A major trip overseas, a wedding, and a website going down… just HOW do you get your business back to awesome after all this, and fast?
I recently took some MAJOR time out to go traveling overseas, get married, honeymoon and celebrate with family and interstate visitors on my return. The result was over two months out of the office… in a business that is run primarily on my own.
While I put structures in place to keep the basic engines running during my absence, there was a LOT of work to do to get it back up to speed on my return. For one thing, my business is service-based and intricately tied to my personal brand, so the only things I was selling while away was e-books off my website (though it may not be ideal, if you plan for your drop in income during a holiday period, it’s ok!).
But the other thing that happened while I was away was unexpected website hosting issues, which meant my website was down for a while and my social media posts linking to it (that I’d spent an entire day scheduling on Hootsuite) were not doing their job. As I was jetting around the globe, people were reading ‘This account has been suspended’ when they clicked on my website. Lovely. Thanks goes to the amazing Lee from Webgrow for dealing with it while I was concentrating on my wedding in Vegas!
As you can see, there was some pretty big catching up to do on my return. But how do you get your head back into work after the most amazing holiday, and how to get your business back on all cylinders as quickly as possible?
Here are the things I did to get it back to AWESOME in two weeks.
- I slacked off.
The first couple of days I was still getting calls from visitors who had just gone home, to say what a lovely time they’d had etc. etc. I wanted to be fair – after all, they’d come all the way to Perth to celebrate with my new husband and I – but I felt frustrated trying to get back into work with this going on. In the end I just threw my hands up in the air and realised that very little was going to get done and I may as well just go with it.
- I went to my yoga class.
The first thing I did when I found an hour to myself was to get to my yoga class. I’d missed it so much over the last two months! Then I set up a routine to meditate and deep breathe every morning for 10 minutes. (I also attempted a weights session at the gym and was then limping for four days.)
I knew I had to start with the absolute basics: get your body feeling healthy, get your headspace right. It really helped me start to think clearly and fight off feelings of overwhelm.
- I cleaned the house and office.
It’s often been said that a tidy desk is a tidy mind. I absolutely believe that is true! Sure, mine gets pretty messy (my major vice is too many post-it notes). Actually the house was pretty messy too, after so many post-wedding visitors. Although it felt like a waste of time to be tidying up when I had so much work to do in my business, I knew starting with this would restore order in my head.
- I had a planning day.
Next I had a planning day. In fact I had several planning sessions, to get my financial records up to scratch, analyse my sales for the past financial year, map out my marketing plan and calendar until the end of the year, complete with promotions, blog posts and social media. I’d noticed that my marketing had become inconsistent in the lead-up to my travels, so I made a commitment to stick to my weekly planned tasks to get my business back up to speed.
During my planning time I also re-evaluated my business and personal goals, in order to feel a renewed sense of excitement and clarity about where I was going.
Planning doesn’t seem urgent, but it kind of is, because if you don’t get this right at the start, you are just running around answering emails and reacting to stuff without direction… no way to achieve anything substantial!
- I reached out for my support network.
I attended the first meeting of my business Mastermind support group as soon as I got back from my travels, even though my head wasn’t in work yet and I had nothing to report! Just catching up with my girls and hearing what they were currently working on spurred me into action.
By now I was feeling motivated again, and less overwhelmed, having mapped out a clear path of what needed to be done and for what purpose. I kept up my daily meditation, and just got on and did the things on each day’s list, one at a time. Sounds simple – but for me, a challenge. As soon as it’s written in stone I don’t want to do it anymore. But I’d given myself a stern talking to, realising that if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done… because it was completely up to me!
To boost my enquiries, I hit social media hard, to get visible again after my long almost-absence (I hate going on Facebook when I’m on holidays, I think if you’re on there all the time you aren’t having enough fun!!). I also rustled up my next workshop series and did a bunch of social ads for those – my workshops are a good introduction for new clients thinking about working with me one-on-one. Thinking about my amazing and brilliant workshops (well I really think so!) and starting to get ticket sales for those really boosted my enthusiasm for work.
By the end of the second week things were back to normal, with a solid routine in place, enquiries coming in every day, and clients being booked! Cue big sigh of relief… and exhaustion 😉