064: The heartbeat of your business is your vision with Ashley Kang

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Tune into this interview with Ashley Kang who is a Strategy + Operations Consultant, and CEO of AHK Business Management, where she helps busy and overwhelmed service-based solopreneurs and entrepreneurs with setting up their business strategy and streamlining their operations. Ashley and I have a great conversation about why you need a business strategy and her suggestions of how to get started.

Discussed In This Episode:
  • Why it’s important to articulate your why
  • The super important parts of your client onboarding and off boarding system
  • Ashley’s favorite tools she’s using in her business right now
  • How she suggests getting started with your business strategy
Mentioned In This Episode:
Connect with Ashley:

 

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Instagram (@mirandamerten)

*this post contains affiliate links

 

[00:00:00.350] - Intro/Outro

Welcome to Coffee Powered Systems. Equipping women with actionable steps to overcome overwhelm and streamline business and life. So grab your favorite drink and come hang out with me. I'm your host, Miranda Merten.

[00:00:14.690] - Miranda

All right, everyone, welcome back to Coffee Powered Systems. I'm your host, Miranda Merten, and we are back for season two. Join me as we kick off this season with an interview. You're going to hear a few more interviews this season than you did last season, which is super exciting. I've already recorded some great interviews with some fabulous guests, and our first guest up is Ashley Kang. And let me tell you a little bit about Ashley. Ashley is a strategy and operations consultant and CEO of Ah Business Management, where she helps busy and overwhelmed service based solopreneurs and entrepreneurs with setting up their business strategy and streamlining their operations.

[00:01:00.810] - Miranda

She loves helping her clients rediscover their vision and align their operations and systems to get them on the path to achieving their goals and spending more time in their zone of genius. Now, in this episode, you're going to hear me and Ashley talk about why it's important to articulate your why and really define your vision when it comes to business strategy. And also we go into the important parts of your client onboarding and offboarding system. And of course, we end with Ashley's favorite tools of what she's using in business right now.

[00:01:35.610] - Miranda

Enjoy this episode with Ashley Kang.

[00:01:43.680] - Miranda

All right. Welcome back to Coffee Powered Systems. I'm your host, Miranda, and today we have Ashley Kang joining me. Ashley, welcome to the podcast.

[00:01:54.520] - Ashley

Thank you for having me.

[00:01:56.060] - Miranda

Thank you for joining me. So let's talk about for those of us that don't know who you are, we're going to get into what it is you do and all this juicy business strategy stuff that we're about to talk about. I'm so excited.

[00:02:12.220] - Ashley

Okay. So a little bit about me, I my name is Ashley. I'm the co founder of HK Business Management, and I empower solopreneurs and entrepreneurs to elevate their businesses through creating business plans, mapping out their whole next year of business and also streamlining their internal operations and systems. In a nutshell, helping people go from disorganized and overwhelmed to clarity and confident so that they can help their clients or customers and feel like they have some sanity left.

[00:02:51.120] - Miranda

That's awesome. That's exactly what I love to talk about. So you're in the right place. So you talk about crafting a business strategy and an action plan to support your visions and your goals. And many of us go into business because it feels good or we have, like, an AHA moment, and we're just like, yes, but we start without a strategy, right? So can you walk us through the ideal process for people who are either thinking about starting a business or have already started, but then they realize that they don't have a plan or a vision?

[00:03:28.660] - Miranda

Yeah.

[00:03:31.080] - Ashley

Start from the very beginning. I always tell clients that the heartbeat of your business is your vision, the why you're doing your business, the what you do and how you do it. That's its own thing. But the why you're in business is hugely important. And I think sometimes we kind of gloss over it or we speed through it, or we get through the first a few months, even years of business, and then we stop. And like, Why are we doing this envision? It's not just your business vision of, oh, I want to grow my team, grow my business, have ten K months.

[00:04:12.140] - Ashley

You have an agency model. It's not just those things which are really good and that's critical to actually building an action steps to growing and scaling your business, but also your personal why. Maybe you want to be location independent. Maybe you want the flexibility of working from home, be able to spend more time with your family. Those things are crucially important. So I always tell people, if you can't articulate your why along with your what you do, then you kind of have to backtrack a little bit because your business is a reflection of you.

