What can I do in the off-season?

Belated Happy New Year!

I’ve made it to 2018!

I am halfway through my one-year business-plan!

Go me!

2018 is going to be a great year for my business as I diversify into the festival markets, expand my operation by training an extra body to make crepes and establish whether I can make this a full-time career or not. But all that is going to have to wait for the next three months. January, February and March are not the most profitable of months for a business such as mine and are a harsh reminder that my job is seasonal.

This period can be depressing enough (apparently January 13th is the most depressing day of the year) what with cold, dark days and longer, colder, darker nights but to know that I won’t be actively working and earning money is going to be tough.

Because I am new to this malarkey, I haven’t earned enough to live off during this period and so I’m reliant on my savings and the earnings of my (long-suffering) wife. That doesn’t do a great deal for my self-worth and neither does being imprisoned in the house for the next three months.

What I have to do is attempt to make this period of the year the foundation for the rest. How do I go about this?

The five P’s. This was first mentioned to me by an outdoor pursuits leader who also happened to be the toughest man I have ever met. He was a former Olympic Judo coach and enforcer for the Krays. He’s the only person who’s threatened to kill me that I actually believed could and would. Anyway, he actually referred to it as the 6 P’s: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance, I’ll let you guess which was the ‘P,’ he’d decided to add.

Use this time to plan your year ahead. Get a wall calendar if you haven’t already got one, mark on your events, mark on the school holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, everything and anything that you think is relevant. Any date with a space is something for you to now focus on, can we get an event or a job on that day?

Is my equipment ready? Does it need PAT testing? If so, get a date booked, you’ve got these three months! The same goes for MOT’s and while we’re talking about vehicles, get your maintenance done: tyre pressures, oil checks, touch up the paint work etc.

It’s not just the physical equipment that you may need to update, when was the last time you looked at your website? Does it look like the opening page of a Sega Megadrive game? If so, get it sorted. Look at other people’s websites and see how they compare? I was once told by a guy that whenever he books anything, he looks on Facebook and then double checks with the website. Anyone can set up a quick business page on Facebook but pro’s have a decent, updated website also.

Use this time to research. Are there any new events out there that you may have missed? Get looking and applying, it’s never too early to apply, it’s only ever too late.

What are you doing wasting time reading this for? Get planning!

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