Let’s talk 2018 resolutions but not the usual I’m going to exercise for 2 hours every day for the rest of my life or will never touch another piece of cake. I’m talking real resolutions you can make for your business. If 2017 wasn’t all you hoped for in your creative business like maybe you didn’t work with as many clients or you fell a little short of your expected profits, then let’s talk…
First off have you even set goals for your business? Whether it’s for increasing your visibility or being more profitable or being more efficient it’s important to identify what’s lacking and develop a plan of action which includes goal-setting.
So here are some tips to consider to get you into “goal-digger” mode:
Revisit your mission statement
Some things to consider here are why you are in business, what do you do that sets you apart, who are you helping and how do you help them?? Has your vision or mission changed since you first started out? Then now may be the time to make some adjustments.
Reach out to others
There are plenty of other designers out there who have gone through what you are going through now and most are more than willing to share their successes and mishaps. I’ve been amazed by the number of positive interactions I’ve had since starting my design journey, from those just starting out to those that have been in the game for a while everyone has been extremely helpful and sharing their know-how. I believe they genuinely want us to succeed which will only propel the design community forward. It’s important to remember different things work for different people, so examine your business model and only consider advice that makes sense and aligns with your mission.
Be SMART about your planning
You’ve probably heard of the SMART acronym which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. So let’s break that down a little more…
Specific. This is no time for big, broad ideas that will probably only end up distracting you from what’s important. Only think about things that are narrowly defined and keep you on track.
Measurable. No need in you putting a lot of effort into something and you have no idea if it’s effective. So figure out how you will determine what’s working and what’s not. If it’s social media related, are you gaining more followers and having more engagement with your posts. If it’s blogging, how much traffic are you getting to your site and so on…
Achievable. All right we have to be realistic no just making up numbers like I’m going to work with hundreds of clients this year. Look at your current capacity and infrastructure to see what can actually be achieved as you come up with ideas. If you work full-time, have kids or going to school, that will tremendously impact what you can and can’t do. Don’t compare yourself to others who look like they are doing it all because we don’t know their back story. It’s not a race and all good things take time plus you don’t want to burn yourself out doing the impossible.
Relevant. This gets back to staying focused and making sure everything you do is related back to your mission. It’s OK every once in a while to try something new but don’t jump off the rails into unchartered territory that has nothing to do with your business and seeing more profits.
Timely. It’s a complete waste of time to think about specific tasks to move your business forward if you set no real expectations or dates when to complete it. Identifying realistic time frames and making sure you take into account everything going on in your life will help you feel more successful as you accomplish each goal.
What will you say “no” to
Oh one more thing, think of some things that you will say “no” to in the New Year. Distractions will abound but you can keep them at bay if you stay focused on what things you will continue to do that have been successful as well as what you won’t do that haven’t worked.
Alright, now it’s your turn. Come up with 3 goals for 2018 that you will commit to and be dedicated to completing in 2018. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
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