Episode 9

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Published on:

28th Dec 2023

Reflecting on Your Business: Preparing for the New Year | 009

In this episode of Architecture Business Club, Jon encourages listeners to reflect on their past year in business and consider their business plans for the upcoming year. Highlighting the importance of setting an objective and assessing which actions led to successful results and which actions were detrimental. Jon discusses his personal achievements and challenges, highlighting his own goals for the year ahead.

Episode Highlights...

00:00 Introduction and Welcome

01:25 Reflecting on the Past Year

01:56 Identifying Achievements and Challenges

02:37 Overcoming Perfectionism

03:40 Setting Goals for the New Year

04:27 Choosing a Theme or Word for the Year

05:56 Planning for Business Growth

07:51 Understanding the Difference Between Goals and Tasks

10:53 Creating an Annual Plan for Your Business

14:12 Planning in Quarters

14:55 Conclusion and Preview of Next Episode

Key Takeaways...

👉 Reflect on your previous year: Take the time to look back and reflect on what worked well and what didn't. Make course corrections if necessary.

👉 Set clear goals: Define your objectives for the year and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals.

👉 Embrace imperfection: Avoid being a perfectionist and instead focus on progress. It's better to take action and make improvements later.

👉 Seek growth opportunities: Continuously strive for personal and professional growth. Look for ways to expand your knowledge, reach new audiences, and increase your income.

👉 Break down tasks: When planning, distinguish between goals, projects, and tasks. Break down larger projects into smaller, manageable tasks to stay organised and productive.

👉 Consider quarterly planning: Break down your yearly goals into quarterly sprints. Quarterly planning allows for course corrections and helps you stay focused throughout the year.

Links Mentioned In The Episode...

Andrew & Pete

https://www.andrewandpete.com/

Chris Ducker

https://chrisducker.com/

Mike Cole

https://thismikecole.com/

What To Do Next...

📐Get Jon’s free weekly email newsletter (so you never miss an episode).

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https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/architecture-business-club-5485140

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📐Find Jon on other social media platforms by searching for…

@mrjonclayton

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGZOAac4salmSX0wWRT7JUg

📐Visit Jon’s website here.

https://mrjonclayton.co.uk/

In The Next Episode...

Next time Jon chats with online business strategist and copywriter, Janet Murray about how to think more like a CEO.

Transcript
Jon Clayton:

It's the weird time between Christmas and new year.

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Hopefully you've managed to take some time off work to relax.

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Perhaps if a glass of Bailey's send a mince pie.

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But if you can spare just a little time to think about your

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business plans for next year.

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You could really set up your year for success.

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That's exactly what I'll be talking about in this week's episode of architecture

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business club, the weekly podcast for solo and small firm architecture, practice

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owners, just like you who want to build a profitable future proof architecture

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business that fits around their life.

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I am the host John Clayton.

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If you want to get notified when I release a new episode and get

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access to free resources and exclusive offers, then go to Mr.

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John clayton.co.uk forward slash ABC.

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And sign up to my free weekly email newsletter.

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Hi, everyone.

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Thanks so much for joining me today.

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I hope you've hardened.

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Awesome Christmas, whatever you've been doing.

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Spending time with family and sharing gifts and just

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enjoying some time off work.

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Um, I think the Christmas break, if you're fortunate enough to be able to take some

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time off between Christmas and new year.

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It's a science from spending time with family and enjoying some time off work.

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It's actually a really good time.

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Really good opportunity to.

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Look back and reflect on your previous year.

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So to look back at, what's been working what hasn't been working and to make

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a course correction if necessary.

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That's something that business coach Mike Cole regularly recommends to his coaching

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clients in his coal collective community.

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Uh, it's actually something that they they do each month.

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But I think it's something too good to do at the end of the year as

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well, to look back on the past year.

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So a few questions that you can ask yourself.

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What went well?

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What went well last year.

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What were your achievements towards your, your objective for the year?

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Assuming you set an objective for the year, which I think is good today.

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So for me, it was getting clear on the direction I wanted to go in with my

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business and launching this podcast.

