Back at the beginning of the fourth quarter, I reminded you to check-in and adjust your strategy to set yourself up to accomplish all your 2017 goals. Now that we’re in the last week of the year, it’s time to see how you did and celebrate your accomplishments! Ok, for those who didn’t set 2017 goals…it’s the perfect time to assess, celebrate and get ready for next year!
Since your design business, is, well, a BUSINESS, it’s important to know how your financials ended up this year. Did you achieve the revenue goals you set out for your business? Whether your answer is “yes” or “no,” spend a bit of time reflecting on these questions so you can learn from your experience this year:
- Now that you are clear about where you ended up with revenue this year, what adjustments need to be made to your 2018 strategy?
- Do you have the right product mix and services to hit next year’s revenue goals?
- Should there be updates to your annual strategy to promote and sell certain things?
- Do you have any recurring expenses for software or services that you might not be using any longer? It’s time to cancel them.
Another factor that’s super important for whether you will hit your revenue goals is how you are pricing your services and products. It’s time to get honest with yourself. Are you working all the time and feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water? Hmmmmm, that could be a sign that you’re not charging enough for your services or not understanding how long the elements of a project will take so you end up undercharging for your services. Check in with your fellow designers to see if your rates are comparable. Head into the new year with a pricing structure that is set up to help you succeed.
Gut Check: Mission and Passion
Ask yourself the hard questions to be sure that where you spent your time and energy this year is aligned with your passion. You became an owner of a design business for specific reasons. Check in with yourself to make sure you’re still doing what you love and that your business is aligned to allow you to spend your time and talents in the way that makes you happy. If something doesn’t feel right, consider what you can do to make things better. Listen to that gut!
Connect and Thank Yous
One of the things I love most about this time of year is the chance to reach out and connect with my ahhh-mazing clients to thank them for their business and to wish them well for the coming year. When I reach out to my clients, it’s a great reminder of all the work my team was responsible for and the impact we made in our clients’ lives. It just seems natural at the end of the year to pause and reflect on all that we accomplished and to get us motivated for all that is to come in 2018!
Plan your Personal Development
There’s nothing that gets me more motivated than to invest in myself and spread my wings to learn new things and collaborate with others to be the best version of myself. Take time to identify your personal development priorities and plan for how you will achieve them in the new year. Maybe you want to go to a design conference you’ve never been to before or take a business class. Whatever your hopes and aspirations are for growth this year, set aside time NOW so you’ll be sure to make it happen.
We all wish we had MORE time in the day, right? Well, even though you can’t add hours to your day, you might be able to find more time in the hours you already have. Nope, this isn’t crazy talk. Do a calendar audit to look for ways you can adjust your schedule. Are there tasks that you do (that take up an extraordinary amount of time) that you could outsource? Maybe there are ways to use technology such as video conferencing to reduce your travel time for meetings. Little bits of time savings do add up and can make a big difference.
Clean out the Clutter
There’s nothing that makes me feel more energized than getting all my ducks in a row to start the new year. A big part of this effort is organizing my workspaces so they are not only clean and clutter-free, but places I love to be in. I try to add a new element each year whether it’s a pillow, a piece of art or something that just makes me smile.
Now it’s your turn! How do you say goodbye to one year and welcome the new one? Let us know in the comments below.