[00:04:44.490] - Ashley

And so you want to make sure that your vision is aligned with what you're doing. So I always say, start with your vision. And then after you get clear on your why you're doing your business, then you move into your what and that's your mission of what are you doing? What are you providing if your service provider, if you sell a product, really understanding what you do and what you offer and who you offer it for? I think a lot of people I think and you would totally agree with this.

[00:05:18.630] - Ashley

People sometimes don't have a clear, ideal target audience or customer. And that makes it really hard to market, to build out more offers to get sales. And so part of your mission is not just what you do or what you make it's who you do it for. And so I think that's really those are the real Foundation, I think to business strategy. And then obviously having the presence of mind to actually sit down and think about where you want to take your business, looking at what your Y is and what you do and who you do it for.

[00:05:57.590] - Ashley

And then how do you put the two together?

[00:06:00.120] - Miranda

I love that because I noticed when I started and when I started doing all that, I was like, just kind of, yeah, I'm in business. I'll take whoever. But then if you start it and you focus and you're like, okay, what am I doing? And who am I doing this for? And then you're like, what do I want to sell? Then it kind of all comes together, right? And then it kind of clicks and you're like, oh, now this makes sense. And now you got go to market to and all of that.

[00:06:27.900] - Ashley

Exactly. And I think those. I mean, when we talk about business strategy, business planning, it kind of seems like an elusive concept or something that you need a lot of technical skill and something. I always encourage. People like business strategy and planning can be as complex as you want it to be. Yeah. But what you actually needed to be is really kind of the simplistic, not simplistic, but maybe the core, the core pillars, and then all that slept stuff can come later. But it's not a scary thing, as some people think it is.

[00:07:01.760] - Miranda

So what do you think the scariest part about when you say business strategy and planning? You sit down and people are like, I don't know.

[00:07:09.800] - Ashley

Yeah, I use strategy and planning, at least the context of my business pretty equally as far as almost the same thing. But I think when people get caught up when they hear the word the term business strategy, they think metrics and numbers and sales and accounting, which those definitely play a part in business planning and business strategy. But I don't want people to get too turned off or freaked out by that terminology because there's a lot more to business planning and the creative side, because I work with, like, a lot of creative.

[00:07:46.880] - Ashley

Some of my first clients were creative businesses, photographers and Etsy shop owner. And for them, they're like, I don't want to be boxed in by the numbers or the strategy. And I'm like, yes, but there is a lot of creativity in the planning because it's driven by you, the creative. And how do we harness your creativity and come up with these new ideas, things that you want to try to achieve your vision. So things are also equally needed, so not to be turned off by the the numbers and the scary sounding words.

[00:08:25.710] - Miranda

Yeah. And that was actually my next question, because you can put a lot of creatives. And do you find a lot of pushback from people when they're just like, strategy just sounds so like business. And you're right, like, you can I kind of want to feel into it and feel my intuition. It kind of just as sure.

[00:08:50.000] - Ashley

My response to that is usually if you don't have some sort of plan or business strategy in place, you're not going to ever make any progress, because I know for me I'm also a creative person not merely to, like, wanting to start a creative business, but I know that you can get really stuck in the granular and get really comfortable and just kind of doing the day to day without taking the step back and looking at the big picture. So you'll never make any progress or be able to grow your business.

[00:09:19.350] - Ashley

I use the analogy of taking a road trip where at the beginning of a road trip, you know, your starting point and you know where you want to end up if you do a cross country road trip, but you don't just get in the car and go and just hope that you can follow the interstate times. You want to kind of map out the route, maybe pick out some of the stopping points that you want to visit, some landmarks, a restaurant, and then you kind of go.

[00:09:51.500] - Ashley

And sometimes you're flexible. You do a spontaneous stop for photos or whatnot. But in the same way, business, you have your end point or that vision in mind. And then the business plan or strategy. Is that like the route that you're going to take and the the stops on the landmark that you definitely want to hit. And then sometimes things happen. Maybe you do do a little Bunny trail off the beaten past. Maybe you do stop at that roadside diner that you didn't plan to. So if you don't have to bring that in out you back, you don't have a road map.

