we usually think about an intensive work time before and after a summer break, the entrepreneur has more to do than just the immediate tasks.
Whether you are in direct sales or some other business, as an entrepreneur your planning needs to go beyond a two-or three week period. Think about direct selling, for example. The people who join your team now will really be hitting their sales stride around late June. The work you do in the summer will set the stage for your fall selling season. Since you are in business for yourself, you need to constantly engage in high level planning.
During our coaching call, six core questions absorbed most of our time. I wanted to share them with you as you start thinking about your summer.
- How up to date is your calendar? She was like most of us. Her schedule was very complete for April, mainly complete for May and June, and then sketchy after that. While June was her key month, she came to the realization she needed to be thinking about work for post-June.
- What business goals do you want to accomplish this summer? She had a clear vision. Many of her summer goals center on building business relationships through follow-up from the conventions.
- What are the most important things you need to do now to prepare for June? This turned out to be a very important question. As she talked through the answer, her accomplishments in the next two weeks will make a lot of difference.
- What do your stakeholders need to know? While she thought a lot about his business, she hadn’t gotten to thinking about what her clients expectations are going from now to the end of June. This will be the topic of several conversations between her and her clients before the summer.
- What do your contractors need to know? Like the previous question, she hadn’t talked with her support team and needed to bring them into the loop on her plans and work requirements for the next few months.
- What do you need to do to fill your fall pipeline? She realized that with a time lag of 90-120 days from starting the sales process to her first payment, her October-November business depends on starting in July. This is a new awareness and shifts her July business focus a bit.
How about you? Are you thinking at a high level about your summer and fall business? If you were, how will things change?