Breakfast was over, I had grabbed a coffee and was about to head toward the office when the ‘phone rang. Now the other hand was busy.
On the other end of the line was Tricia. Tricia had recently started a physiotherapy business and returned from holiday with what is recognised as a seasonal ‘gripe’ – although perhaps a little more of a reality check for those such at Tricia – a newbie to running her own business.
“Charlie, I’ve been away for two weeks, batteries recharged and ready to get back into ‘it.’
‘Good for you.’ I heard myself reply as I juggled the coffee and found a seat.
‘The trouble is, there is nothing happening – all my regular clients are away on holiday and I’m sure I’m not going to hit my targets for next month. I’m worried about my year-end totals.’
When I say that this reality check is something that many newbies find difficult to deal with, it happens to us all and it’s essential that we understand that business – like the people that run the business – its a seasonal thing and we need to make allowances for the roller-coaster of enquiry, order, invoice, payment and the impacted cash-flow.
‘Think about this Tricia. I began. Worry shows that you are aware of where your business should be although the emotion of ‘worry’ does not help you get ‘there.’
‘But it’s mid September – and just fourteen weeks until the end of the year …’ came the reply.
‘More likely just the 12 weeks Tricia.’ I suggested. Think about Christmas.
Stony silence from Tricia. She was listening and I wanted to help her.
Fifty two weeks of the year, take away your three weeks of holiday/vacation, another 10 days of public holiday, all topped by your best customer taking a much needed break … it means we need to really sit down and take a look at our business ‘seasons’ and budget accordingly.
‘Don’t worry about not making the end of year targets, there is nothing you can do to impact this just now. Stick to your original plan, keeping close to your clients and keep pitching the business.’
Take it month by month, week by week and prioritise your daily tasks. ‘Make it easy for you to finish the week on top every week – and start thinking about how you would like to finish the year.’
It’s great that Tricia is thinking for the future as next month we’d be talking about how she wishes to start the year in understanding that business is indeed seasonal, as we take time for a coffee and plan the reality check that is the ‘first year in business.’