Do you have a case of “business amnesia”?
Even if you’ve never heard that expression before (because I just made it up), I’m sure you can conjure up an image…
…year after year, you KNOW there’s a better way to respond. But you keep making the same mistakes or defaulting to the same old bad habits.
When you ignore the unique seasons in your business it’s like…
→ forgetting that you’ll need a winter coat in January
→ or that your A/C bill will skyrocket in the heat of July
Sounds pretty obvious, but when it comes to seasons in business, too many entrepreneurs are blind to seasonal rhythms.
We’ve all been there. And while I can’t promise you’ll never make another mistake again, I can promise you that paying attention to the seasons in your workflow can keep you from getting into a toxic relationship with your business.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all road map when it comes to the seasons of your business. That’s because each business is one-of-a-kind and will have different seasons.
These seasons will depend on your…
As a result, it is up to YOU as the CEO to identify your seasons, learn how to navigate them, and use this insight to plan ahead with strategy.
The good news: it doesn’t have to be a heavy lift!
In just 2 minutes each week, you can start tracking the unique seasons and patterns of YOUR business to find more alignment and flow.
PSST! Stick around ‘til the end (or scroll your way down there now) and I’ll give you my exact 2-minute journaling prompts to help you start tracking and planning for the seasons of your business right away.
Seasons in business are the recurring patterns and trends that occur in your work throughout the year. Most seasons fit into two categories: rest & hustle.
Seasons in business can be as simple as…
→ the hustle of the holiday season that many product-based business experience.
→ the summertime slump lots of service-based businesses encounter.
→ the seasons you CHOOSE (such as vacation time) that align with your goals and values.
Some seasons will be obvious, while others are more subtle. They may even seem inexplicable! The beauty of seasons is that when you notice them, you can work with the external factors outside of your control and allow yourself the opportunity to influence internal factors so you can build in the seasons you value and need.
Some seasons happen naturally. They are a result of things out of your control (called external factors). Others depend on your specific business. You can shape these seasons to fit your needs, goals, and values (internal factors).
External factors include things like…
Internal factors include things like…
When you pay attention to the seasons in your business, you can learn to work in harmony with times of rest and hustle.
Instead of feeling like a victim of circumstances, you can work with all the factors that impact your business throughout the year. With this knowledge, you can weigh your options and define your goals to decide how you’ll approach each specific season.
When you track and observe the seasons of rest and hustle, you can approach your business with fresh eyes.
It’s an opportunity to take a step back and do some big-picture planning. Planning for the seasons of business allows you to be proactive and bust through unhealthy patterns instead of reacting poorly to the same challenges over and over again.
The main reason to plan for these seasons is so that you can set yourself up for success during your busy seasons and be intentional with your time during your restful seasons. It’s a key part of running an effective, efficient, and scalable business. When you are in tune with your business seasons, you’ll be able to find flow and harmony with the internal and external factors that influence it.
Let’s explore what the seasons of rest and hustle look like and how you can leverage each of them rather than fight against them!
Many businesses fail to leverage the seasons of rest and quiet. Too often we find ourselves sitting around, scratching our heads, wondering where everyone’s gone. Or we miss opportunities to give ourselves a TRUE break! Planning for seasons of rest can benefit your work in several ways. You may use seasons of rest throughout the year to fit your business needs and goals.
The effort and planning you do during these seasons of rest will help guide and support you through the busier times of hustle.
COO Tip: Businesses will focus on some or all of these options during seasons of rest throughout the year. I highly encourage you to make choices based on your personal and business goals.
When you plan for the seasons of your business you’ll be able to prep for the busy seasons with a roadmap you can follow. In these seasons of hustle, you are in the thick of it and won’t have the time or energy to thoughtfully map out plans and systems to support your work. This is not typically the time to launch a brand new idea or revamp an entire system of your business. When you plan ahead for the hustle, you’ll allow yourself to work in flow. You’ll set yourself up for a busy season… without the last-minute second-guessing or panic-induced pivots!
It is important to acknowledge that the seasons of your business will ebb and flow. Some restful seasons will offer you the opportunity to plan and work behind the scenes while other seasons of rest will allow you to truly unplug.
