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On days such as this, with skies dripping rain and gloom in the air – and chilly – I sometimes find myself wandering around the office wondering what I could do to lift my spirits.

Rainy days and Fridays always get me down…

As entrepreneurs, it is oftentimes like that.  We have those moments when we’re not too busy with the day to day paperwork or the phone calls to return or the general housekeeping that needs to be done (metaphorical or otherwise), and we’re suddenly left with huge clumps of time on our hands without an idea what to do with them.

A Clump of Time

Here’s a great idea for you:  Pull out those year-old documents gathering dust on the shelf, titled “Business Plan” and “Marketing Plan”.  Yep. That’s right.  Get them out.  Time to roll up your sleeves and get down to work.

You tell ’em, Rosie!

The Business Plan

First of all, this is one of your two most important documents you will ever compose (can you guess the other one?).  And it really is a composition, one that breathes with life and possibility.  It’s not meant to be a dusty, dry, dead thing that you glance at every once in a while while watering the plants.  Your Business Plan can be a guide when you’re having trouble, feeling like you’re failing yourself or all that you’ve worked for.  It can keep you in focus, help you make the decisions that seem hard to make.

Sometimes, we all need the solitude to just focus and get down to work.

As long as you’ve put enough thought and planning to it while you are writing it.

Keep asking yourself questions.  How was the money flow?  What have I learned this year?  Do I really know my market?  Is there evidence of this?  Or am I somehow missing out on something, as evidenced by my sales records?  Is my overall business strategy working, or is something desperately wrong?  And how am I doing in all of this?  Is being an entrepreneur really what I’m cut out for?

These are hard questions, but every entrepreneur needs to ask themselves these questions every time they re-work their business plan.  And as I’ve mentioned above, your business plan should be re-worked at least – at least – once a year.

The Marketing Plan

Ahhhh.  The elusive Marketing Plan…  Come on, be honest, do you really have one?  Or do you just tell people in passing conversations at business functions that you do, just to save face and not like an impostor.  And again, you need to be asking yourself some tough questions.  Looking back over the year, what worked and what didn’t?  Did I even track my marketing and promotions efforts?  What brought in the most customers?  Was it word of mouth?  Was it print advertising?  What about a radio spot?  And dollar for dollar, was it worth it?  And would it just be better if I stepped back completely on my advertising efforts and just networked networked networked for the next couple of months? (and yes, there’s rules of networking and do’s and don’ts)

It’s never easy to get through those gloomy days.  Unless you’re one of those cheery “glass-is-always-halfway-full” types.  But if you’re like the most of us, then you need something to pull you through these days of “enneui”.

Take out that Business Plan.  Take out that Marketing Plan.  Get to work.  You’ll feel better.  I promise.

The sun will come out, tomorrow,
All my troubles will be so far away, tomorrow, tomorrow…

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