How cute is this photo of Alex and I from a recent shoot we did for our new traveler’s notebooks?! It’s too perfect not to use for today’s post about business meetings. Even when it was just the two of us in our business, we found it more important than ever to have consistent business meetings. And when we didn’t, it was obvious. Here’s why you need to have them too.
- Meetings help to keep you on track with what you should be working on. Especially if you’re working with someone else, meeting every other week or so can really help you to focus on projects that have a bigger priority than others. It’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” situation. If you aren’t meeting, you aren’t talking about what’s coming up, and then suddenly a deadline is upon you or you’ve missed it. Meetings help give you regular checkpoints to know what’s happening.
- They’re also great tools to help you brainstorm new ideas. Setting aside specific time to talk about the growth of the business (even if it’s just with yourself!) is so important. Plus if you do have someone else there, you can bounce ideas off of them for new products or designs.
- Setting aside time for a meeting also puts you in a different mindset than a regular workday. There’s just something about stopping whatever it is that you’re doing to focus on specific ways to improve your business. After the meeting you’ll feel more focused and motivated to get things done rather than listlessly wandering through the day hoping you’re making progress.
- Kind of along the lines as the last point, meetings help you take a break from the normal day to day stuff to focus on the big picture. So often Alex and I find ourselves only working IN our business, rather than ON it. Meetings help us to change gears and focus on bigger picture ideas like where we want to see our business in five years, rather than the orders we need to finish that day.
It’s definitely a lot harder to have business meetings if you work alone, so try to find a group or someone who doesn’t mind being a sounding board for your ideas. No matter your business, it’s important to take the time to reflect on what you’ve been doing and plan out what to do next. When Alex and I don’t meet, it’s hard to get on the same page and know what the other person is up to. We’ve had way more success with short meetings once a week than we ever have going it alone. So pull out that planner and schedule some time to meet with yourself or your partners. It’ll make a world of difference.
Daily planners are a necessity for my planning routine. They’re the perfect tools to get down to the nitty-gritty of projects, write detailed to do lists, and keep you on track for everything you want to accomplish. Plus no matter how a particular day ends up going, you can always turn the page and start over. So whether you’re not sure if you should add a daily planner to your lineup or are looking for a new primary planner, these three are my absolute favorites.
Up first is the Day Designer
. This one is the largest of the three with a very sturdy cover and metal edges to stand up to wear and tear. It’s an hourly/to do list combo (my favorite), but has a ton of added sections that the other two do not. There’s space for gratitude, money spent, top three priorities, deadlines, etc.
It’s great if you’re looking for more structured planning in your life. But if you want space and freedom to plan your own way, this may not be the best choice. I love how much space there is for a daily to do list, but the hourly times (starts at 5 goes until 9) aren’t that realistic to my daily schedule. You could definitely tweak the layout with stickers to customize the sections to your needs.
You’ll definitely start to see a common theme between dailies with a few variations. The KitLife Planner
is a smaller planner with a more flexible cover and standard coil. It has some solid weight to it, so definitely keep that in mind if you’re planning on making a daily an everyday carry. The watercolor backgrounds change from month to month and there are a ton of helpful tips and tricks at the start of each month.
The simplicity of the spread is fantastic and leaves tons of room for customization. The top section is super roomy for to do lists (you could make two columns) and the hourly section is much more accurate to my life. I love the top three section to keep me focused on primary tasks. The wellness and gratitude sections can be used for marking those things, or covered up to track something else.
The daily I’m currently using is the Simplified Planner
. It beat out the other two because it’s the smallest, lightest, and had the most pops of color. Plus the layout is simpler than the others in all the ways that I wanted. It focuses on the main things I wanted from a daily planner: hourly slots to write meetings, a big to do list section, and a couple sections I can customize. I’ll be sharing in a whole separate blog post how I’ve been laying it out to work for me.
Although I love the other planners, I find the KitLife one a bit too heavy to lug around with me on a daily basis while the Day Designer is just too big. Plus the Day Designer has a TON of things on each page I just won’t use every day. They’re all fantastic options depending on your needs.
What daily planner would you choose out of the three?
When “just starting” seems like a daunting task even in itself.
So this post is just as much for me as I think it is for all of you. If you read this blog post recently then you know I’ve taken on some pretty big projects. One of which I have never done before. I’m at the place where I have a million ideas swimming around in my head and I’m ready to start, but I just don’t know where. So here’s how I would tackle a really big project.
- Make lists, and lots of them. What supplies do you need? When are some solid deadlines for the project? what does the finished product look like? Once you have those, write down all the bigger items you have to get done to complete the big project (objectives). After that list, make more lists about sub-items that fall under the bigger items (tasks). Make a list for everything. Putting it all down on paper may not help with the overwhelming feelings, but it will help you to see exactly what needs to get done.