Likewise, some seasons of hustle will consist of developing new ideas and innovating for your business while other seasons of hustle will be all about client engagement and actively serving your customers. It is all a balance and part of the beautiful journey of entrepreneurship!
It’s also worth noting that seasons can vary in length. Some last for just a couple of weeks while others may last up to 6 months. As you observe the patterns that show up in your work, do so without expectation or judgement.
Understanding the seasons of your business can be a huge advantage to productivity, sustainability, and flow. As you now know, no two businesses have the same exact seasons. So the most important thing you can do right now is dive into the tracking process.
Whether you realize it or not, your business has seasons that are cyclical. But you can’t know them unless you take the time to get to know them. Seasonal trends have to be tracked over time. Take time each week to write down reflections and you will be one step closer to getting in sync with seasonal patterns.
This can feel overwhelming at first. You might be asking yourself, how in the world am I supposed to document all of this for an entire year?
Keep it simple and don’t overthink it.
The goal is simply to have something you can easily refer back to and remember exactly what happened (because you have so much in your brain, you can’t expect yourself to remember the tiny details throughout the year).
Your future self will thank your past self for keeping a running log of these patterns. As a result, you’ll find you can intentionally plan for incentives, launches, projects, and even things like time off, CEO time, and vacations (i.e. it may not be a great time to take some R&R at the height of your busy season). These are the kinds of decisions that seasonal trends will help you make.
As your business guide, I’ve got you covered! This process can be simple and I’ve prepped the exact prompts you can use each week to help you successfully track your business seasons. It’s low lift and effective!
First things first. Do you have 2 minutes to spare each week?
>>As promised, let’s dig into the meat and potatoes of it all!<<
Here’s my tried and true method for tracking the seasons in your business.
Jot down a response to each of these prompts weekly. No need to write a novel, just start documenting and keep it simple. Get to the point so that your future self can easily observe trends, patterns, and events.
As you spend more time in your business and look back you can pay attention to when certain things hit, when you were busiest, when things were quieter, and which factors influenced those trends in your business. This will help you make future projections and plan more accurately and proactively.
The tracking process takes time. You won’t have an honest view of these seasons until the full year has passed. Even then, the longer you are in business, the more you’ll learn and realize about your distinctive patterns and workflows. As you get more familiar with your seasons, you can choose to move with them or counter the trends to fit your needs.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning NOW. Each quarter, you should take some time to reflect on the tracking you’ve done over the past few weeks. As you gradually get to know the seasons of your business, you can put plans in place to support and leverage these different times.
Once you have enough data you can start to take action.
Maybe your goal is to take a step back in the summer months for some intentional rest. With this goal in mind, you can carve out time in late winter & spring to create passive income products. Similarly, if the hectic holiday season no longer feels sustainable, you can block off time to prep for your holiday sales in July & August.
Big picture planning with the seasons will make your work easier and more impactful. You’ll feel empowered to create the life and business you envisioned when you started.
COO Tip: Big-picture seasonal planning won’t happen overnight! The more consistently you track your business seasons and the longer you’re in business the easier it will be to observe and respond. Year after year you’ll continue to take note of what’s going on in your business and gain new insight as you go.
If you keep hitting the same wall in your business year after year… you need to track your seasons.
If you keep looking back and wishing you’d used that time DIFFERENTLY… you need to track your seasons.
If you want to stop reacting to one fire after another…you need to track your seasons.
Paying attention to the seasons of your business is profoundly impactful AND it doesn’t have to be hard.
You now have the tools you need to track what’s going on in your business, stay on the pulse, and observe trends. Taking this time will help you see your work from a bird’s eye view. You can make intentional choices and implement strategic plans. When you work with the seasons of your business you can stop making the same mistakes over and over again. History repeats itself. But if you choose to learn from the past, pivot, and make new choices your business can continue to grow, flourish, and thrive.
Planning for the seasons in your business can feel like uncharted territory. If you need a guide to lead the way, I’m here to support you as a 1:1 coach or outsourced COO. Schedule a free strategy session to map out your seasonal tracking plan today!