For some of us solo business owners, the closest we’ve been to a “retreat” lately is the walk we sneak in at lunchtime. For others, a business retreat is an annual tradition not to be missed. Setting aside time once a year to get away from your usual location and routine to check in with yourself and your business goals is good for business, and you.
Refresh and Reset
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. Get yourself out of your regular day-to-day environment with the sole intent of focusing on your retreat agenda. There is no right answer for where you choose to go, only that it is a space that will work for you. It could be a bed and breakfast in a nearby town or a hotel by the ocean. You might travel an hour by car or take a five-hour flight. Choose the location that will work best for you.
Evaluate Your Performance
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.
Have you been meaning to learn Google Analytics, WordPress, or take a course in another area that’s been on your to-do list for too long? Then plan your retreat to focus on this area. You might consider taking a day each quarter to get away and give deep focus on learning a new marketable skill.
Work on Your Business
How’s that website update going? Yes, we know… Use your business retreat as a time to work on your business.
- Update your web design and online presence.
- 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. In our business managing expectations is key and that includes with ourselves.
Emotional & Physical Health
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.
You might choose to hold your retreat over a weekend to avoid being out of the office. However, for the time to be truly replenishing, focus on scheduling it during the business week. Plan it for a time of year that tends to be slower, with less client activity. Truly clear your schedule, caring for any personal and professional obligations so that your time away will be as productive as possible.
So, when is your business retreat going to take place? Will you reward yourself for preparing your tax data on time? Or would you rather align your retreat with the warmer weather of spring and summer? Our own Rachel Sutherland provided some great tips on having a successful business retreat experience in this blog. Tell us your ideas about your ideal business retreat. Let’s inspire each other into a great 2019.