At ProseWorks we never quite know what we will be doing from one week to the next.
There’s the regular stuff, and there are the jobs we get to plan well in advance; but a lot of what we do comes in with an extremely short lead time. Clients want a quick turnaround and it’s our job to deliver.
That’s the challenge. It also gives us a buzz. Juggling things to make sure that we get everything done.
When it gets frantically busy, all this happens at once. Phones going, emails flying, meetings Zooming, deadlines looming and everyone pulling together in the same direction.
And of course, there’s the billing that’s generated from those hectic periods. It must be done promptly and it’s great for the bank balance. All good, yes?
Well, no. Experience has taught me that those really busy times are also the most dangerous.
Keep a clear view of the horizon
Immediate deadlines can bury you so deeply that you no longer have a clear view of the horizon.
When eventually deadlines have been met and the workload cleared, the break you’ve been craving suddenly becomes much longer than you originally planned – the order book is empty.
No matter how high the mountain of work directly in front of you, it’s important to make time to pause, get out your map and compass, and consider what’s beyond it. You need to ask yourself regularly: “What am I doing to support the business in three months’ time, in nine months’ time?”
Boom or bust is a problem for most businesses. It can be particularly acute in the copywriting world because deadlines are short and the work can be all-consuming. However, no matter how busy you are, always put aside time to survey the wider landscape and pitch for future work.