Welcome to April.
It means you’ve made it through the first three months of the year. It also means it’s time to review your first quarter.
How has it gone for you?
As an Assistant, you are not just providing administrative support to your clients. You are running a business.
You wear many different hats and are usually juggling a number of different roles.
Every quarter you want to make time to review how you’re doing. You could assess performance, role by role. You could use the following as an example.
For each role, give yourself a score out of 10.
CEO – First Quarter Review
You are the boss of your business.
Responsible for the vision, the mission and the strategy for growth.
How would you rate yourself out of 10 for the quarter since 1st January? Consider these areas before you settle on a score.
Did you follow your strategy? Did you have a strategy?
Do you have a clear vision for the year?
Have you worked and operated in line with your core values and principles? If not, what caused the misalignment? Have you set out your core values?
How did you and your business perform overall between January and March? Was it as expected? Better? Worse?
Director of Marketing – First Quarter Review
What activity did you do to promote your services?
If you used any offline marketing, how did that go? How did you feel about your social media and other online marketing efforts?
Were you doing something every week? Was your messaging consistent? What kind of engagement have you been getting?
How many enquiries have you had? How many new sign ups to your newsletter or mailing list?
Time to give yourself a score out of 10.
Director of Sales – First Quarter Review
How was your marketing activity converted into sales?
Did you bring in new clients? Did you retain the services of existing clients?
Without sales, there is no business.
How would you rate your first quarter of 2021?
Director of Customer Service – First Quarter Review
Generating leads and enquiries. Turning those into sales. That is what many businesses focus on.
But it doesn’t end there.
You also have to deliver for your clients and customers.
How well did you serve them? Did you use an onboarding process? Did you meet deadlines? Did you offer good guidance or advice? Did you get great feedback?
Head of Creativity and Problem Solving
As an Assistant, you may find you are often having to show initiative, suggest ideas and come up with solutions to problems.
How creative were you in this past quarter? How strong were your problem-solving skills?
If your score was less than you’d like (because you did not know how an application in Microsoft Office or 365 could tackle a task or overcome a challenge) it may be time to brush up on your skills.
How did you do?
Director of Finance – First Quarter Review
In business, money talks.
You want to be able to maximise your income and keep your expenditure low. That’s the route to greater profits and more freedom for you.
So, how were the finances in the first quarter?
Were the three months good, bad, indifferent or very good? Did you make more than expected? Were you reliant on one or two regular clients? Did you make a good return for each hour that you worked?
How does the cash flow look now?
Give yourself a number for the financials.
Director of HR – First Quarter Review
If you work on your own, congratulations!
You made ‘Employee of the Month’ three months in a row (again).
Joking aside, how did you treat yourself during the past quarter? Give a thought to:
- Health and Safety
- Personal health and wellbeing
- Working hours
- Recruitment and Retention
If you felt stressed doing some tasks (because you were unsure how to do them or knew it would take much longer than it should) it is worth giving thought to upgrading your skills to make everything more relaxed next time.
Are you, yourself, using an Assistant? If so, how has that gone for you both?
Plenty to think about. On reflection, what’s the score on the door?
Head of IT – First Quarter Review
A superhero assistant needs to have the right tools for the trade.
Was your computer up to the task – and is it looking solid for the year ahead? Did you have the software, tools or applications you needed to make each job a cinch?
If not, it suggests some of that income you’re getting needs to be set aside to invest in some better, time-saving technology. And if you need to get to grips with the likes of Microsoft Office apps or the rising star that is Microsoft Teams, there are plenty of online courses to help you with that. My complete box set of training, for example, is called The Hub.
Head of Learning and Development – First Quarter Review
The world is changing – and changing fast.
That’s probably a cliché now but it feels true, doesn’t’ it? Events around the globe have had a massive impact on the economy, high street retailers, the hospitality sector and the take-up of technology.
You only have to look at the growth in remote or hybrid working – and the use of Zoom and Microsoft Teams – to understand how rapidly things can move.
Are you up to date with your skills and training? If not, it’s a good time to explore online courses that can boost your productivity and business power.
What’s your L&D score for your first quarter?
Director of Fun and Freedom – First Quarter Review
This may not be a formal role (it might even fall under the wings of HR) but it is something every business owner and self-employed Assistant should consider.
The whole point of going out on your own is to have something that is more meaningful, fulfilling and rewarding than being in a job.
There should be some fun in the mix. And you are probably hoping your business, however busy at times, will also lead to more freedom in how you live your life.
Dare to give yourself a score on that front?
Review and Plan
Now you’ve carried out your review of the first quarter you’ll have a clearer picture of how things are going.
If you are scoring 9s and 10s across the board, you have everything under control. Ratings of 7 or 8 mean you’re doing many things well and also have some areas for improvement. Six or less in any category and there’s a gap that requires closing.
See what needs to change and then make a plan for making it happen. You can see how that plan goes in quarter two and beyond.
Step by step you will improve your business and your business opportunities.
It’s what superhero assistants do.