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That was something that I'd.

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Thought about a long time ago and hadn't had the confidence to go ahead and do it.

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And I finally managed to get over myself and get on and launch the podcast this

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year, which was a huge thing for me.

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I'm really pleased to be able to share this with the world.

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The other thing to ask yourself what went wrong?

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Did anything get in the way of your goal?

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Or objective that you'd set for this year.

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From my point of view, my perfectionism slowed things down.

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I sometimes call myself a recovering perfectionist.

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I'm really trying to kind of let go of my perfectionism.

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I Mean, it can be.

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Quite a useful trait, particularly in architecture and being an

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architectural technologist.

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The devil is in the detail.

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That's a phrase that often got bandied around the office.

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And, um, I was very much a perfectionist.

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Working on those designs, particularly technical design stages, but.

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It can really slow you down because you know, you're aiming for

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perfection every time and you just never get round to doing things.

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So I've been really trying to let go of that and embrace a more.

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Dumb.

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Is better than perfect approach and things can always get refined later.

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But another thing that didn't go as well as share is my, my income,

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my revenue has been opened down and all over the place this year.

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So that's something that I'd like to fix next year.

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What would make next year, even better than last year.

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Have a think about that.

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It's really important to think about what can be optimized, what

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can be improved year on year.

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For me, I'm going to be focusing on the growth of the podcast.

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We've only launched relatively recently, wanting to make sure that the show gets

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out to as many listeners as possible.

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And I ideally want to build a community of like-minded architecture, practice

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owners and architecture professionals.

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I'd like to build a community from, um, the listeners of the show.

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And income, I would like to have more consistent, predictable income.

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In the year ahead.

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Another thing that you can do is have a theme or a word of the year.

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So for me last year, my word of the year was.

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Well, two words actually balance.

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And wellbeing.

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The previous year, I'd had a bit of a turbulent time.

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We were moving house and it was quite a stressful process of, of

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buying the home that we now live in.

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And I hadn't realized quite how stressful that was for me and for my family, until

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till it was all over till we moved in.

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It's.

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It's just over a year to the day, since we got the keys to our current home and it

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felt like a weight had been lifted when we finally got the keys and we got moved in.

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And, um, I.

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Really had recognized that.

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There was this imbalance in my life with my work-life balance.

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Uh, I wasn't looking after myself as well as I could have been.

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I don't want it to make that a real priority for the past year.

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And I feel like I'm in a better place now for it.

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I think for next year.

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I think the word for next year.

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I am not a hundred percent decided on this.

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I'm going to think about this more over the new year period.

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Growth was the first word that came to mind.

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So.

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Personal growth.

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Growth professionally.

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Growth of the podcast growth of my business.

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That seems to be the word that's came to, seems to be coming

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to the fore for me personally.

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So encourage you have a think about what your theme for next year going to be.

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And what is the goal?

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Like, do you have a goal or objective for the year ahead?

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If you don't have a goal for next year.

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Now's a good time to think about it.

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For me, I would like to.

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Diversify my income.

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I would like my income to be more regular coming into the business.

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And part of that will be.

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Creating some paid office for the listeners for you.

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Based on.

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The areas that you need the most help with.

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So I'll be reaching out to you guys.

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I'm going to be asking you.

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What are the things that you're struggling with?

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Where is it that you need support?

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And this that's something that I can help you with in some way.

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Uh, what needs to happen for you to achieve your goal?

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I have a think about that.

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What are the steps that you need to take to achieve it?

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For me, I'm intending to publish and promote at least one.

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High quality, valuable podcast episode every single week,

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I'm going to be seeking out.

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Collaboration opportunities.

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Looking for ways to get in front of other people's audiences.

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I'm going to, I'm going to be surveying my own audience.

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I'm going to be reaching out to you guys as the listeners.

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And asking you about what are the things that you're struggling

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with and how can I help.

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And that I'll be creating some paid offers to assist with those pain

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points, with those things that you're struggling with based on your feedback.

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Remember, don't forget to subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter.

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You can do that at mrjonclayton.co.uk/abc.