[00:10:27.920] - Ashley

You're not really going to go anywhere. You're just going to end up going in circles.

[00:10:31.400] - Miranda

Exactly. And it can still be fun. All right. Going back to your road trip analogy. You're right. We make pit stops. We can go off one day and say, I want to do a summit. I want to do something else to kind of bring people in.

[00:10:44.620] - Ashley

Sure.

[00:10:45.080] - Miranda

And keep it fun. Exactly. So let's switch gears and talk about client onboarding and offboarding, because that is talking about you're planning and strategy. That's really huge with systems, especially if you're a client focused business. But you're not flailing every time you get a new client, trying, trying to do everything. So we all know it's super beneficial to have a system that walks you through the steps every time you get a client. And what I wanted to know is, how do you recommend setting up a system for client onboarding and offboarding?

[00:11:26.260] - Miranda

Because that first client. I remember getting that very first client. It's like, you don't have anything, right, because you don't know what you're going to need to do. And so when I first got my first client, I was like, hey, do you do this?

[00:11:39.040]

Sure do.

[00:11:40.660] - Miranda

oh and just send me your contract. Okay. Let me go ahead. You get off the phone, you start open up the contract and you're like, how am I going to send it? And then as you go along, you like, oh, I need to do this, too. And then you add that to your steps. How do we go through what's the best way to kind of set that up? Especially after the first client and to make it as seamless as possible going forward.

[00:12:08.320] - Ashley

Yeah. I love the distinction, too. That you made subtly of system is not the same thing as tool. I think a lot of people get those mixed up systems are the processes and the things in your business that make your business work. And the tools are the technology and software that help you do those things. I appreciate that. So starting with any client client management strategy. It's based into your bigger business plan because at the crux of it your clients or your business, right? That's how you bring in the dollars.

[00:12:47.290] - Ashley

And I think for anybody who either doesn't feel like they have a client process or they kind of do and are wanting to firm it up. I think the first thing is really just documenting every step you do currently or ideally. So if you don't have a system yet, think about what you want to have happen and what needs to have happen and write it out. And then for people who kind of been using through it in the first couple of clients, it really write out what you've already done.

[00:13:16.940] - Ashley

And I think just see it on paper. The notepad word document. It's just nice to see you can get fancy and do it in a flow chart. You think something like mirror or Whimsical, but I always say just list it all out at the first go. So you see what, what you're doing and then using that all the list of things that you've already done. Then you got to think about those important pieces, like having a contract. Do you need to send a proposal? When do you need to send invoice?

[00:13:50.780] - Ashley

When do you want the payment to happen? Do you want them to pay before you start work? Do they pay upon receipt, deliverables, asking yourself those questions and then writing those in, like using arrows or colored pens, whatever you want into the list that you've already written. Then also look at the list of things that you do or you've already done and think, do I actually need to do that step? Sometimes we added way too many steps or emails and you want to really streamline it so that the client knows at all times what they need to do and what is expected of them and where they're going.

[00:14:29.150] - Ashley

I think a lot of people are always saying to me, my client is always asking me all these questions and emails, and I just don't have time to answer everything like, well, did you give them this information up front and keep reminding them, keep giving it to them, which is why I am always once you've got your process down of what needs to happen when then you start looking, how do I make those components in my process even more robust and clear? Do you do a client welcome packet instead of like a client email?

[00:15:00.910] - Ashley

So welcome packet could be two page Google Doc or a Canva template where you put all the information of this is how you reach me. I'll respond within many hours or days. This is where you can find all the links for your prep work here's client portal here's all the things you need to do by when putting that all in one spot of spreading it across. Email is always a really good thing. So at least in the onboarding side. Off boarding is a little less of a I don't know if you would agree with me, Miranda, but offboarding is less of a headache, in my opinion, mostly because you're not usually the payments already happens.

