Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fabulous time ringing in 2012. It’s been a lovely long weekend, but I’m happy to be back at work. However, I’m not at my usual office. I’ve headed south for the winter! Or for January at least… I’ll be calling beautiful Destin, Florida home for the next 30 days.
Today, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the past year. At the beginning of 2011, I overhauled my design business launching my new website and announcing that I would be specializing in serving creative professionals, such as photographers, and boutique businesses. Narrowing my focus to a very specific type of clientele ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The result was a fulfilling year of fun projects that I truly connected with and collaborations with some of the most amazing clients ever!
Looking ahead, I’m setting out to make 2012 a year of even more growth. I’ve got lots of exciting things in store for the next few months. Here’s just a sampling of some of the many goals I’ll be focusing on:
- Hire an Office Manager/Assitant. Up until now, I’ve enlisted help from a network of fellow designers/developers/etc. on an as-needed basis, and while I will continue to work with these individuals, the time has come though for me to have consistent hired help at the office. I recently moved into a new studio space in downtown Branson, Missouri (one of my 2011 goals!) and am looking to employ someone to come in a few days a week to assist with various tasks related to both my design and photography businesses. I hope to have this position filled as soon as next month!
- Create and sell pre-made designs. Unfortunately, this was a goal I didn’t accomplish last year so I’m going to try again in 2012. I’ve just been so busy with custom design projects that it’s been hard to find the time to work on getting some pre-made designs ready to offer. My hope is that with the addition of an Office Assistant, I’ll be able to free up some time to dedicate to achieving this goal.
- Enforce project timelines. As my business grows, I end up being booked farther in advance and with this comes the challenge of keeping all projects on schedule and running smoothly. Based upon my experience, I have a good understanding of how long it takes to complete different types of projects, and therefore, I schedule clients accordingly. I work really hard to guarantee I ALWAYS meet my deadlines. However, if there’s a delay on the client’s end of things, it causes a strain not only on their project’s timeline but potentially to others, as well. (Not to mention, it causes me added stress and the need to work lots of overtime hours.) So in 2012, I’ll be implementing some stricter policies to ensure that all clients adhere to the timelines set out in contracts.
- Create a better work/life balance. When you absolutely love your job, it’s easy to become a workaholic. Creating more balance between my work and my personal life is something that I constantly struggle with. By enforcing project timelines, hiring additional help, and establishing some practical boundaries (like stop answering email at 3am!?!), I hope to get my workaholic ways under control.
- Blog more often. I’ve got several projects recently completed that I still haven’t yet shared, so I definitely want to blog those. I also have some new series ideas I’d like to start…everything from posts with helpful business tips to design inspiration and even some question-answer posts addressing topics submitted by my readers. I was also considering perhaps doing some video posts, but I’m not sure if I want to subject Y’ALL to my southern accent. LOL
So there’s just a tiny peek at what I’ll be working on in 2012, and before I sign off, I just wanted to say yet again how thankful I am for all my wonderful clients. I simply can’t express enough how much your support means to me. I appreciate each and every single one of you and wish you and my other readers a 2012 full of happiness and good fortune!