September 02, 2023
Boost your business with a 30-minute weekly review
If you're like many creative business owners, your days are probably a swirling mix of client calls, artistic creation, invoicing, and, if you're lucky, a few minutes of downtime to catch your breath. I've been there—wading through the seemingly endless heap of stuff to do and not enough time to do it.
Today, I want to share a simple ritual that helped my business tremendously and made dealing with all the tasks and to-dos more manageable—a weekly review.
I found that by taking a little time each week to take inventory of results-based priorities, I was able to take my business from something that robbed me of energy to something that filled me with it.
Here's a look at how you can fast-track your success (both within your business and personal life) with a 30-minute weekly review.
Setting yourself up for success with a weekly review
For most creative businesses, your work and reputation can put clients on the books, but if you don't have a strategic eye on your financials and operations, you're setting yourself up for feast-or-famine syndrome.
And trust me—you don't want to leave your company's success up to random referrals, spray-and-pray marketing techniques, cosmic alignments, or "good vibes."
You need to manage, measure, review, and repeat. But where do you start?
Introducing SMART goals
Before you can put any time into a weekly review, you must know what to focus on. It's imperative to not only set goals but also measure their performance.
That's where SMART goals come in. SMART stands for:
SMART goals aren't just a clever acronym—they're a proven productivity methodology. They help you convert your strategies into time-bound tasks with measurable outcomes.
For instance, if one of your actionable insights is to increase customer engagement, your SMART goal could be to "increase the click-through rate of my home page by 15% in the next four weeks."
A few other actionable insights to track with SMART goals include:
- Client retention
- Revenue tracking
- Project profitability
- Product conversion rate
- Social platform engagement
These are just off the top of my head, but the list goes on and on. Pick the metrics that matter to you and your business and review them weekly.
The main takeaway: An actionable weekly review is only as good as the metrics it aims to improve and the SMART goals you set around it.
But there's another thing you need to do that is just as important as metrics and goals—being honest about your output.
Honesty is the best policy
Here's a scenario you might have encountered: It's the end of the week, and you're reviewing everything you achieved. The to-dos are all checked off, and you're feeling good. You feel productive. But were you?
Just because you thought you were "busy" all week doesn't mean you completed anything that actually propelled your broader business objectives.
When starting out with weekly reviews, being honest with yourself about what got done is essential. Start with these three questions:
- Did you simply "check things off a list," or did you make progress in your business?
- Did you prioritize things that benefit you or your clients? Or did you prioritize things you knew were easy to check off a list?
- Did you make things that help you make money? Or did you spend time on vanity tasks that don't move the needle?
Over time, you'll learn to set more reasonable SMART goals, but until then, hold yourself accountable by doing an honest review of your accomplishments and work towards setting the bar higher in the coming week.
By doing so, you'll find your unique threshold for getting things done and set more realistic goals in the future that actually move things forward.
Time management strategies for effective reviews
Although weekly reviews are incredibly important, nobody wants them to feel like a second job. Finding a way to weave these into your workweek is the best way to ensure they get done.
Maybe it's the Pomodoro Technique (my favorite), where you work in 25-minute bursts, or it's time-blocking specific hours for deep dives into your metrics. It doesn't really matter which strategy you pick—the point is that a well-managed review should be both thorough and efficient. That's the sweet spot you're aiming for.
Once you have a few weeks of reviews under your belt, you'll start to see the results. By the end of a few months, Warren Buffet would be proud of the compounding effects you'll achieve.
Weekly reviews can help achieve a better work-life balance
Let's face it: For many of us, our businesses take up a significant chunk of our lives. Work-life balance is something entrepreneurs often struggle with.
Weekly reviews can help provide the balance you're looking for by establishing common threads that improve both your professional and personal life.
For instance, if you're reviewing your goals and notice that you'd have to increase your workload significantly to achieve them, maybe it's time to revisit your delegation strategies.