[00:15:52.080] - Ashley

You don't have to be asking them for money, and it's really just sending them any deliverables. Sending them deliverables like a link to a folder, sending them a testimonial or a review feedback link is really important. And then ways to stay connected. You always want to give your clients a way to be in touch with you in the future. Maybe you have a referral program, but again, giving all the information in a concise way to your clients is like, should be the the mantra that you have the whole time.

[00:16:32.630] - Ashley

Is it clear that they have what they need in the client process because your internal steps. It's easier for you to tweak your internal things as you go versus the things that need to go out to the client. I don't know. That absolutely cover. Yeah.

[00:16:49.900] - Miranda

And I love that you mentioned briefly. I give it to them multiple times in different ways because not everybody reads every email, right?

[00:17:00.630] - Ashley

That's the biggest thing.

[00:17:02.630] - Miranda

That's the biggest problem, which is why you find people asking you questions over and over again, because even though you're like, Well, I sent you all that in email number one. Yeah, you probably didn't read it or they briefly skimmed it, and a lot of people will just they find it easier to just go ahead and ask you and Ping you again, maybe even having, like, at the end of each email, some reminders or some tips. Here's how you can reach me. Here's this and this and this.

[00:17:30.670] - Miranda

So I love that you bring that to you know, bring that to front of mind that everybody doesn't read every single thing you give them.

[00:17:38.580] - Ashley

Yeah, I have one of those people who I love writing emails. It's a strange thing, but even for me, there's a limit. I'm like I did give you this information, so I tend to at least for me, little tip of whenever I send the welcome packet, I always say download it or bookmark this because I send it through a subtle form for my clients. I just say download it or bookmark this link. And I always say that to them. And every email. Do you have any questions?

[00:18:09.190] - Ashley

Check, you know, check your client welcome packet. I say if you can't figure it out, no worries. Let me know. And oftentimes I I'm working with clients who have a really good system or have a CRM, but they don't have canned emails, which I own. And for listeners, hopefully, you know what a candy email is. But those are the emails that you send for every client, the consistent one. So they're basically templates you have in your back pocket. You can if you have a CRM that does smart fields it'll automatically populate your clients name and their business name.

[00:18:49.140] - Ashley

Those are huge things.

[00:18:50.710] - Ashley

It usually is one of the questions I asked my clients in their prep work when we talk about their system, like, do you use canned emails? Shocking number. Who don't. Yeah. I think really the big thing about client onboarding and offboarding it's clear communication the whole time and making sure the client has all of the information that they need at any given time.

[00:19:16.280] - Miranda

Yeah. And it is shocking. The amount of, well, technology is scary for a lot of people. Whenever you bring up tech, everybody's like, oh, my God. The tech. I don't want to deal with it. So it's shocking the amount of people that will opt to do things manually over again rather than deal with a tech one time.

[00:19:35.720] - Ashley

Right.

[00:19:36.720] - Miranda

The heaviest part, the heavy system is in the beginning. That's the heavy lift setting it all up. And then once you get past that, it's smooth sailing. But a lot of people avoid the setting up part.

[00:19:49.120] - Ashley

Yeah. And I think this kind of goes back to what I was seeing earlier about people misconstruing systems. A tech. I had several people message me on various platform, saying, I need help with system implementation, and then we get further in the conversation and they're actually looking for tool implementation. I'm like, okay, let's talk a little bit about your actual system that you have in place. Do you have a system? Do you have a process? And if so, what about it? Is it working? And then let's talk about tools.

[00:20:22.000] - Ashley

Don't jump the gun and get something that might not work for you. And that's something that in business planning. When you're looking at how your business runs, taking that step back, oftentimes it's a tweak in the tool that you're using a tweak in the process. It's like you just change one little thing and all of a sudden everything opens up. But that's also then when if you are using a tool effectively, that's great. Maybe you can use some actual tech automation within the tool or use something like Zapier to make things even better.

[00:21:00.820] - Ashley

And so that's one of the things I do with clients is okay. Maybe you do have a really great system. Maybe your debit or your honey book workflows are going great. How can you make it even better? Because the more time you can free up for yourself and your team. If you have one, then you guys can devote that creative energy in that time to doing something that actually brings in revenue or helps you scale and grow the business. So systems and strategy, it's always parallel intertwined, however you want to look at it.

