The start of November brings about a whole set of challenges, questions and excitement. With roughly 8 weeks till Christmas, everyone is getting into the swing of things. Some business owners are in a panic with time running out to complete projects or meet deadlines while others are perhaps just counting down the days in anticipation. A few (like me) realize that 2018 business planning starts now!
In November, I start gearing up for the new year and start looking at setting new goals and putting together new strategies. This can often be met with a sense of overwhelm and may leave you not knowing where to start. For this reason I have decided to take you along on my journey and give you some insights from a graphic designers perspective. I have a whole heap of ideas to share with you along with some freebies going out to those on my mailing list (make sure you sign up so you don’t miss out.. sign up here)!
If I look back on the year I’ve had it has had it’s ups and downs, as I’m sure most of you will agree, the biggest lesson learned is that it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race, that you forget to focus on your own business goals or your business planning.
I have had an extremely busy year with loads of new clients and designs to complete but then October came like a thief in the night and stopped me dead in my business tracks. Suddenly things were quiet! I had completed most of the projects and ongoing business with clients and as it is with all things, it came to an end. What I then realized after careful reflection, was that in all this time, I was so busy working on designs and marketing other businesses that I forgot to nurture my own. It became clear that most of my clients came to me as a result of word of mouth and that I was in fact not marketing any of my services to potential new clients! SHOCK HORROR – someone in charge of brand communication, a graphic designer who is marketing savvy, forgot to market her own business – yes really!
It was time to regroup so I spend the entire month working on my marketing, rolling out new promotions and advertising strategically – exactly the kind of thing I was doing for my clients (blush). Then came the end of the month and just like that I had 5 new clients who signed up on retainer packages along with exciting new designs for a few other new clients! WOW (and she breathes a sigh of relief).
The moral of the story is that YOU HAVE TO PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE and you HAVE TO MARKET YOUR PRODUCTS/SERVICES! You cannot afford to get caught up with your product or service offering that you forget about your own needs.
To try and avoid making this mistake again, I am putting pet to paper (or keyboard to screen) and committing to my 2018 business planning. This is not a time to ponder and make business Christmas wishes, it is time to take action and plan like never before.
Over the next 4 weeks I will share my process with you in the hope that you can learn from my mistakes and get excited about the new year. I challenge you to complete each task along with me and not to put it down to “I’ll do this later” – I promise you wont get around to it! One hour a week over the next four weeks is more than enough to get you started… let me know in the comments below if you are with me!
Next week, we will be starting at the beginning and taking a look at what the current situation is – a vital first step so DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS ONE. I look forward to getting started on this journey with you and I hope you take charge and show up ready to make 2018 the best year yet!
Catch you in the social world!