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How to plan & organise your day as a small business owner

Traders- Hints & Tips

How do you plan your day to work effectively and efficiently?

Wondering how to plan & organise your day as a small business owner? We are all super busy people and it is not easy to keep on top of work, making products, financial accounts, social media, stockists, online stores, events, markets – and the list goes on. 

As a small business owner, you either have to juggle all of the balls solo, or have a small team – and there is never enough time in the day.

Part of the problem is knowing which tasks should take priority, especially with the ‘drain’ that is social media – it’s easy to get caught up in! We’re all guilty of getting lost in scrolling and stressing about social media strategies too much sometimes and this doesn’t actually bring the traffic.

When you have household chores, post office runs, a dog to walk, caring for little people or older people, washing to do and other tasks, running a business from home is tough. Often we can be hindered by the more ‘mundane’ tasks, or distracted by them – so it’s time to make a plan, get organised, and work more efficiently.

We created a timetable of tasks, a weekly planner to help us run more effectively and efficiently. As they say, it’s all in the planning! The fabulous Emily Harvey Art is offering a FREE sales tracker which may also help you in the new year – click here to find out more.

It can be difficult to stick to a set routine if that’s not your style, but when we have set times to do tasks in, we found that we worked faster and it was easier to get things ticked off our (very long!) list.

See our weekly planner below – it’s a double-sided sheet with a loose guide to help us focus. Occasionally we fall off the planning wagon but it’s important we don’t beat ourselves up, none of us are perfect!

Our Weekly Planner

Link here to our Google Doc to download the planner. Below is an image of it, and we’ve listed a few things to look out for.

Page One:

This leaves plenty of room to add your own personal tasks. We suggest:

  • Blocking out a set time for social media. Post, engage, add some Stories on Instagram, comment on and like others’ posts, schedule some content in advance – then leave it there. Don’t keep checking back when you need to be focusing on other tasks! Check on your business socials at set times throughout the week.
  • Dedicate time to search for and contact new stockists and do some PR. Click here for some tips on PR. If you find potential stockists or contacts whilst browsing Instagram, utilise your Saved tab, save the post and refer back to them later.
  • Set time aside for your financial accounts. Lots of us hate doing this bit, but if you tackle a bit each week it won’t be as much of a nightmare when it comes to tax season!
  • Respond to emails! It’s easy to get caught up in this or overwhelmed, so set aside specific time to do it.
  • Give time to update your online shops and Pedddle page – the more frequently you keep them up-to-date, the better they’ll perform with SEO. Read more on boosting your SEO & further SEO tips.

Page Two:

This is the social media side of the sheet, where we plan out our social media strategy for the week. There is no pressure to post everyday. If you are working on a launch or something big then you do step up your interaction but otherwise you fit it into your day.

Our top tip is to set a pattern for each day of the week, so that each week you have some inspiration on what to post, without being too repetitive. From this list below – mix up a few posts each week so if you are posting 2/3 times a week then select different themes each week. For example:

  • Monday – do a market / event recap of the things you’ve one at the weekend. Perhaps post a stall pic, a scenery pic, or something you’ve been up to to allow your audience an insight into your life. This will help them connect and get to know you better.
  • Tuesday – Drive engagement. Do a poll on Facebookk or Insta, or use the ‘ask me a question’ function on Instagram. Not much happens on a Tuesday, so it’s time to get your audience involved! On Tuesdays we like to do a ‘Chooseday’ poll, giving our audience two things to choose between to drive engagement.
  • Wednesday – Share any forthcoming markets and events that you have coming up.
  • Thursday – Share any new stockists or places that you sell at. Perhaps share behind-the-scenes or something you’re working on, a new product idea or similar.
  • Friday – Share what you’re working on and recap where you’ll be at the weekend.
  • The weekend – Share which markets you’ll be at. Please note that Instagram posts often don’t perform as well at weekends, so perhaps stick to Stories instead.

This is a great tool to use to give you inspo for making posts too. If you spread these out of the course of 2 months you have lots of ideas on what to post. You interpret them how you like. You can tag #MMTM even though it’s not march, people might still be following it.

In Summary

Our top tips for getting organised and feeling ready to work:

  1. Plan on a Sunday or even at the start of the month. Our weekly planner might help you map out key focuses for the week.
  2. Use a timer on your phone. Give yourself a deadline to complete a written task or emails and even scrolling through social media – don’t get lost in one task.
  3. Block time to work on social media. Use the Preview app for Instagram and Meta planner is great to schedule and post directly on Insta and Facebook simultaneously.
  4. Have a social media theme for your posts to keep you focused.
  5. Use a morning routine to get you prepped for each day. We love a short walk around the local area – almost like a ‘morning commute’ to get us in the right headspace. We like ‘The Miracle Morning’ – it’s an amazing routine to get into.