I’ve always loved baking.
From being a little girl at home with my Mum making scones & jam tarts right up to now as a 40-something who has recently baked this year’s Christmas cake.
I remember having child size plastic cutters in the shape of a star and moon and making pastry cut outs as an offering for my Dad when he got home from work. The pastry had been played with so much that it was grey in colour and ended up as the consistency of cardboard.
I always thought my Dad ate those offerings. Until one day, when I saw them in the bin.
As an adult I completely understand why they were in the bin but as a child I didn’t know better and I thought they were the bee’s knees.
Who wouldn’t want star and moon shaped pieces of grey solid pastry after a hard day at the office!
I’m glad to say that my baking abilities have come on a bit since those days, as has my expertise in business, both running them for others and successfully running my own business for the past 4 years.
The baking analogy is current and relevant for lots of business owners and I am more than aware how hard it can be when you are on your own, in the thick of and trying to bake the best damn cake you have ever made whilst not having a recipe and not even knowing what oven temperature you should use.
None of us wants to deliver a hard piece of grey pastry rather than a sumptuous piece of cake, but how do you know you’re getting it all right if you’ve never been shown how.
Get the right recipe
Most of the time when we are baking or cooking something new then we will go by a tried and tested recipe and follow it to the letter until we have done it so many times we don’t need the recipe anymore.
In summary, that’s your business plan. It makes perfect sense to write down what ingredients need to go into your cake to make it taste good – whether that’s mapping out your ideal client, forecasting your sales or determining what marketing activity you will have throughout the month/quarter/year – it is essential to have your business recipe.
Learn from the best
So many of us watch baking and cookery programmes these days where you get expert advice and opinion on how to cook what and which ingredients work best together. And even when you’re in the thick of it in the kitchen, you can Google almost anything and there’s a YouTube video showing you how to do it (yes, I’ve done that whilst sterilising Kilner Jars!!)
There is nothing wrong with having a specialist to go to in order to give advice and support that you need to help you with the parts of your business that you just don’t understand or need help with. Whether that’s pulling together your marketing plan, helping you forecast your sales or providing you with a comprehensive breakdown of your business plan.
Practice makes perfect
The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
And just like any good cook with their favourite recipe, you’ll try your best to tweak and amend the formula to make it the very best it can be.
If it goes wrong then don’t just bin it off! Anyone who’s ever burnt the top of a cake knows you can slice the top off, ice it and slice it and present a tasty treat.
The same with your business. If there are bits of your marketing that didn’t work or you no longer want to deliver a certain product or programme then tweak it, change it, adapt it and move on.
No business should stand still.
When running your business feels good, when your head and your heart are aligned with how it’s all going, when you can see the profits and the renewals of business then you know you’ve got that winning recipe.
My Christmas Cake has been lovingly “fed” every weekend for the past few weeks with a small amount of brandy – and boy, does it smell and look good. It’s a very happy cake!
The same goes for you and your business. You have to invest in yourself and your business for it to be a happy place that you, and any staff you have, want to work in.
So, do something for you and your business that’s going to help get you on track for success in 2017.
It may be more exercise, time out from work, less hours, more structure. It could be a business coach, a mentor or a full business plan review. It could be journalling or working on your mindset.
Whatever you choose, make sure it is going to leave you feeling good and wanting another slice of it!
Are you ready to invest in your business, your success and your future? Then get in touch with me for a free 30 minute consultation and a way forward in your business with confidence and clarity.
I work exclusively with business women who recognise that they need help and support to make their business the best it can be. If that’s what you want then get in touch – there’s lots of ways to do it!