Some of the New Year’s business resolutions that we have overheard recently:
- “Open 14 new wholesale accounts!”
- “Increase in profits.”
- “Double turnover.”
The idea of New Year’s business resolutions is to build hope that the year ahead will be better than the one left behind.
It is not about becoming a new person or setting 365 impossible goals for the year ahead – it is about doing better and being better. Improvement and success are the main objectives and they are easily attainable.
So, take the root of the word more literally and create a movement to resolve your business. There is hope and it is not too late, so, recalibrate and let’s recalculate your 2015 journey.
1. Be Realistically Organised
Know what your short, medium and long-term goals are for your business, and organise a way to achieve those goals.
If you want to expand your business or see your designs sold in a particular outlet, write down how you plan to achieve that. Creating shortlists with a few sub-headings will give clarity and will not be as daunting.
Or if you’re planning to start your own business in the new year, what do you have to achieve in the short and long-term to be able to start up your business? Write it all down and tick off every step you take in the right direction.
Being organised could be as simple as de-cluttering your work environment or creating a spreadsheet for your yearly finances. The easier things are laid out, physically and electronically, the more comfortable you will be able to work (and you’ll be more likely to want to).
Whatever you have to organise, spend some time this month doing it. You’ll thank yourself by the time spring comes and the “spring clean” requires a skip.
2. Stick to Your Business Plan
If you have a business, or you’re serious about starting one, you will hopefully have a strong and competent business plan.
Be happy enough with it that you stick to it, but be enterprising enough to constantly evaluate how well you’re doing and make adjustments accordingly.
3. Seek the Help You Need – When You Need It
Seeking help is not an admission of failure, it is a step towards further development. Sir Alan Sugar has Karren Brady, after all.
If you’re starting out and need more of an insight into being a freelance designer, read around the subject. An interview with an up and coming designer might be helpful, such as this one with Natasha Hulse.
You may need more specific help, such as learning a technique, improving your PR skills or getting started on social media. Make sure you have enough money in your budget to continue your professional development or look for free tools and advice.
4. Plan to Develop Yourself and Your Business
This is part of being better and doing better. Develop yourself in some way whether that’s learning to meditate so that you have a clear mind before tackling the bi-annual accounts, or taking a short-course in pattern-cutting to boost your next collection.
You will, of course, want to develop your business, some ideas are:
- refreshing your website or portfolio.
- taking on an intern to narrow a skills gap in a particular area of the business.
- finding a new manufacturer.
- Your business is probably one of the most important things in your life, so it is deserving.
5. Don’t Overpromise
But don’t undersell. Promising more time, money or product than you can realistically deliver is the surest way to ensure disappointment for all involved.
Only take on a project if you can commit the time and manpower to it that it (and your client) deserves. It is also important that you don’t promise so much that it harms your work/life balance.
We want to hear from you about your 2015 business resolutions. Share them with us in the comments below or in our Facebook Group.