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And if you are enjoying this episode then please visit podchaser.com,

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search for Architecture Business Club and leave a five star review.

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Now, back to the show.

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Something else that I think is worth highlighting is the difference between.

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Goals.

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And, and tasks.

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I think we could broadly categorize this into probably four categories actually.

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And I'm going to name check Andrew and Pete, the wall, small

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business growth experts and the founders of the atomic community.

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Pretty sure they did a training about this some time ago.

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In their community that I listened in on.

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So I'm going to credit those guys for this.

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Talking about the difference between vision goals, projects, and tasks.

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So the vision really is.

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A broad description of the future that you want.

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Do you know what direction you're going in?

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What is it that you actually want?

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In the future.

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What do you want life to look like in a year's time or five years' time?

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What's the vision for that?

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The goals are.

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Well, it's still big picture.

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But they usually time bound.

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You often heard that terminology saying smart goals.

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Smart goals are specific measurable.

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Achievable relevant and time bound.

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But, you know, Having that in mind dot.

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Uh, goal being something that maybe you might set a goal for

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each quarter, we might have a goal for the year that ties in with a

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longer-term vision for the future.

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Projects is something slightly different.

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And I think there's a bit of confusion, some time between projects and tasks.

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Sometimes people will set themselves a task.

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It might be.

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Update website.

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Popular finished building new website.

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That is not a task.

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That really is a project.

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Project is a related series of tasks that contribute to achieving your

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goal and fulfilling your vision.

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But the made up of lots of smaller tasks, the tasks are the individual steps that

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are required to complete the projects.

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And one of the mistakes that I've made in the past, a lot of other people make

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is, you know, writing a, to do list that.

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You look at it as being a task list, but actually some of the tasks that you

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have on your list are actually projects.

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And then it becomes very difficult to.

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Tick those off your list.

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'cause, they're not broken down into that.

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Um, Micro level of detail into the individual tasks that need to be done to

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achieve and get the project completed.

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So have a think about that when you, when you're thinking about the things

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that you need to do, the things that you need to plan out next year.

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To achieve your longterm vision and to achieve next year's goal,

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whatever that's going to be.

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I think about how you can break down those bigger tasks, which are really

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projects, break those down into those little individual baby steps so that it's

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more manageable and achievable and you can get those things ticked off your list.

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I think the other thing that it's good to have at this point, Is to have some

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kind of annual plan for next year.

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That kind of incorporate some of those thoughts from your, your

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longterm vision and your goal.

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To actually set aside a little bit of time.

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It doesn't need to be all day.

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Could just be, you know, An hour over your, coffee and maybe a, the

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lust of the mince pies before we get back to work in the new year.

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And I think this is something that expert business mentor Chris Ducker

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does particularly well with his round table mastermind group and with

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his incubator business community.

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At the beginning of the year, he gets his community to, to think about their

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yearly plan and also, um, them throughout the year to do quarterly planning.

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Some of the things that you would do when you are looking at your yearly

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plan, are things like reflecting on the current state of the business.

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And looking towards the future.

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It's a little bit like the the bit we touched upon

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earlier about reflecting back.

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We were talking at the beginning of the conversation about Mike Cole and,

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and what he does with his community.

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You reflect on things.

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That are working well, what is working well in the business?

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What's working, not so well.

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What were the biggest challenges that you had last year?

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What did you struggle with?

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What tasks.

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Could you start delegating next year?

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Are there certain things that you're doing within your business that

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perhaps you shouldn't be doing?

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All the things that you could delegate.

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Could you train somebody else to do the thing that you're struggling with?

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Maybe it's not your area of expertise.

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And also think about what, what big plans do you have for the business next year?

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What is the goal for next year?

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Where do you want to be?

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If we fast forward.

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12 months, time in your business.

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Where do you want to be this time?

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Next year?

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And I think also it's important actually to consider the numbers.

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Something that often gets overlooked.

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Crazy as it is, but if you don't really have a handle on that, then.

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This is an argument to say, you don't really have a business.

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You maybe you're in business, but you perhaps don't actually

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have a business really.