[00:21:31.330] - Miranda

Yeah. And everybody loves talking about the tools, right? They love talking about the day, and they're like, I'm using this, but is this good for me? And everything is different. And what works for me might not work for you, but it's always exactly. Most questions that I get is about tools. In fact, for the people listening that wants to know about the tools, can you tell us what your favorite tools are right now that you are using? And I say right now because we all know that changes down the road.

[00:22:05.170] - Miranda

It might be something else, but we all have core tools that we use, right? Like whether it's Dubsado or Google Drive, those are the big ones. So some of your big, huge ones, and then maybe some things that you love right now.

[00:22:17.400] - Ashley

Yeah. I think for me right now, the crux of my business is run and click up Google Drive and Dubsado. So I use Dubsado as my CRM. Obviously, it automates a lot of things I have on my for my contract invoice everything is there. It's great. All my client interactions got to love it. And things about that sale that I really love is their client portal. So that's again, another part about communicating with your clients. The clients know that they have their portal, they know all their information is there.

[00:22:49.190] - Ashley

So helps cut out a lot of the back and forth. I use Google Drive more just for storage of bigger files and then my own access and deliverables that I use with clients. But then pretty much everything else right now I'm doing and click up, and I don't think click up is going anywhere for me, it's my project management tool, my database, my planner all rolled into one. And that's the beauty of on the risk of sounding like a click up commercial. It can do pretty much anything you want it to do, and it integrates really well with Dubsado in Google Drive.

[00:23:28.160] - Ashley

So I have my own business strategic plan in click up, but I also have all my projects and my client work in click up as well. So it's just easy to use. I will put a Disclaimer here and we were talking about some tools don't work for everybody. I had been using Asana previously, but it just wasn't doing everything I wanted to do. And I spent a lot of time researching and learning from the other experts out there. And that's something that I would tell listeners, like if you're curious about a tool.

[00:24:05.280] - Ashley

Sure. Go and try the free trial, the free version, but I would really encourage people to check out the experts in the field or the expert in that tool and watch their videos, look at their content and see if there would be a potential good fit for you before you go learning everything and stressing yourself out setting something up. So those are the three tools that I use currently every day without fail. I mentioned Asana. I have also used Airtable, which is great, and it's such a user friendly tool.

[00:24:47.140] - Ashley

I found that the way I was using Air table, I could just do it and click up, which is why I kind of have transitioned away from using Air Table, but I know businesses that do everything in Air Table and love it and thrive and are doing great. Ashley Holgrave do the damn thing. She is Airtable Queen and expert and I just gobble up all for content even though I don't use Airtable. Those are kind of the big tools that I've dabbled with. I also been really loving using Loom.

[00:25:27.590] - Ashley

I don't know if you use it much. Loom is such a great way to do a quick video or screen share. If you need to explain something to a client and get stored in the cloud, you send a link and they can watch it whenever they need to, and it just fits my needs. Right now. I know a lot of people over core things and then put them on them or YouTube. But for me right now, Loom is a free version of it.

[00:25:55.620] - Miranda

Which a lot of times is enough, right?

[00:25:58.260] - Ashley

Oh yeah. I think people forget that they don't have to go by the tool. They can try the free version, and that's something. I was working with a client a couple of weeks ago and she's been using the free version click up and was getting a little frustrated and I said, hey, I don't know how you feel about this, but what you want to do with it, you can get on the paid version of Click up. I think at this point in your business it'd be a good idea to pay for it.

[00:26:26.710] - Ashley

And she did. We tweaked a few things for her and she's happy as a clam though. Yeah, those are my tools.

[00:26:34.420] - Miranda

Awesome. Yeah, I love those. And you mentioned Air Table and you're right. Like we said, some things don't work for some people and some people are like, I am die hard. This is what I use. Yes, I think a lot of it has to do with the way you work as well. These tools have different dashboards and layouts that you can use you if you are a can ban user and you're like a trello's the deal and I only use the Canva function or table or spreadsheet.

