Sometimes, when I am busy and considering doing a task, I stop and think: will my future self be thrilled I did this? If the answer is yes, then I do it. Setting up my annual calendar is one of those tasks. For 15 minutes of effort today, I will reap the rewards all year long. And you, as a home baker, can too.
Never let others dictate your calendar. The first step to taking control is simple. Take time today and think about the entire year, yes, your annual calendar for your life and your home bakery. Not just the next two months, but think about the next 12 months as a home bakery owner.
What do you want to accomplish? And, more importantly, how do you want it to feel? Be intentional about your life and home bakery business. It’s easy to get sucked into the grind of your business’s day-to-day. Break the cycle with 2024 and set yourself up for success (Forbes article).
Three Things to Get You Started
- Choose the best calendar for your everyday needs. That could be a digital calendar on your computer/phone that you share with family members or a printed calendar you always keep nearby. Think about how you operate and what makes sense for your life. Your calendar could be tied to how you take orders. Check out my blog post: How Do Bakers Keep Track of Orders and Due Dates if you need help with managing orders.
- Reflect on last year. What worked for you? What didn’t? This answer is different for every home bakery business owner, so being honest with yourself is important.
- Set boundaries. You need to respect yourself and your business by setting parameters. Remember, if you don’t treat it like a business, you can’t expect anyone else to.
Mark your 2024 calendar with the following:
- Vacations or long weekends when you will take time off
- Holidays and special occasions that are typically moneymakers or those you want to make into moneymakers (Halloween, Mother’s Day, Christmas).
- On-sale dates for all holiday pre-sale menus (if you don’t know, choose a target date)
- Dates when you need to order any special supplies (could be overall or tied to certain holiday menus)
- Other cultural or local holidays that impact your life or business
- Family & friends celebrations (birthdays, graduations, weddings)
- If you have kids, add school holidays and other significant dates
- Quarterly Review – take some time to check in with yourself and the business
- Industry events or conferences
- Other pertinent personal or business holidays, appointments, etc., that you want to add
If you aren’t sure about specific dates or timeframes, include some educated guesses. You can always move items around or delete items if things change.
You may want to use a color-coding system to help you visually look at your calendar and see the various types of items at a glance. Be sure to update your calendar as things get confirmed over time.
You get to be in charge of your calendar. It’s your bakery business, so it’s up to you to set the ground rules.
Winston Churchill is credited with saying: “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” As a planner at heart, I am with Winston. Take some time now to set yourself up for success. And, success doesn’t have to only be about money.
You may want to avoid burnout or be intentional about spending more time with your family. You want your business to fit into your life, and you can start to make those decisions now, and you should.