98: The First Step To Prepare For Busy Season

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98: The First Step To Prepare For Busy Season 3

How can you prepare now for the fall busy season? In today’s episode, I’m sharing what I believe is the first key step to a successful busy season. 

The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight

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Review the Show Notes:

Start by reflecting (2:10)

How did last year go? (2:56)

What worked? (4:27)

What didn’t work? (6:02)

The Fall Prep Class (8:10)

Episode Links:

The Round Table Fall Prep Class

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Review the Transcript:

Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gebhardt. Here, I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing business, motherhood, and life. Myself, along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there.

If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, The shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.

Welcome back to the shoot straight podcast friends. It’s July, which is wild. Like where on earth has this year gone? I mean, don’t we say that year after year, but my gosh, anyways, we are now in the second half of the year officially, which means that our fall busy season is very quickly fast approaching.

I know it’s easy to want to bury our heads in the sand and ignore all things fall because, well, we’re still in summer mode very much. You may be on vacation. You may be celebrating holidays. I mean, it is summer mode, right? We have unplugged. We are relaxing and enjoying our family as you should be. But I promise you, The better option instead of ignoring that fall is coming is to start getting your ducks in a row now to start wrapping your brain around fall now because the truth is, the earlier you start, the more successful it will be.

So for today’s episode, I wanted to share a quick tip, a really short and sweet tip. When we start thinking about fall, this is going to be really a tiny little bite sized episode, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it won’t make a really big difference for you. Okay, so when we think about fall, people start thinking about money, right?

I mean, if you are a family photographer, that is what we think about when we think about Fall, we think about how lucrative it is for us, and yeah, it’s a great thing. It’s a great thing to have a season that we know is going to bring in a lot of dollars for our business, but. Before you can start thinking about making money and setting goals this fall, you have to start by reflecting first.

Okay. You have to start looking backwards first before you can start planning ahead. Okay. What do I mean by that? There’s three things that I want you to ask yourself and really ask yourself these questions. This should not take five minutes. This should take a couple of hours probably. This maybe will even take you looking back over your calendar last fall.

Okay, look back over the number of sessions you had last fall. Look through those images. I really want you to jog your memory so that you can remember. Last year. The first question I want you to ask is how did last year go? Just overall, what was the vibe of your fall busy season last year? How did you feel at the end?

Okay. When your last fall family gallery was delivered and you were officially done, how did you feel? Did you feel fantastic? Did you feel energized by how much money you made? Did you feel overjoyed by all the incredible clients you worked with and how smooth everything went? Or was it rough? Were you exhausted emotionally and physically?

Were you burned out? Were you dragging to the finish line because you were so miserable? Did you feel underpaid and underappreciated? Did you feel like you worked with a ton of clients that just made your life miserable? Like overall, when you think of last fall and your last busy season, how did it go and be really brutally honest?

There’s nothing that’s going to come from you sugarcoating it. Okay. This is not the time or place to say, Oh, I was miserable, but I mean, it’s okay. I made a lot of money. No, no. This exercise is for you and for you alone. And I’m going to get to how important this is to carry forward. So you need to be honest.

If you’re just going to sugarcoat the answers, just skip this exercise altogether. Okay. It’s, it’s not going to do anything for you. You need to be brutally honest. How did it go? How did last ball go overall? Okay. And then the second question I want you to ask yourself is what worked, what went well last fall?

Okay. I want you to make a note of everything that worked really well. I want you to write down things that felt good and I want you to write down the money part of it too, right? The whole point of this question, what worked is to try and recreate these things and to capitalize on these things. Did you outsource your editing last fall and did it take a ton off your plate?

Awesome. Let’s plan to do that again. Did you like the amount of money that you made when it was all said and done? Okay, perfect. We can use that to set a financial goal this year. Did you like, uh, the locations that you worked at? Did you like the turnaround time you promised? Did you like the products, um, that you offered, whatever, think about what went well.

Okay. And for some of you, a lot of things went well, and for some of you, very few things went well. Again, brutal honesty is so important. When you think about last fall, I want you to think through every moving part of your business, every detail, what went well. I want you to consider the hours you worked, the time that you were at your desk, your editing, your sessions, your calling, your posing, uh, the types of clients you worked with, the amount of money you made, the support that you had.

Were you able to show up for your personal life and your family? Did you get time off? Did you have white space? Like all of the things I want you to break down every tiny little piece of your business and your life last fall? What worked? Then on the flip side, question number three, I want you to ask yourself is what didn’t work.

So same thing. I want you to think through every facet of your business and your life last fall. What didn’t work? What felt hard? What felt bad? What was painful? What was uncomfortable? What was frustrating? What didn’t work? Did you have clients that were always showing up late? Was weather an issue and was constantly causing you to reschedule and throwing your calendar into chaos?

Did you feel like you were seriously underpaid for the amount of hours you were working? Did you end up feeling burned out? Were you miserable culling your images? Did you miss your kids fall sports games? Okay. Did you never get time off? Were you so busy that you Couldn’t ever watch TV with your partner after the kids went to bed, or maybe you never made it to your beloved nail appointment because you just couldn’t get away.

What didn’t work last fall? The magic is in the details here. The more like small, the details that you can remember that worked and that didn’t work, the better off you’re going to be. Okay, getting clear on these things again helps us to either recreate and capitalize on the wins or to fix the problems so they don’t happen again.

I know it’s really tempting to skip this part of the planning. Okay. It’s really tempting to jump straight into the spreadsheets and the calendar and figure out how much money you want to make. But when we skip this step, we fall into the same rhythms year after year. It’s why so many family photographers feel like they have to hustle in the fall, and then they end up burned out and miserable at the end of the year.

And it’s rinse and repeat year after year after year, because they keep doing the same things over and over again. They feel like they have a formula for something that works and the way they do it. And so they just keep doing it over and over again. They take the same formula and they redo it. And they’re shocked when they’re burned out again, when they get the same results again, let’s.

Change that. Okay. So let me say, if you’re hearing this and you’re realizing that, yeah, you probably need some serious help to make your fall successful. I want to invite you to join me inside my beloved membership, the round table for a really special one day live training for just 11. You can attend a call with my favorite group where I’m going to be teaching live on what I’m calling fall prep class in this training, I’m sharing foundational steps.

To having a profitable and a successful ball busy season. So if you need help getting your fall together and you’ve been wanting to see what the round table is all about, check out the link in the show notes and plan to join us on July 17th. That’s it for today. My friends, I’ll see you next week. Thanks so much for listening to the shoot at straight podcast.

You can find all the full show notes. And details from today’s episode@sabrinagehart.com slash podcast. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gehart Photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight.

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