Keeping your business body healthy!

This time two years ago, I spent my last day working in HR.  I had handed in my notice three months previously, determined to set up my own freelance writing business. 

At that moment in time I had three clients ready and waiting, with nothing but blind hope that I would find more as time went on.  Some people called me brave; some stupid.  One told me I’d be claiming benefits within six months.

While those early days were incredibly tough, so far my bank account remains state benefit-free, and I’ll be toasting two years in business this weekend.

I’m not very good with long ‘to-do’ lists or detailed, minute-by-minute plans.  So to help me out in the very beginning, I put together an unconventional day-to-day business plan that resembled a human body.  For my business to function well, I would just try to think of it as a living, breathing person that needs regular nourishment to survive. 

This was how it looked (in words, because I can’t do graphic design):

My Business Body

Skeleton – Finance and Admin

  • Business planning
  • Bank account reconciliation
  • List of incomings/outgoings

Muscles and Blood – Meeting people and developing relationships

  • Networking groups/meetings
  • Developing client relationships
  • Seeking out useful contacts and making a direct approach

 Brain – Developing knowledge

  • Staying in touch with the news
  • Updating myself on competitors/peers/useful companies to know about
  • Reading

 Skin – Content and Marketing

  • Blog posts
  • Social media presence
  • Finding new clients

 Heart – The work!

  • Client work
  • Promotional writing
  • Writing pieces and articles to pitch and sell

Then I created two simple, daily ‘health missions’.  One was to achieve at least one task related to each body part (such as attending a networking meeting, writing a blog post, making a phone call, checking my bank account etc.), and the second was to do with my actual body.  Go out and get some exercise every day, even if it’s just a walk round the block. 

My health missions have served me well so far, and apart from a slight limp every now and again, my business body is in good working order!

If you’re venturing out on your own, straying from conventional business plans (for the day-to-day at least) can work really well.  Thinking up something different and easy to remember can help you through those early days, adding a bit of creativity to boring business routines.

And if I can help you out with some writing along the way…well, why not get in touch?