Written by Ibtissam Mustaq, Founder of Andalusia Speech Therapy
When you are starting up your business, you have to do it all! When I first started up my speech therapy clinic, Andalusia Speech Therapy, this is a list of just some of the roles I had to full:
- Website Designer
- Logo Designer
- Brand Designer
- Administrative Organizer
- Speech Therapist
Trust me when I say that it is far from an exhaustive list, and it keeps growing! So how do you do it all when you are by yourself and have no capital investment to hire support?
One. Step. At. A. Time.
Seriously, that was my guiding motto that helped me develop and expand my clinic to two locations and a staff of four and growing! We are helping so many people obtain quality speech therapy services and I managed to employ four individuals so far with a growing brand! Here are some tips on how I got here.
I know everyone says it and it sounds like something you learn in a business 101 class in high school, but there’s a reason for it! Even though I already had the long term vision of what I wanted my business to be, my business plan had sections that helped me plan all the in between steps and consider aspects to growth I would have overlooked otherwise. I just googled ‘business plan free template’ and compared a few before deciding on the headers for mine and got to work! It took months to have a revised copy that I actually like, but get the skeleton down and it will help you plan.
Keep track of goals
My business plan helped me identify both my immediate and long term goals. So then I attacked each goal by keeping track of medium and long term goals on my business plan and short term goals on my Google Keep app on my phone. Any note app will do but I like that Keep allows me to create different boxes with their own header, checklist items that I can check off, and the option to archive or delete so I can refer to things in my archive if I need to!
I schedule my tasks, not just my appointments. So I look at my Keep app tasks, see which ones are priority, and schedule them in. I won’t lie, sometimes a task I don’t want to do can stay in my Keep app list for weeks because I don’t want to do it and decide it’s not a priority. But I keep seeing it there which is a nagging reminder and eventually I get it done. Checking off that task in the list is eventually so satisfying!
I do all these things through my phone, and that helps me to stay focused and get thing done on the go. When I’m on the streetcar, I complete business shopping on Amazon. On the subway with no internet? I reply to emails to send later. I save my laptop time for things I really need a keyboard for. But having everything at my fingertips makes me a lot more efficient in my business. I can access everything for my business through my phone, and most business should be able to as well now!
Get it all done!
So, plan with a business plan, create goals you can check off, and schedule in those goals as specific tasks so they get done! And do the little things on the go or while you are waiting and having your phone handy.
Maybe the best advice I can give is to keep going. You are going to miss your own set deadlines, and that’s okay. Just reschedule them and you will do them on a day when you have more energy or time. There will be ups and there will be many, many downs, and just know that I was there too, among thousands of us. Just schedule in some days to wear the huge sun hat on the beach too and you’ll be fine.
Ibtissam Mustaq is the founder of Andalusia Speech Therapy. Visit andalusiaspeech.com to find out more.