Solo PR Pros should make time this summer for their own version of #HotSummerSolos. You can heat up your business and end the year strong by taking time out to refresh. At Solo PR Pro, we are fans of the annual business retreat for goal setting and planning, but you can and should make time for these activities more than once per year. Summer is a good time to check in and see where you are, and what you need to achieve your annual goals. It is also a good time to just unplug and recharge your batteries for the busy season on the other side of the sunshine.
On a recent episode of Solo PR Pro's podcast, That Solo Life, we explored the idea of a combo work-rest retreat. If you are busy with client work this summer, you can still sneak in some rest and play while staying on top of things. Whether you sail around the world, or relax in your own backyard, below are a few benefits of a summer retreat.
Clear the Clutter
It’s that simple. We know it’s easy to get into the groove of servicing clients without taking the time to pick up our heads and look at the big picture of our business. Getting out of your regular day-to-day environment allows you to refresh your mind and body. A change in scenery can ignite your creativity and bring clarity. It is amazing how ideas and solutions can quickly come just by changing your routine.
Review the Past, Plan the Future
With time and space you can assess your year. Has your business grown in the direction you wanted? Are you hitting your income goals? Why or why not? Do an informal professional review with yourself, both to remind yourself of all the talents you bring to your client work and also to check in on where you might want to improve.
Improve Your Marketability
Adding or advancing your skills can help you to better serve existing clients and attract new ones. Are there areas that you want to improve? Are there skill sets that have wanted to learn? You can plan an entire retreat based on professional development. Make time to dive deeper into Google Analytics, learn a design program, or take and finish an online course. If a few days or a week is not enough, you can jumpstart your habit with a summer retreat and then plan taking time each week, month or quarter to give deep focus on learning a new marketable skill.
Work ON Your Business
Experts have long advised the importance of not just working in your business but on your business. Use your summer retreat to tackle an item or two that will move your business forward.
- Update your web design and online presence.
- Document your key business processes to make it easy to hire support.
- Create an editorial calendar for your business, writing blog posts, planning out your networking and professional development for the year.
- Evaluate your business model – hourly vs. pre-priced service packages, retainer vs. project – and reflect that in your updated materials.
- Stake out new areas to approach for business moving forward.
Make sure your list is realistic. The goal of your summer retreat is not to become overwhelmed but to emerge feeling refreshed and accomplished.
Include time to indulge in some serious self-care. Hit the gym a little longer than you normally would. Try a new activity or indulge in a favorite spa treatment. Bring a puzzle, a mindless novel, even a coloring book to unwind and use a different part of your brain. Remind yourself that these activities are essential to bringing your best self to your life.
Commit to Yourself
Yes, dear Solo PR Pro, you can and should commit to take that summer retreat. Take a baby step and plan a long weekend away. If the summer season is truly too busy to take a few days away, plan a work-play retreat that allows you to work half-days or work a few days while away and take the rest off. Let clients know your schedule in advance so that you get the down time you need.
From Slump to Sizzle
As Solo PR Pros it is easy to fall into the trap of being too busy or too tired to take time away. However, a change in scenery and pace will renew your energy and your motivation for your business. You owe it to yourself and your business!
We'd love to hear from you. Have you planned your summer retreat? What tips do you have for your solo colleagues? Share in the comments below or on social media using #solopr.