Happy New Year! Another year has come and gone already, where does the time go?! I always like to take the new year to reflect on where I've been, how my business has grown, and what I plan to do going forward.
Last year was a productive year for me. I feel I really learned a lot and stretched beyond my comfort level while learning to handle the "business" side of my business. Being that I went to school for design I always like to joke that I have a scrappy MBA, meaning that I learn the "business" as I go along! Good thing for lots of helpful people and educational resources!
This year I plan to continue last year's momentum with 3 overarching goals and 1 specific business goal. Here we go!
BECOME NKBA CERTIFIED
The NKBA is a kitchen & bath association and I'm going to work towards my certification! I've really enjoyed helping clients select their finishes such as matching their countertop/ backsplash/ cabinets/ fixtures, and paint colors. I've worked on a few simple layouts and I've enjoyed using the 20/20 CAD software. So now I'm going to take this to the next level so I can take on even bigger projects! I am so excited! I think this will really be a good fit for my skill set of mixing creative design with technical specs.
STAY ON TOP OF THINGS
When things get busy priorities change and it becomes hard to stay on top of the little things like emails, mail, magazines, trade publications etc. It's easy to get swept up in the whirlwind but this year I'd really like to make it a point to go through this information as I get it. I hate piles of paperwork and sometimes you can miss out on some good opportunities or announcements! This goal certainly applies to both my personal and business life. Staying on top will help reduce clutter and keep me organized!
ALWAYS BE ON TIME
First I am so happy to say I've rarely been late to a client appointment! But in my personal life... that's another story, I feel I'm late to everything! As I get busier I try to jam more into a day than is actually possible and so I run late. Lately I find that the stress of being late is really negatively affecting me. The good news is that it's all self inflicted! I can control my expectations for the day and manage my time by planning more realistically. It's always a work in progress but in essence this boils down to setting more realistic goals every day!
DON'T NEGLECT HOME
All the little details make a difference and again, one of the first things to get dropped off the priority list is my own home! When I'm busy helping clients, networking, and running my business I put our home goals on the back burner. Well this year is going to change! It got to the point where putting these things off really bummed us out and became frustrating. So I've been working on plans for our home and will make sure to fit them into the agenda as well! Again this comes down to managing time and expectations. Putting limits on work and life so they each get a fair share!
AND HERE'S A LOOKBACK AT 2014
some of my biggest accomplishments and continuing goals
This may seem like a no -brainer, but I had to learn how to use this for my business while I was busy running my business! It look a lot of time to learn how to properly record items into categories, learn what categories mean, record taxes, set up my accounts, clients, how to run profit & loss reports, everything! See - design is sexy isn't it?
The thing I LOVE is that it really has made my life so much easier. I can record all my invoices there and keep track of any outstanding balances. It has also helped me go "paperless" since I can record all my receipts online in the program (and there are a TON of receipts). And since it's an online program, they also made an app that makes using it on the go even easier!
Phew! I joined a few networking groups and they have kept me VERY busy! It's a challenge learning how to manage your time so you can go out and meet other professionals. It's important to make connections while still finding time to keep up with actual design work, social media, and everything else that goes into running a business! In addition, balancing the networking costs was also important to manage and strategise for the first time. Now I get to look back and see what my ROI for each has been. In general I have found the connections to be very beneficial and I've gotten the hang of fitting them into my schedule.
Below is a picture from my BNI group - I see them every week and am so proud I know all of their names and their businesses! (And this photo doesn't even show everyone!)
Aha! This was a great goal I was able to achieve this past year. I sent out a newsletter on the 15th of every single month! I love sending these newsletters which are a recap of the previous month, and a preview of any upcoming events. It seemed like a HUGE undertaking but I learned how to use the program and grow my email list. If you are interested in getting my newsletter you can sign up right here on my website: www.innovatemyplace.com/newsletter
When working on multiple client projects, business updates, networking, and other aspects of business all the moving parts can feel extremely overwhelming. Not only all the things that need to get done, but the fear of forgetting to follow up with certain things. I knew I needed a better way to manage my projects so I could grow without the stress & redundancy so I researched some free online programs. I tried a few and decided on Podio - which is extremely flexible in project layouts, has a customer data base, and task manager. Fits all my needs for now and incorporating that into my daily routine has been immensely helpful and adds some sanity!
Ah yes... the every growing social media world we live in! It's so fun to follow but sometimes it's the first thing that falls off the priority list when providing content. My goal was to blog every week, and don't you know that as I got busier that got pushed back. In addition facebook, twitter, google plus, and pinterest all have their unique platforms so I should really try to diversify the content on each. At least I was able to maintain each account throughout the year with fresh content, but I hope to update how I've been using it to make it more interesting for my followers!
Also, if you haven't seen my facebook page, please check it out and "like" it while you're there!
Well, that's a wrap! I think those goals will keep me on track and focused throughout the year. Do you make New Year resolutions for your business or personal life? If so I'd love to know in the comments below!
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