You set a SMART goal to find a VA to help, which will likely yield dividends in other aspects of your life. Delegation becomes more natural, freeing you up to do other things. Win, win.
Is your weekly review helping? Tracking ROI and growth measurements
We've walked through some examples of setting up your weekly review, and hopefully, they encourage you to take action. But, as with most things in business, ROI is the yardstick that helps you gauge the real result of your weekly review.
Sure, you're feeling all zen and strategic post-review, but how is it trickling down to actual impact?
Ask yourself questions like:
- Am I scoring new clients?
- Has my engagement rate on social shot up?
- Am I meeting my revenue targets?
Once you have answers to your questions, track them in Notion or a spreadsheet so you can watch them over time. It might help to make a dedicated section in your review template labeled "ROI and Growth Metrics"—this ensures that you don't merely glance at these indicators but actively integrate them into your strategic planning.
Tracking metrics like the ones above is a factual testament to your review's efficacy. Even softer metrics like reduced stress levels or increased morale—though not directly quantifiable—can indirectly indicate a positive ROI.
The difference between success and stagnation often comes down to management and measurement in a business world that's always changing.
A weekly review isn't a luxury; it's a necessity that allows you to assess and re-align your goals and tactics on a regular basis. By adopting a weekly review ritual that employs SMART goals and specific metrics, you move from simply reacting to circumstances to strategically planning for progress.
The data you gather isn't just numbers on a spreadsheet; it's the feedback you need to iterate, improve, and evolve. This practice won't just improve your business; it can also bring a much-needed sense of order and balance to your personal life.
If you want to navigate the complexities of running a creative business, make the weekly review a non-negotiable part of your schedule.
"The best way to predict your future is to create it." - Peter Drucker
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the biggest advantage of having a structured weekly review?
A structured weekly review serves as your business' health check-up. It's where you evaluate the vitals—revenue, client relationships, employee performance—and get ahead of problems before they escalate. It brings clarity, focus, and intentionality to your operations.
Can a weekly review actually impact my personal life as well?
Absolutely. A weekly review isn't just a business-centric activity. It's a 360-degree life assessment tool. By dedicating time to review both your professional and personal goals, you build better habits, maintain work-life balance, and grow holistically.
How can I ensure that the time I spend on weekly reviews is actually productive?
The key lies in actionable insights. Your review should conclude with a list of specific actions for the upcoming week, aligned with both short-term and long-term objectives. If you find yourself with actionable takeaways you can implement immediately, you know the review was worthwhile.
Can weekly reviews replace quarterly or annual reviews?
No, but they complement each other. Think of weekly reviews as your tactical play-by-play that feeds into the broader strategy you outline in quarterly or annual reviews. Consistent weekly reviews offer real-time data that can make your quarterly or annual planning sessions more accurate and effective.
Grow your business with my 7-day automated sales funnel guide. Dive into actionable steps to attract, nurture, and convert leads efficiently.
September 16, 2023
Discover how transitioning to a recurring revenue model can offer financial stability, better client retention, and a competitive edge. Learn actionable steps for making the shift.
September 09, 2023
Explore the power of unlocking not just a niche, but an authentic creative purpose and understand the role passion plays in shaping your unique path.
August 26, 2023
Unlock the secrets to peak business performance as we delve into the art of systematic delegation. Discover how mastering business optimization can transform operations, boost efficiency, and elevate team collaboration.
August 19, 2023
Discover the four key habits that successful creative entrepreneurs harness to drive their ventures. Learn how to create, engage, work smart, and leverage creativity for growth.
August 05, 2023
Explore actionable strategies for building and maintaining strong client relationships. Learn how to improve customer retention and transform your clients into loyal brand ambassadors.
July 29, 2023
Discover how consistent content creation and strategic distribution can propel your business growth. Uncover entrepreneur-focused content mastery techniques.
July 22, 2023
Discover how to stand out in your industry with robust branding strategies. Gain insights from success stories like Airbnb, Apple, Nike, and more.