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So, again, this is a great time to look back.

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At your revenue from the previous year.

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Reflect on back.

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I think about what is the target for next year?

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What is your revenue goal?

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For the next 12 months.

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And look back up.

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Where did luscious revenue come from?

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And if, well, I'm assuming that next year's revenue target.

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It's going to be bigger than the shares.

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I'm sure all of us would like more revenue coming into our

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business for the next year.

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So where is that extra revenue going to come from?

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How are you going to get it?

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How many clients do you need?

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How many projects do you need to be able to hit that new revenue goal?

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Also have a look at the costs.

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What were the running cost last year?

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What did it cost to run the business?

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And what are you going to budget for next year for your business costs?

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Have a look at what the top cost sources, where, where are you spending the

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most money in running your business?

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And are there any savings that you could make?

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The last thing that I would say is.

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Think about planning in quarters.

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I think it's good to have a longterm vision for the direction of the business.

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I think it's great to have an overarching goal for the whole year.

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But I think it's good to break that down into quarters kind of 90 day sprints.

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It's it's a more manageable block of time.

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It's long enough to get some.

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You know, too.

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Get some real stuff done.

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To get some results.

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But it's not so long that you start to get complacent or you go too far off track.

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Each quarter, you can do a little bit of a course correction

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if that's what's required.

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To keep you on track towards that annual goal.

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And I think that's enough for today.

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I will talk more about quarterly planning in a future episode.

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So until then, I wish you all the best for the new year and

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I'll catch up with you soon.

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Next time.

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I've got a fantastic episode to kickstart your new year.

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I'll be chatting with online business, strategist and copywriter.

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Janet Marie about thinking like a CEO.

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Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Architecture Business Club.

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If you liked this episode, think other people might enjoy it.

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Or just want to show your support, then please visit podchaser.com.

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Search for Architecture Business Club and leave a glowing five-star review.

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It would mean so much to me and makes it easier for new

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listeners to discover the show.

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If you just want to connect with me, you can do that on most social media

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platforms, just search for @mrjonclayton.

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The best place to connect with me online though is on LinkedIn.

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You can find a link to my profile in the show notes.

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Remember running your architecture business doesn't have to be hard.

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And you don't need to do it alone.

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This is Architecture Business Club.

Show artwork for Architecture Business Club - For Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors & Designers

About the Podcast

Architecture Business Club - For Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors & Designers
Helping busy architecture professionals build a better business with actionable tips and tactics.
Architecture Business Club is the weekly podcast to help solo and small firm architecture business owners build a profitable, future-proof architecture practice that both you and your clients love! It’s an inclusive place (for ALL architecture business owners). So whether you’re an Architect, Architectural Technologist, or Architectural Designer…If you sell architectural services and want to improve the way you do things…This is THE podcast for you.

I’m Jon Clayton, your show host, and a Chartered Architectural Technologist based in the UK. I’ve been in architecture for over two decades and running my own (solo) practice for 10 years+.

Each week you’ll hear from inspiring people from the world of architecture and business who share actionable tips to help you improve how you work, save time, or make more money. I’ll also share my own experiences running an architecture business in occasional solo episodes. We cover everything from mindset, money, business strategy, sales & marketing, productivity, systems & workflows, client experience, outsourcing, software, technology, and much more.

Episodes are kept as short as possible by cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point. So expect interview episodes of around 30 minutes or less, and solo episodes of 5 to 15 minutes.

New episodes are released every Thursday at 6am GMT / 2am EST.

Welcome to the Club!

About your host

Profile picture for Jon Clayton

Jon Clayton

I’m Jon. A Chartered Architectural Technologist and the founder of Architecture Business Club. I've been working in architecture for over two decades and running my own architectural design business for over ten of those years. My mission is to help you build a better architecture business on your terms. So if you're a sole practitioner (or small practice) architect, architectural technologist, or architectural designer, I want to help YOU. I'm a Northerner but now live with my family in Norfolk, UK. Outside of work, I'm a guitar tottin', kayaking, movie trivia buff.