1. Planning. I know, ironic, isn't it? I'm a planner yet I'm aspiring to plan more- in business. I think it can be so tough for small business owners to be the jack of all trades- the manager, the designer, the planner, the coach, the mentor, the finance person. I found myself overwhelmed more times than I can count by starting most weeks without a plan. Fact of the matter is, there needs to be a plan for the team, for the projects that week, and for the back end of the business. Now I'm making myself take just a few minutes each Friday afternoon to plan for the week ahead.
2. Becoming a truly full service firm. Soiree went through a lot of growing pains this year- which is expected and I'm actually thankful for, because it taught us all a lot. But one thing that has become clear to me is that I no longer want consulting to be the basis of my business. We are moving towards becoming a true full service boutique- one where our clients come to us with a need and we produce that with class and flair. This involves a lot of processes I'm not used to using, such as outsourcing, but in the end I know we'll be more profitable, be much happier, and I just know our clients will be serviced so much better.
3. Keeping a gratitude journal. Speaking of being thankful for things that happened last year, I'm starting this year off with a way to document my gratitude. I've heard so much about people logging their thanks each day, and I can see now how helpful they can be. I don't expect that 2012 will be all roses with perfect clients and profits handed to me on a silver platter, so at times when we're in the trenches I think it will be nice to be able to look back on this journal to remind me why I do what I do. I'm looking at the gratitude app for iPad- anyone use it?
4. Processes and systems. This is something we have been working on- the book E-Myth (I have the revisited version) really had it down in this respect. However, lack of vision has kept us almost chasing our tails with crazy amounts of form revisions and training. This year we've got that vision, we know where we want to be and we know what the entire team needs to be doing to get there. By this time next year I hope to report that we are a well-oiled machine.
5. Delegation. I love how interior designer Tobi Fairley put this: you can either delegate or dump. If you're overwhelmed as a business owner and trying to do it all, you tend to dump without properly training or giving the team a chance to grow. I'm hereby announcing that I believe I have been dumping 85% of the time just to get things off my plate. And, being a little on the type A side of life, it's really hard for me to delegate as it is. But I know with planning, and systems in place, we'll be effectively delegating in no time.
6. Health. This past year I really let my health slide. Between a toddler, a business, and a home to keep up, I was last on the list. I put on a little weight and I constantly felt a little foggy. I am making more time for myself- because what's the old saying? If mom's happy the whole family is happy?
7. Pricing. Yep, the entire pricing structure is changing this year for Soiree. It's been a long time coming and the delay is only from fear on my part. Even though I've known this for some time, it's time to face the music- having your own business should always be working toward giving you the life you want to live. The new pricing model will be easier to understand, simplified. That's what I want.
8. KISS. (Keep it simple sweetie). This is one of my resolutions for personal and business- It's time to quit making things so complicated. That goes for our operations, our consultations, my home life.
9. Branding and Marketing. Last year we launched the new Soiree brand, which was so exciting. But we haven't done much more from there...We've got a good marketing plan in hand and we're hitting the ground running this year. Delegation, planning, and new systems will all help me make the time for projects like these.
10. Staying true to the vision. Every single masterminding book or publication you read has at least this one thing in common: if you can visualize it clearly, you can attain it. This is the one area of my business that has been foggy: what do I want? Where do I see Soiree going? Well even though I know things will always be changed a little, I am more clear than ever before- and that is amazingly liberating. By always staying true to that vision- in other words, asking myself, does this decision move us toward that vision- we will constantly be honing and attaining these and future goals. Which will only lead to good things.
What are your big goals for 2012? What have you been keeping to yourself out of fear? Let's get them all out so we're all accountable this year...and GO!
*Don't worry I still encourage taking vacations. They just aren't for the light at heart when you're in this industry! Play hard, work hard, right?