- Assemble a team if this project requires one. Take that list you made about all the jobs required for the project and figure out who will do best in which roll. Maybe you need to hire someone. Get started on this now so you won’t get held up waiting for someone to get up to speed on any progress made in the future.
- Take your lists and find tasks you can delegate. There are always things that you can give to someone else to do while you work on bigger picture items.
- Give yourself deadlines and checkpoints along the way based on the objectives list. Depending on your timetable, so things may need to be done before others. Put these deadlines down in your planner, and work back from them a week. Write down a primary deadline a week before it actually needs to be done so you aren’t rushing to finish things up. Write down deadlines for all the bigger chunks of the project.
- Set yourself goals for success. When do you know that you’ve been successful on this project? Do you have to sell a certain number of things? Try to find a measurable goal to help you determine when you’ve done it.
- Now start. To me it’s more than “just starting.” It’s setting yourself up so you can start on the right foot with the right mindset in place.
What do you do to get started on a really big project?
When of the hardest things to do now that I work from home, is make new friends. Especially in such a weird career, finding people to talk to going through similar life experiences hasn’t been easy. So whether you’re a stay-at-home girlboss like me, or just need some inspiration making friends in your line of work, here’s what I’ve found to make the whole process a whole lot easier.
It all goes back to this kindergarten method
I talked about a while ago. Check out the main blog post
if you want more details, but the gist goes something like: pretend you’re a kindergartner again and make friends just like you used to. If you like someone, ask to have coffee or chat. It seems simple, because it is. A lot
of my planner friends have become friends because I took the risk just and reached out to them on social media.
If you aren’t sure where exactly to “find” these friends, try attending events or meetups. There are tons of networking opportunities no matter what field you’re in. It does take a bit of working finding some events (a Google search or two won’t hurt), but it’s always worth it to get into a room with like-minded people who already share at least one interest with you.
If someone gives you a business card with their contact info, always write them an email or reach out once you get home. This is probably one of our biggest trade secrets for Oh, Hello. Alex and I always reach out to people we’ve gotten business cards from. No matter if it was just in passing. You never know what can come from an email.
Once you’ve found one or two friends in your field, try to find some things in common outside of work. All my shop owner friends I’ve gotten to know beyond just what they do for a living. Ask about favorite books, tv shows, things they like to do on a Sunday afternoon. Soon you’ll find so much more to talk about than just work.
This is definitely true in the business world, but respect some privacy to keep “trade secrets,” secret. No one wants to feel like people are just being their friend to find out how to make it big on the internet or make their own stickers. There’s this kind of unspoken bond between a lot of my shop friends to not ask too much about how we all do what we do, but if you are worried about crossing any lines, just ask. Set some clear boundaries from the beginning about what’s off limits to protect your livelihood.
Work-based friendships are still friendships. So spread a little kindness by sending them thoughtful gifts that could make their life easier, or trade products that each of you make. Surprise acts like these can really strength a relationship and show each other that you value the friendship.
Starting a business can be (and definitely is) a daunting task. It’s so hard to figure out exactly where to start that more times than not, things never get off the ground. So here are five things you can do today to help jump start your online business. Because sometimes the hardest part is just getting started.
- Pick a name and use NameCheckr to see if it’s available on social media. Nothing is worse than committing to a great name just to find out that it’s not available on Instagram. So put some of your favorite names into NameCheckr to see on what platforms they’re available. That way you can work to find a name that you can use across as many platforms as possible. It’ll make it way easier for people to find you once your business is up and running.
- Create a list of 5-10 products you want in your shop starting out. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to plan 20-30 different products. You’ll never get anything done if you’re starting at a huge list of things to do. So start small with a few products you can make right now. That way you can get your shop up and running as soon as possible.
- Give yourself a small loan to get started. It’s important that you give your business a fighting chance by giving it some money to get started. I recommend around $500 so you can buy any supplies, machines, website domains, etc you may need. Plus you won’t be dumping money into a business and not knowing how much you’ve actually put into it.
- Once you have a few products, take photos of them! Do standard, bright product shots, but also show them in action. Lifestyle photos are so much more engaging on social media than boring white backgrounds. So try and give whatever you’re selling some life!
- Tell people about it. Nothing makes you more accountable than telling people you’re going to do something. No one wants to be that person who’s all talk. So start spreading the word about your business and follow through by making it happen.
Let me know in the comments if you found this post helpful and I’ll keep sharing my tips and tricks to getting started!