I’ve always loved baking.
From being a little girl at home with my Mum making scones & jam tarts right up to this 40-something who bakes as often as she can and always finds time to make the Christmas cake.
I remember having little plastic cutters in the shape of a star and moon and making pastry pieces as an offering for my Dad when he got home from work. Let’s be clear about this – the pastry had been played with so much that it was grey in colour and ended up 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. I thought they were the bee’s knees. I mean who wouldn’t want star & 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 8 years.
The baking analogy is totally relevant for lots of us female business owners and I’m acutely aware of just how blooming hard it can be when you’re on your own, in the thick of and trying to bake the best damn cake you’ve 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 on the right track when there are so many different ingredients to balance?
Get the right recipe
Most of the time when we’re baking or cooking something new we’ll use a tried and tested recipe and follow it to the letter until we’ve done it so many times it just comes as second nature.
In summary, that’s your business plan – 30, 60, 90 days or longer. It makes perfect sense to write down what ingredients you need to go into your cake to make it taste good – whether that’s mapping out your Compelling Vision, your dream client, forecasting your sales, tracking your income or determining what marketing activity you’ll have – it’s essential to have your business recipe.
Learn from the best
So many of us watch baking & cookery programmes these days where we get expert advice and opinion on how to cook and which ingredients work best together. Just think of how many of us tune into Bake Off and Masterchef. And goodness knows Nigella’s new pronunciation of Microwave broke the internet only last week!
And even when we’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 while sterilising Kilner jars for the Xmas piccallili!)
So, in business, there’s nothing wrong with working alongside someone to get the help, advice, support and encouragement you need to deal with the parts of your business that you just don’t understand, make you feel sick, perplex you, have you tearing your hair out and stop you achieving that perfectly formed piece of cake that you long to have on your plate!
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 a cake knows you can slice the top off, ice it, slice it and present a tasty treat that no one ever knows about!
The same goes for your business.
If there are bits of your marketing that didn’t work, learn from and change it. If you no longer want to deliver a certain product, service or item then tweak it, change it, adapt it and move on. If you’re struggling with accountability and motivation then get working with someone who can drive you forward.
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’ll know you’ve got that winning recipe.
My Christmas Cake has been lovingly “fed” most weekends with a tot full of brandy – and boy, it smells and looks 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 want to work in. Positive vibes breed positive vibes and your customers and clients will feel it too.
So, do something for you and your business that’s going to help get you on track for success in 2021.
It may be more exercise, time out from behind your desk, less hours, more structure. It could be a business coach, a mentor, objective strategic support or a full business plan review.
There’s just over one week to Christmas now, and that’s still plenty of time for you to decide what type
of Christmas present you want to give your business this year.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s going to leave you feeling good and wanting another slice of it!
If you’re interested in having your cake and eating it then my 90 Day Success Club for 2020 Business Vision will be right up your street. It’s not too late to join and you find out more about kick starting the business year and getting your recipe just right by clicking here.
Have a lovely festive time, set your intentions and enjoy your cake!
All the best to you for Christmas and let’s hope 2021 delivers up some tasty treats!