Summer is coming… is your business ready?
Now is when you should be thinking about and preparing for summer but here's what happens all too often.
The 1st scenario I see is where business owners go into summer with the best of intentions to take a break. They are excited to take time off and make this the year they enjoy the summer!
But then summer gets here and they think... not today because there's too much to do today, so they plan to take time off tomorrow.
And then somehow summer is magically over… and they never get to enjoy a real break, and end up frustrated and resentful that yet another summer came and went while they were stuck working IN their business.
The second scenario is where they actually do take time away from the business. They enjoy a summer vacation, reduced work hours, and end up with a beautiful tan and lots of great memories... but when it comes to generating consistent revenue in their business, not so much.
So they decide to double down and try to figure out how to make tons of revenue in the Fall and end up coming out of summer in a state of total overwhelm that sticks with them through the end of the year.
What if you didn't have to choose between time off or consistent revenue and instead could have both? You can take time off and work a lighter schedule to check out and enjoy the summer AND have consistent revenue coming in, even while you are at the beach.
Tune into Episode 70 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast or keep reading below.
In this first post in our 2-part series, we dive into how to set your business up to make taking time off non-negotiable this summer. In part 2, we dive into how to generate revenue all summer long even when you're not working.
At a high level the answer is the same answer I always give when someone wants to scale their business and reclaim their time - you need a combination of strategy, planning, systems, and team.
And the good news is that the things you put in place to take time off over the summer are the exact same things you can leverage all year long to have a business that runs itself and remove yourself as the dependency and the bottleneck to things getting done.
1. Start with strategy and planning and consider your schedule.
Decide on Your Schedule for Summer
What do you want your schedule to be like this summer?
- No change – business as usual
- Time off for vacations
- Schedule shift – early start/end
- Reduced work week
- Or even an increased work week
No matter how much you want to work, you ultimately want 2 things:
- When you’re working, you want to be as productive as possible on the most important and aligned activities
- When you’re not working, you want to turn off the hamster wheel in your mind, fully check out and be present in the moment, and enjoy the summer
To do this, you need to balance demand with capacity.
- Demand = all the competing things you (think you) must do
- Capacity = all the time & resources you have available to do them
To start, you need to get clear on what your capacity actually is.
- How many hours and when do you want to work this summer?
- How about your team - how much and when are they working?
Create Your Q3 Plan and Optimize Your Schedule
Once you are clear on your capacity and your ideal schedule, restructure your days to optimize how you’re working and leverage:
- Capacity based planning
- Alignment based planning
- Strengths based planning
Capacity based planning ensures you don't overcommit. Leave 30% open space.
Alignment based planning ensures you are working on the right things. Everything should tie back to your vision and goals.
Strengths based planning ensures you are working in the most efficient and effective way possible for you.
To do this, you need a clear plan of what your biggest priorities and focus areas will be over the summer. What do you need to do to run the business and deliver on existing client commitments and what additional projects and marketing campaigns do you plan to take on over the summer?
Don't wait until the end of June or beginning of July to create your Q3 strategic plan, create it now so you can plan ahead. We'll dive deeper into that in the next episode.
2. Then focus on your systems
Systems are what will not only enable you to step away from the business and take time off over the summer, they are what will allow your team to run the day to day going forward. And they support changing scheduled and responsibilities that are common over the summer.
When you looked at your strategy and planning, you hopefully got clear on what you will be focused on over the summer. Once you know that, analyze:
- Where can you automate what you are doing?
- Where can you simplify and systematize what you are doing?
- What are the things that can ONLY be done by you and what can be delegated?
- Is there anything else you can cut that doesn't need to be done over the summer?
Invest the time up front now to automate what you can, document your processes and create your systems, and cross-train and uplevel your team so things can run smoothly without you.
3. Finally, let's look at your team
If there is a new hire you've been looking to make or you know someone isn't going to work out and you need to make a change, now is the time to get started on it.
It can take time to find the right person, get them onboarded, and have then trained with both of you comfortable with them running with things on their own, so the earlier the better.
This is also the time to assess if you have the right people in the right roles. You want all resources to be playing to their strengths.
If you will be delegating some of your responsibilities ensure the person who is taking it on is capable, has the capacity, gets trained and supported, and has clearly documented systems so they are set up for success.
Update your team accountabilities. We track ours in Monday.com and have a board that clearly shows who owns each core activity in the business and who their backup is. If there is no backup, now is the time to identify and cross-train someone.
Now is the time to expand or make changes within your team to be ready for summer. Cross-train, hire and onboard resources now to build up the capacity in the business.
You don't want to be in reactionary mode when you get back from vacation or time off in your business, whether it's summer or any adventure. Set yourself up NOW with the strategy, planning, systems, and team for success.
When you are ready to accelerate making your big bold vision a reality, here are 2 ways I can support you:
- Want to spend a full day together working on your strategy, planning, systems, and team to make time off non-negotiable this summer? Learn more about working together privately in a VIP Strategy Day here.
- Looking to scale your business faster? Our Simplify to Scale Business Accelerator helps you eliminate unnecessary complexity and build a business that runs itself through simple systems and a rockstar team so you can step into your next level of visionary leadership and dramatically increase your impact and profitability. Learn more and apply to join our next cohort here.
by Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale. Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business. She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. She is also the founder and CVO of the Profitable Planner Co and Criscara Jewelry.