[00:27:09.300] - Miranda

Some of them have them all. Some of them don't have all the layouts, but I think that plays into a lot of how whether or not you're going to like it, how it functions and how you function, because if you're a visual person and you need something laid out a certain way and you need a calendar view that's going to really play into it. And some of those ways, like Irritable loan, even though I like spreadsheets and irritate work for me for some reason.

[00:27:36.980] - Ashley

And you don't want to force the issue either. And I find that when I'm working with people to map out their full year. Right? Usually there's always some conversation around. We want to start using this tool or move over to this platform and then I have to say, okay, why there's strategy behind these tools that I think pretty much any tool implementer service out there. Usually there is a strategy component before you even get to the let's implement this. And like, talk strategy the actual implementation. Why do you want to use this tool?

[00:28:19.630] - Ashley

What about it is going to help you reach your quarterly goal or your annual goal? Sure, you can talk about cost. And is this what this work for my team, etc. But the cost of it. How is this actually going to help you? I don't have shiny object syndrome. What about these features are going to really help you? What about like, what are your means in the business you actually need this? Don't just get a tool for the sake of having a tool because I'm always the first person to say CRMs are a lightsaber help the first person to say it.

[00:28:57.860] - Ashley

But some people their business is simple enough that they don't need something like def so they could do it all through a table or click up. I'm always like, be the first person to say tools. Great to help your system. But why do you need it? How will this help your system be even better? And if you can't articulate it, that's okay. Let's chat through that a little bit, but don't just dive right off in the deep end and not know how to float, right?

[00:29:31.420] - Miranda

Yeah. And I always say sometimes it's just the strategy. Do you think it would help maybe to write everything out first? What exactly do you want the tool to do? What do you want your end goal to be and then see if the tool can fit into doing what you need it to do.

[00:29:46.760] - Ashley

Yeah. Depending on the actual tool or the system that people are talking about, I usually say, okay, it's more than a pros and conflict. It's okay. What do you need right now in your business? What out of the what do you need is not actually happening because some of the things that you need, you already have the function. So what are the things that you need that aren't happening in your business where the pain points? And sometimes I'll ask people if they already have a tool. Like what about what you have right now?

[00:30:25.270] - Ashley

Like, doesn't fall into any of these categories because sometimes there's like, a bonus feature that you use and you enjoy and doesn't have anything to do with what you actually needed to do. I can think of so many unclick up pick up. This is one of those things where I'm like learning a new thing every day. I'm like, I can't use this, but this is cool, but really having people kind of sit and write up those things of what you actually what do you need to make this work?

[00:30:55.830] - Ashley

What are you not getting out of? It are kind of the big buckets. And then really looking doing your research. I think a lot of people just go to the first thing that they see and they're like, this is for me. They really shop around, learn. Listen, before implementing because it's not just what you need, because once you think you've landed on a good one or one or two, then you ask yourself.

[00:31:21.640] - Miranda

Is this give me room to grow and also not getting distracted by those bonus features you mentioned?

[00:31:28.850] - Ashley

Yes.

[00:31:29.120] - Miranda

You're like, oh, this is such an awesome feature, and I don't need it now, but, hey, I might want to go ahead and do something too, so I can use that feature and then you get to stay.

[00:31:42.280] - Ashley

I think this is kind of that fine line of going back to the beginning of our conversation about vision, right? You want to always be thinking, okay, this is my vision. This is where I want to call. Is this going to help me get there? Even if the some of those aspects or features of a tool you're not going to use right away, I'm like, sure, shiny object syndrome. Sure, we all get like that. But if you do see merit and an investment in that that will help you eventually get to that help you achieve those visions, achieve the goals that you've got and mapped out for the year.

[00:32:20.560] - Ashley

Great. So don't discount the Shiny object thing, but also think like, would I actually use that in the future? Like, will that help me in the future? And I know that's hard sometimes to think about when you're very much in the daily like, I need this now, like, I'm drowning. I need something that's when I'm like, okay, here's the life best. Hold on for a hot second and you look back at your plan. Look back at your your vision, your mission, the goal, your action plan for this next year.

