Here it is, la rentrée. We’re all coming back to work. Early September has always been an energetic and active period for me. Holiday mood is over, minds are sharper, and the heat is not so bothersome. It’s easier to translate, and even late payers finally process the invoices.
There’s something about this period that makes me want to jump ahead and do it all. And I will do it. But I also appreciate a little bit of retrospective.
In any sort of small business, looking back at what you’ve done is crucial. Sometimes it’s the only measure of your achievements, success and development. On a micro scale, I summarise every day of work when I call it a day. I check what’s been done, what hasn’t, what’s been planned and what was postponed. By doing so, I have this powerful feeling that I am moving forward day by day.
On a macro scale, I summarise my business every three months, when each quarter ends. I look back and check what I have done, what I haven’t, what I’ve planned, and what will have to wait. Here it is, my honest summary.
What have I done?
Holidays – I had a few holiday breaks and I managed to get a fresh view on some of the most important things in my life. I also realised some things about our job, and how important translation is. I also practiced working holidays. May come handy next year!
Rearranging the office – I finally had the right circumstances to set up my office the way I want it. I have a lot of space now: two desks, 4 bookcases, a sofa, two whiteboards and a fireplace. My productivity has already increased!
Redesigning branding – I worked closely with my designers to reflect what I think about translation and how I want to provide my services. Some aspects are still being developed, but the major change is from red to brown. That’s it, I like it this way.
What haven’t I done?
Networking – A bit hard to do when everyone’s on holidays! But I planned to do things I didn’t manage to do in the end. And I think my online networking could’ve been better.
Learning – CPD during holidays is a real challenge! First of all, there are very few events and opportunities for development in summer. And with this weather it’s really hard to keep your motivation and self-discipline up to the same level.
Blogging – I found it difficult to keep to my routine and write one blog post a week. Why? I guess it was the summery atmosphere out there, and spending much more time outside. Unexpected trips didn’t help either.
What have I planned?
Qualifications – I decided to take DipTrans this year. My registration card is now sent off and we will see in January. I’m also starting a Postgraduate Certificate in Law. So far so good!
Presentations and webinars – There’s a lot of them planned! Follow my Facebook page not to miss anything. The first one is about social media – 25th of September.
Learning – I’m doing two or three free courses at Coursera, and I cannot recommend them enough! I was very disappointed when I had to stop one of them last year due to other commitments. I’m determined to keep up with them this year.
Business development – some nice things on the horizon here! I’ve planned a serious business development strategy and prepared a real marketing plan.
What will have to wait?
Languages – Originally I was supposed to be taking some language exams in September. Sadly, I don’t see it happening this year. I tried very hard to spend Saturdays working on my French and Norwegian, but there’s always something more pressing. If it’s not the right time, I’ll wait.
Moving – I really wanted to move this year before Christmas, but it is very unlikely now. I will have to stay where I am for now, even though it’s not the best location business-wise (I should move closer to the Polish cultural centre!).
Why don’t you look back over your shoulder and summarise the last quarter? Track your translation business development!