29 Aug In the interim (part two)
Now, let me say at the get go, I LOVE being a freelancer. Love it. I love the freedom, I love the opportunities, I love the variety, I love the ‘thank you’ cards from my clients, I love the glow of a job well done, the differences I make, the friends I make, the amazing things I learn.
But take a look at this image – this came up when I Googled “freelancer”.
A man, on a beach, martini in one hand, laptop in the other. My office is, more often than not, my faithful Mazda 6 gently roasting in the corner of a romantically lit multi-storey car park with an even hotter (in the temperature sense) freelance healthcare manager inside. So here are my top tips for independent spirits everywhere on how to manage your day and your workload. These tips aren’t rocket science, but they do work.
Make Google Maps your best friend. “Virtually” walk the area you’re going to before meeting a new client for the first time. Check out the best car parks too. Do an AA Route Master first, before you set the sat nav. Oh, and leave at least an extra 30 minutes more than you think you’ll need.
If the gods are smiling on you and you arrive early, use that extra time to take and make calls, review your scheduler, do a media trawl, write your blog.
Take emergency supplies. Always, not just in the winter months. Last week, I had a meeting in Brighton scheduled for the morning, and a conference call for the afternoon; these two appointments had a safe distance between them in terms of timings – 10.45am for Brighton, 4.00pm for the call. I left Brighton at 12.20pm and (according to my second best friend – my sat nav) should have been home for 2.20pm in plenty of time for my call. The reality was, thanks to two accidents on the A27 and monsoon like conditions, I had to pull off the road and go into a car park at 3.45pm in order to take my conference call. Thankfully, I had a large bottle of water, something wholesome and filling to eat, my notepad to hand. In my early days as a freelancer, I used to survive on peppermints and whatever I found under the car seat. Now I am organised and all the better for it. I did, however, gaze longingly over at Marks & Spencer while I took my call.
You do research your prospective client – don’t you? Take an interest, a real interest. Google them, read their annual report, if you are in healthcare like me, read their CQC report. Read decent articles about them (please be discerning though!) I recently heard of someone who was up for a job, but when asked what research they had done, they replied “nothing, I was waiting to see the outcome of the interview”. Guess the outcome.
Invest in a “bible” – whatever works for you – to be your one-stop scheduler, where you keep your to do list, your contact details etc. This may well be electronic but even in this paperless world, there is something about committing pen to paper that I just love. I use a Daily Greatness Business Planner which I find works perfectly for me.
That To Do list which I just threw in there? Write it now. Add dates and times – blocks of times if necessary. Prioritise that list. Commit to it.
Having a difficult day? Take that To Do list and do just one thing. Anything. One email, one invoice, one phone call. But do something constructive and positive for yourself and your business.
If you are into your social media like me, find a free app to ensure your synchronise your posts.
Now, write your To Do list for tomorrow.
Jan Lawry is Director of J Lawry Healthcare Management Ltd; she has over 20 years business experience in programme management and is a service review expert, business coach and mentor. More details on her work can be found on her website http://www.jlawryhealthcare.com/
Recent work has included a major report into mental health services for West Hampshire and highly successful business coaching helping to launch a new healthcare consultancy and training organisation.
To gain the edge on your hard earned business, invest in business coaching with Jan Lawry. Book your free Discovery Call here: https://calendly.com/jlawrycoaching/discoverycall