July 15, 2023
Discover strategies to maintain a personal touch while scaling your business. Learn how to leverage technology, empower your team, and stay true to your brand values for customer retention and growth.
July 08, 2023
Unlock the secrets to engaging writing that hooks readers and boosts conversions. Explore effective strategies, actionable tips, and timeless wisdom from ad legend David Ogilvy.
July 01, 2023
Discover how to craft impactful customer avatars and propel your marketing strategy. Learn the steps, tools, and common pitfalls to avoid in this comprehensive guide.
June 25, 2023
Uncover the art of crafting high-converting sales funnels. Step-by-step guide tailored for creative entrepreneurs, with practical tips and strategies for success.
June 24, 2023
Discover four ways you can to turbocharge your design agency's growth using the power of a flywheel.
June 17, 2023
Discover the power of transparent marketing in building customer trust and loyalty. Explore practical steps to implement transparency in your business strategy.
June 10, 2023
Discover the power of shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. Embrace growth, seize opportunities, and create more business success.
May 27, 2023
Discover the importance of the post-purchase journey and effective strategies to nurture it, drive loyalty, and boost repeat business.
May 20, 2023
Uncover the secret behind successful pricing strategies. Navigate the Pricing Paradox and boost your profit with insights into psychology, perception, and value-driven pricing.
May 13, 2023
Learn the art of business storytelling to captivate, inspire, and build lasting connections. Transform your marketing with these six powerful steps.
May 06, 2023
Introducing The Testimonial Engine, an innovative approach to collecting and leveraging customer testimonials for business growth. Overcome barriers, automate collection, and amplify success stories.
April 29, 2023
Discover the key to consistent sales growth for your creative business. Learn the step-by-step process to build a scalable sales system so you can finally be free from the daily grind.
April 22, 2023
Discover the power of persuasion and its impact on your business. Learn the principles, strategies, and techniques to influence decisions and elevate your business to its full potential.
April 15, 2023
Hourly billing is a trap. It's a cage that keeps you tethered to the ticking clock, limiting your income to the number of hours you work. But what if there's a way out?
April 08, 2023
Discover the "quantity now, quality later" content strategy for digital entrepreneurs, and learn how to overcome perfectionism, experiment, and grow your audience effectively.
April 01, 2023
Overcome these four creativity killers to unlock creative potential, foster resilience, and pave the way for growth as an entrepreneur.
March 25, 2023
There's a strong link between your gut and brain, giving credence to the phrase "trust your gut." Learn to harness it to make better decisions for your business.
March 18, 2023
Want to improve your memory and retain more information? This article offers practical techniques for remembering everything you read.
February 08, 2023
James Clear suggests that in order to be exceptional, you must continually strive to improve upon your work. In other words, quality can be your niche.
February 03, 2023
Introducing Zero Brand — a new storefront with garments, prints, and accessories exclusively designed for people who appreciate CC0.
January 13, 2023
This year was one of the most exciting and productive in recent memory. I’m excited to use the momentum from the latter half of 2021 to kick-start 2022.
January 05, 2022
Introducing Folio, a beautiful portfolio template built for Super and powered by Notion databases.
September 03, 2021
The Minimal Twitter Chrome extension from Thomas Wang will change your Twitter experience for the better.
April 21, 2021
A list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2021.
January 19, 2021
Reflections on the past 12 months to figure out where I'm headed in the year to come.
December 28, 2020
An article outlining several of the UX tools that I use, as well as those that make up the current UX design landscape.
May 15, 2020
It had been years since I owned an iPad and was looking to integrate it back into my workflow. But was it worth it?
March 04, 2020
I felt it was important for me to consider the fundamental nature of design and consider the parts that shape my approach to digital work.
May 22, 2019
I thought it would be a good time to take inventory of my digital footprint, starting first with Gmail.
December 30, 2018
For the past two weeks, I've been using the Pomodoro Technique to get my work done. And I have to say, I'm surprised by the results.
December 05, 2018