10 Things to Do At the Beginning of Each Month for Sanity in Your Small Business
1. Invoices for previous month’s work (bonus points if this is automated!)
We all need to pay ourselves! So to make sure this happens get all of your invoices sent out on time. I use Freshbooks for my accounting because it allows for multiple ways to achieve this. I can go in and bill from a specific project or create recurring invoices that are sent out on a schedule for a specific client. Even better is that they’ve recently setup that clients can choose to save their card details and have invoices be automatically paid - which is pretty epic automation!
Once you have your invoices sent you can make a budget for the month. Make sure to note outgoing expenses and put aside some money for things like client gifts and coaching calls. This task goes by so quickly if you have your recurring monthly expenses tracked in your accounting software (like I do). Snap photos of your receipts and upload them to your software, whether it be Xero, Quickbooks, or Freshbooks. Then use the reporting features to make sure you are on track for your goals!
3. Clean up & declutter (both physically & digitally)
Tidy-ness is critical to long-term productivity. Take a few minutes to clean up unnecessary papers and such from your workspace. Then take a few more moments to sort out your email inbox and your digital files. This will ensure you can find things quickly when they are needed and that old content won’t distract you when you are getting down to new work!
4. Take some time to reflect
You can’t move forward without having a good understanding of where you’ve been. Take time to journal or chart out what you’ve been excelling at in your business, where you can improve, what failures you’ve had and how you’ve bounced back from them. This should help you to feel both accomplished in your progress and give you some real guidance about how you can grow and intentionally stretch yourself to have the business you really want.
5. Schedule must-happen meetings before your calendar fills up
This one can also be automated. I send my clients or potential clients a link through Calendly when we are looking to find time to speak. I also have loads of clients and colleagues who swear by Acuity Scheduling. I find that Acuity is better for people with more extensive needs such as needing forms or contracts filled out or payment plans that go with the appointments. I use Calendly, because I love the clean and simple experience it presents.
Take some time to note any meetings and send out links for scheduling these meetings. You can get extra fancy and automate this even further with an all-in-one tool like Dubsado.
6. Schedule out your social media content
I’m a big advocate for scheduling out your social media posts so that you don’t have to use the brainspace to come up with great content every damn day! That said, your audience won’t resonante with the content if it isn’t timely and relevant to what is actually happening in your life and business. So I typically recommend that clients sit down 1-2 times per month with their favourite scheduling tool to set out their posts. I love Later because my favourite social platform is Instagram. It works with most other platforms as well, but the system is very clean and visual. Additionally, it has a built in media library for you to store and sort all of your images. AND it has some really badass features for collaboration. If you want a crash course in all things Later check out my Systems Saved Me workflow on it!
7. Review your analytics
This goes along really well with point number 4. Taking a few minutes to reflect on how your website and social media channels are performing will help you make improvements. For example in June, I didn’t write any blog posts so the traffic to my site dropped. This data motivates me to be more consistent with writing. I can also find out what my visitors are viewing and a little bit about who they are! While there are plenty of great tools on the market for this, the easiest way to get started with this is with a free Google Analytics dashboard.
8. Set some goals
Now that you’ve taken the time to budget, reflect on your progress, and review your analytics you can set some informed goals. Think about what you can realistically attain for the month. These can be money goals, new client goals, blog post or newsletter goals, or even taking the next step in getting your product or program out into the world. What is going to move your business substantially forward? This will help keep you focused and will help you avoid busy work throughout the month.
9. Create a to-do list & delegate some of it
Now that you have goals you can make a list of things to do to help you get there! What things can you do to help you move the needle? Write them down! Schedule out deadlines. Then decide what needs done, that either you don’t want to do, you don’t know how to do, or that isn’t worth your time and pay someone else to do it! It will be worth it I promise you.
10. Don’t forget to build in time for rest/rejuvenation!
Last, but absolutely not least is to use some of your start of the month planning time to set aside time for you! Time to step away from your business, to spend time with those you love, to pursue your hobbies, to get outside or to read a new book. These things are important to feeling like a whole person and for avoiding burnout from the so called “hustle” of running your very own small business.
That’s it! You are now on track to have a fantastic and stress free month because you are awesome and opted to delegate, automate and systematise right at the very beginning. Doesn’t it feel freaking awesome?
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