Spring is almost here! We welcome the season of abundant renewal and growth. The days may be getting longer, but are we really getting ahead? Are we even keeping up? We all experience that "not-enough-hours-in-the-day" feeling from time to time, but there are ways to prevent it from becoming a way of life. As the spring housing market heats up, here are some suggestions to help you and your home staging business blossom.
Know your business goals: The more clearly and specifically you identify and focus on your goals, the more easily you can achieve them. Especially at those times when life gets most hectic, returning to your "big picture" goals can refresh, motivate and inspire you. Referring to your vision statement, mission statement or business plan often can prevent you from veering too far off track.
Analyze and refine as you go along: Like you, your company needs to evolve over time. The longer you're in business and the more statistics you keep on your work, the better you'll be able to make data-driven decisions about which services, systems and procedures work best (and are most profitable) for your unique company. The rule of (green) thumb is not to be afraid of change. What worked when you started on your journey may no longer keep you moving in the right direction. Every thriving business needs occasional "pruning" to keep it growing strong; so assess what is and isn't working, and change accordingly.
"Write" everything down and keep it with you: Whether you prefer a paper-based planner or something more high-tech, make sure to record all pertinent information in it, update it regularly and keep it with you at all times. Make sure other team members are on the same page as plans and schedules change.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize: A stager's day can change from moment to moment, so keeping your focus on what's most important and urgent at any given point can mean the difference between success and burnout. Review and revise your priorities as often as necessary to stay on track.
Diversify your team: The better you can identify the diverse skills and expertise needed for your unique team-and delegate functions and tasks accordingly-the more productive and successful your company will be. In addition to excellent design skills, look for team members who have strong business, marketing, and interpersonal skills.
Use technology to your advantage: There is a mind-boggling amount of technology available today to support a home staging business. My "Technological Travels" blog goes into great detail on this subject. The trick is to make technology work for you rather than against you. Streamlining, synchronizing and, when necessary, updating the systems and equipment you use can keep your efficiency at its peak. If this subject seems overwhelming or you need more information to get started, don't be afraid to ask for assistance from those who are more tech-savvy.
Network, network, network: Ours is a new and constantly-evolving industry. Networking with fellow stagers, members of the real estate community, service providers and business experts is a wise use of time because it allows you to exchange ideas, market your business and stay on top of standards, trends and innovations. It's also a great way to make friends, solve problems, and share the lessons you've learned along the way. There are ample opportunities to mingle at the local, state, regional, national and international levels-whether you'd prefer face-to-face interaction at events like the RESA Convention, or you'd rather let your fingers do the "talking" on sites like Activerain/SIF. Whichever way you choose to participate, you'll be gaining valuable information to grow your own business and helping to tend our "community garden."
Balance work with "play": Small business owners (and many of their dedicated team members) are masters of blending personal life with professional life, but this can become problematic when the former is sacrificed for the latter. Don't neglect your personal life. Make time for the friends, loved ones, and activities you enjoy. Sacrificing your nerves and overall health won't help you grow your business-or your life. When (or, ideally, before) you feel overwhelmed, take a walk, take a nap, or take a trip; see the sights or see a movie. If it helps to make it more official, block off some personal time on your work schedule. (Think of it as working on YOU!) Above all, never forget that a little R&R can go a long way toward preserving your creativity, productivity and sanity.
I hope you find these suggestions useful and enjoy all the best that springtime has to offer!
Home Matters Home Staging and Training a professional home staging company "Servicing the needs of our Real Estate community here in Metro Indianapolis and all of central Indiana" We help real estate professionals, home sellers, builders and investors with their home staging needs and we provide the most relevant and up to date Home Staging Training that the industry has to offer through the Staging and Redesign (SAR) 3 and 5 day courses. For more information regarding our services and our training schedule, please contact us at 317-209-9801 or visit us on the web.