[00:32:51.810] - Ashley

And then where you want to be your vision and really try to match the two together because the strip because at the end of the day, right. Strategy, the planning you do on the day to day operations. They're not two separate things. They're like on top of each other, helping each other and helping you as the business owner. So when it comes down to it, everything kind of just full circle.

[00:33:21.310] - Miranda

Full circle and everything works together.

[00:33:24.300] - Ashley

Yes, for sure. Yeah.

[00:33:27.120] - Miranda

So, Ashley, what is if somebody wanted to take this and run with it and say, okay, I'm ready to do my business strategy. I'm ready to do my mission and my vision. What's one thing that they can focus on to get started that won't bog them down or get them super high?

[00:33:47.160] - Ashley

I think one really practical thing is try to implement weekly, monthly and quarterly planning. Now, that might seem like a lot as I say it, but weekly planning, actually, maybe I'll work from the talk. So if you have your business plan, your annual plan, your goals and the projects identified. Then each quarter you pick a couple to really focus on. And each quarter I'd say spend at the beginning or the end of the quarter spending like half day, just really mapping things out for the next 90 days.

[00:34:24.480] - Ashley

Because then when you go into your monthly and weekly planning, these are already kind of the framework is there. And then you can really get granular and keep going back to your mission vision. So it's kind of like a big bro stroke. But I think really one of the things you could really do and implement tomorrow is just carve out 30 minutes to an hour. If you can and take just like a blank piece of paper and just write vision as y and just brainstorm. Why am I doing this?

[00:35:02.280] - Ashley

You could do a vision board on Canva make it beautiful. I'm usually just pen and paper because don't have the design aspect, but really just brainstorm. Why am I doing this? What do I see my business looking like or what would I love to have in my business? And then on a second piece of paper and you write out you put the pieces of paper next to each other. And then for every line item of your vision, you write out a practical thing that could help get you there.

[00:35:35.440] - Ashley

So for example, my son, part of my personal vision is I would love to buy a house that's like my personal vision. And because if I have a house, then I can have a designated office like room to be an office for my business and grow it. And so a practical line item for that is I need to save $6 a month and then then I can take that goal of saving X dollars a month and run with it, whether it's less Starbucks in a week or saving a higher percentage out of my paycheck each month.

[00:36:12.160] - Ashley

So if you look at the big things and then you kind of do the funnel to the practical everyday things. So maybe that might take maybe more than half or an hour. But it's one of the things that I do with my clients in a VIP day. That's the first I say hour, hour and a half is really just getting clear on your vision because you don't have to. If you don't have your goal, your foundation, you can't go anywhere and the day to day getting sucked into everything, putting out all the fires just stuck in the grind.

[00:36:51.030] - Ashley

When are you going to come up for air?

[00:36:53.460]

Exactly.

[00:36:54.070] - Ashley

That's why I'm always like weekly monthly quarterly planning is really helpful in that sense, because then you actually pause. Look at what you've done, what you need to do, what you might need to change, make those adjustments, and then you can take a deep breath and keep going. Bye. Come up for air. I think that's maybe in a nutshell is come up for air every week, every month and reassess. Maybe the best way to say it in a practical sense, come up for air. I love that.

[00:37:23.690] - Miranda

Come up for air. Write that down and pin it to my desk as a reminder, because I do need to come up for air every once in a while. I'm always doing something.

[00:37:36.300] - Ashley

Especially when you're a solar preneur or if you have, like, a team of maybe one or two people, you are all doing everything. And if you want to grow and scale or just even have a sustainable business that gives you the freedom of flexibility that you want out of your life, you sometimes you have to sacrifice an hour or two of actually doing things in your business so that you can stop. Check your map right back to the road trip analogy. Check your app. Are you going in the right direction?

[00:38:07.780] - Ashley

Is there something ahead that you want to take a quick stop? That's okay. But you know, if you're not checking your map frequently enough, you're going to get lost or way off the path and not to say things can't change. So I think that's the other reminder of be gracious to yourself.

[00:38:28.260] - Miranda

I.

