As I wrote this, I was all fired up about my business (and still am)! I had spent the previous weekend in Michigan, a break from working IN my business to work ON my business. The previous Friday morning, I hit the road to meet up with three ladies I’ve known for years — my new Mastermind group! All of these women are virtual business professionals like I am, and we were all feeling like we needed to catch up and do some focused work on our businesses. So, what originally started out as a sort of working get-together has morphed into a Mastermind group with a yearly retreat! (Fingers crossed that next year we can hold this at a cabin on a lake. Oh, maybe in Canada with some of their fabulous beer and lobster! Now, where was I…?)
I returned the following Monday afternoon with a clear focus and a new energy for my business. Like the kind of buzz I had when I first started my business, and like I get every time I come away from one of these things! That is exactly why it is so critical to take a “time-out” from your business every year or so. Taking a time-out allows you to take that step away from the work so you can focus on making your business hum along even more smoothly than before.
Let me ask you a question…
When was the last time you truly felt excited about your business?
If you’re not sure of the answer, it’s time for a time-out.
For me, this focused time has forced me to take a look at our current processes and how we can improve them, all to serve our clients better.
The most exciting part of the retreat was working out the details to reposition my company so it reflects what we really do, and have done for the past several years. Repositioning my company as an online marketing support company, rather than a virtual assistance company. We still provide the same great services; but we really are not a virtual assistance company, and haven’t been for several years. I’ve never really referred to my team members as virtual assistants anyway. They are social media specialists, Infusionsoft specialists, web design specialists, copywriting specialists, content curation specialists – all marketing support services in one way or another. So, since we have been providing marketing support all along, it was time to refocus and reposition to reflect what we really are, an Online Marketing Support Company, with a team of marketing support specialists.
When was the last time you truly felt excited about your business? Click To Tweet
I’ve written before about how passionate I am about taking time away to attend live events, to network with other business owners, and to learn from speakers; but this is something different. This is contacting some of your colleagues and arranging a working retreat where you can all meet in a relaxing environment to dissect your business plans and processes to adjust certain things that aren’t working as well as they could be. Maybe you decide to scrap a service or product, or maybe you determine you finally need to hire staff. It could be you simply find a way to work through that website content you’ve been struggling with, or come up with a way to package things in a more attractive way (whether it’s a service or a product!).
So, business owners, I challenge you during this hectic (for many of us) summer season to start putting some thought into a working retreat of your own. What sort of things could you be doing better? What things are you doing well but could be promoting more? Which areas of your process are failing to make your life easier, and how can you better serve your customer?
I’m telling you, a business time-out is more than worth it. I can hardly wait for our next one!
Also published on Medium.