Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall is Really My “New Year”, and It Should be Yours Too!

#SmallBiz #BizGoals

While traditionally, many make their “new year” resolutions in January, that has never been the case for me. Instead, I choose to make mine in the beginning of September. And here is why.....

When September rolls around I am in a very different place than I am at the beginning of a New Year. I have usually had the chance to relax, at least somewhat, over the last few months. Summer’s longer days and nicer weather has meant vacations and long weekends, and I have even able to take a real vacation “laptop free” ~ see how I managed that here.

Even my business has been in slow down mode. Many of my clients are taking vacations themselves and the need for my services lessens. While I don’t stop work completely, there is a definite reduction in the amount of time I need to take to complete my tasks.

In addition, for many September officially heralds in the start of a new school year. And even though I no longer have children to send off, for me it still signifies a time to get back to work and follow a schedule. 

For me, it is definitely a chance for a fresh start. I find that when September begins I really feel a new energy and am ready to tackle my business head on.

Neither of these things are true for me in January.

For the most part, by the time the new year rolls around, I am usually exhausted. Holiday demands ~ decorating, baking, family gatherings ~ have taken their toll. The last thing I am ready to do is buckle down and set goals for me or my business.  

So instead, each Fall I begin my true “New Year”. I am mentally and physically ready to be objective and honest about my business goals and can set a true course to achieve them.

3 Steps to Help You Make & Keep Resolutions for Your Small Business!  "Tweet This"

This September I have decided that these 3 Steps are where I will place my efforts:

  • Reflect
Now is a great time to look back and see what I have accomplished since the beginning of the year. I will take a good hard look at what is working and what still needs work. Am I where I want to be? 

I also can be honest about what I am doing, or not doing, to achieve my goals. Am I wasting too much time on one thing at the detriment of another? 

My tip to You ~ Be sure to focus on weeding out what is not working ~ why should you waste your time? This may mean dropping products or services that are no longer viable or adding new ones that are more in line with your goals.

This is not a time to stress about what you didn’t get done. However, it is the time to be honest about your business and yourself. The point now is to move forward.
  • Reevaluate
I will now make a list of my goals and prioritize them. I need to decide what is most important and work on that first.  

My tip to You ~ Mix “quick fixes” with more lengthy projects. This will help you quickly gain a sense of accomplishment, so important in keeping you motivated.

At this point I will add to that list ways I can make my business more profitable. To that end, I will reevaluate the actual costs of running my business. Are there places I can save? Do I need to spend more in some areas?  

This is when I will determine whether I need to raise my prices. If I do, then I am sure to give my current clients a heads up. My practice is to announce now that a price increase will take effect at the start of the new year. This gives them plenty of notice and a chance to request my services at the current price until then.
  • Refocus
For me, that means taking a fresh look at what really brings me the most joy in my business and edit my new goal list accordingly. I find I need to remind myself of “why” I do what I do. When I have that squarely in mind, then it is easy to see where I should place my focus.

This core is what makes my business uniquely me. For example, several years ago I decided to refocus on my desire to work exclusively with small businesses. To that end, my new goal list concentrated on what I could do to accomplish this.  

By re-focusing, I am able to fine tune my resolutions into a list that really makes the most sense to me and my business.

My Tip to You ~ Set Your own goals to reflect what makes you unique. Find your “why” and align your “new year’s” resolutions accordingly.  

Now you know why I choose fall to be the start of my “new year”, and I think it could be yours too! Give it a try!
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