[00:38:30.500] - Ashley

Always remind people your vision might change personal or business. They change that's. Okay. Because again, your business is a reflection of you. And if priorities change, then if you have a framework in place, then it's easier to make those changes or adjustments.

[00:38:48.470] - Miranda

Awesome. Well, Ashley, if we are looking to connect with you for either a consultation or via how back with you and let us know a little bit about your services. Sure.

[00:39:04.370] - Ashley

So I'll start with services and work into the ways you can connect with me. I offer two different services primarily. I work with my VIP Day clients so that again, is getting really clear on your business foundation. Like what we were talking about, articulating on documenting them and then mapping out your whole next year of business so that you have that framework, you have that road map and then really activating the first 90 days I walk you through really granularly. Like what needs to get that we help you assign and delegate and really think through so that you're able to do that again for yourself in the next 90 days.

[00:39:42.820] - Ashley

Chunk as well as then while that strategic roadmap is happening, we're also looking at the gaps in your business, the road blocks and looking at what things might need to change. What do you need to implement and kind of along with conversations of what we were talking about with tools. We do that more just for, like, your big systems in your business. So that way, if you do need to, we do think we need to get this tool, then we work that into your roadmap of unless you need to do research for this, then try it out for this period of time.

[00:40:14.730] - Ashley

So making it so that you're actually addressing your gaps in your business plan. That's my VIP day. And then my Clarity consoles are 90 minutes targeted. Focus on a specific system in your business. So you and I talked about client onboarding. Sometimes we just hash out again, all the steps we do that full exercise together, and I am able to help bounce things off and remind you that you need to send them a contract or if you're getting ready to hire, how do you go by doing that?

[00:40:45.560] - Ashley

Here, let's build out a job description of applicant tracking system. So essentially, it's again targeted support to a specific system. That's really great for people who know exactly what they need or they have an issue and roadblock, and they just need another voice in that process. Vip day is a great. I really say VIP days are great at any point, but a lot of people love those at the quarter Mark or the annual getting ready. But we're always in business. Business never end. So I think at any point.

[00:41:15.640] - Ashley

So those are the two ways that you can work with me. I have a lot of great content on Instagram. I've been experimenting with it a little bit more and more. Was listening to your content creation episode yesterday. I was like, yeah.

[00:41:36.300] - Miranda

So I need to get back into my content creation. I was looking at yours. I was like, I love this so much. I need to follow Ashley's footsteps and get some videos and stuff going. Yeah.

[00:41:47.510] - Ashley

Well, I think just a tip for our listeners that, you know, when you do something like a video or real, you can repurpose that content. And it's great because then you can do, like, a themed week. You were talking about themes in your podcast episode of Themed Months. I was like, yes, that's exactly what I'm trying to do. So I'm on Instagram. You can I have a link tree in my Instagram so people can book a discovery call with me. I do complimentary discovery calls just to chat, like, what we're doing right now.

[00:42:18.910] - Ashley

So I'm on IG I have Facebook, but Facebook and I are like, the same thing as these days, and also my website, which is about to go undergo a little bit of a makeover. So I would say it right now or you can email me Ashley at Ah, business management. Com. And I just I love talking system. I love talking planning, and I love hearing and learning from other people like yourself. I just love chatting about all these things, which is why I'm in business. Yeah.

[00:42:52.390] - Ashley

Shame.

[00:42:53.560] - Miranda

Well, Ashley, this is such a great conversation. I love hearing all of your strategies and getting the low down on everything that you gave us. So if you are looking for business strategy or looking to work with Ashley, I will drop the links down in the show notes so you can check that out. And that is all we have today. Make sure you connect with Ashley on her Instagram and go into the link tree to get a discovery call or VP your planning connect with Ashley. She is awesome and have a wonderful day.

[00:43:28.870] - Miranda

Thank you and I'll see you next time.

[00:43:32.780] - Intro/Outro

Thanks for listening to coffee powered systems. You can find links to everything mentioned in the episode down in the show notes or on the website at Mirandamerten.Com. If you enjoyed this episode rate and review it in itunes or where you enjoy listening so others can find it too and join me here next time.

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