I know - & I hope the title made you giggle even just a little bit. But this is serious business!
As a micro business, your number one asset is absolutely you. More important than your building or most expensive bit of equipment. Without you, there's simply not a business.
In business, we need to have an asset strategy. That is, a strategy that protects your assets, maintains the intrinsic value of your assets, insures the assets, upgrades the assets & ensures that any asset is still adding value to the business and not inadvertently causing a problem.
So if you are your number 1 asset, how is your strategy going?
Does your strategy need a dusting off and a Spring clean? Do you even have a strategy?
When we frame ourselves in this strategic way, we begin to understand that this isn't about a bit of cute 'self care' or a 'wellbeing break' (lovely as those things are) but something much more serious and to be taken seriously.
So today, I'm sharing 10 Spring cleaning tips or ideas to help you build a strategy that is long lasting and robust for you and your business:
Value the value. I guess a starting point is evaluating what the value of you is in your business. Write down what your role is in the business very specifically. Include all the tasks and decisions that you do or make. Even if you're not doing some of the 'do', include all the ways you drive the business forward. I suspect the list is long and I suspect that without you, some of the fundamentals would quickly break down.
Split the list. Looking at the long list from above, can you split the list into two? On one side are the things that only you can do and on the right are the things that technically (even if some time in the future) someone else could do - an employee, a freelancer, a family member. Be aware of any 'control' that bubbles up here and remember you can't do everything forever without help.
Prioritise your list. Now that you've got a clearer idea of the things that absolutely you do, can you put them in order of importance? If you're the maker, artist or wordsmith, then great. If you have a head for numbers and always do the books lovely. Remember the things that you're really good at and ADD value to your business e.g. you've a talent for Instagram, or you're the secret recipe guru. This prioritising will start to form the foundations of your new strategy.
What needs to happen? What things need to happen for you to do those priority 'you' tasks really really well? For example, if you're the writer or the maker, what conditions make that happen well? Do you need a tidy office or peace and quiet. Do you need to settle into the task slowly. Do you need to feel energised. Do you need to be in a good mood even? This is a simple service manual for your asset.
Creating the conditions. Here is where many a micro owner might come unstuck (I speak from personal experience) because it starts to feel 'unnecessary' or even 'frivolous'. How are you going to ensure that the conditions you need to do this tasks well (that, remember, ADD value to your business) as often as you need to. Again, as you develop this part of your strategy, you need to avoid any mutterings from your brain like 'I can't do that' or 'that's not possible'. If you need to have a lunchtime walk or you need to do 30 minutes yoga to get the creative juices going, then this is strategy not luxury.
Is the model right? This might be a biggie. Now that you know the value of you and what added value your magic brings to your business and that you're an ASSET, then is your business model quite up to the task? Are there ways that you make product, deliver product or service or create your magic that can be tweaked to be more efficient, easier to manage or delivered in a new way? For example, could you make simpler products that are quicker to make or sell or if what your produce takes a long time & lots of effort, do you need to upgrade the brand and up the price? Ponder but don't stress & just play with a few radical ideas to see if there's a new way.
Make a plan. This is the fun bit in many ways - how are you going to put all this asset strategy in place? Do you need to make a list of 'non negotiables' to share with the team or family? Do you need to rearrange your diary so that you shape your week differently? Do you need to carve out more time to complete tasks better and without the rush? One game changer for me was to limit Zoom calls to just 2 a day max. After the crazy pandemic, this felt radical but has improved the value I bring to meetings & my stamina to stay creative in my business.
The day to day. It's so easy to colour code a calendar or create a new rota on the fridge but how about making it work in the day to day. You may have to develop some new habits & work hard at not slipping into old ways (there's a printable habit tracker in resources!). It take 30 days to develop a new habit and I would say it takes at least that long to see if a new strategy is working. If it's better eating, more sleep, more exercise, yoga time, locked in the office time, make sure you manage at least a month to assess the impact.
How will you know? Of course, strategies need to be evaluated for their success (& will likely need tweaking) so how will you do that? What are the things you need more of? Do you need more energy, less stress, better creativity, more time to think? Make a list of the key things you needed at the beginning and assess after a month if this things are making a difference to your business e.g. more engagement on socials (because they're well crafted), more customers (because you had time to dedicate to marketing) or better profit margin (because you had space to rethink your costings).
Start today. I hope that some of these ideas to help spring clean your asset strategy have struck a chord and that you're fully on board with the idea that you have to take care of you as a priority in your business. However, I want to be sure that you also prioritise this process too. Don't delay this kind of Spring clean or let it get lost in your 'to do' list. This IS the top task and may well transform how you do your business forever.