It’s a new day, a new month, a new year! And it’s not just ANY year, this is THE year. The year dreams will come true. Why, you ask? Well, I started my business with the plan that I’d give myself 5 years to get established and be successful. And if after 5 years it wasn’t working, I’d consider something else. Well, that was 4 1/2 years ago, which has me seriously reflecting on my business. As I look back on all the time and energy spent on growing my business, and seeing where it is today, I have to admit that I’m not extremely pleased. Now, that’s not to say that everything I’ve done thus far has been a pointless waste of time, or that come 6 months from now I’m going to through in the towel and quit all together. No, I love this job way too much. And I’ve come too far to give up now. So, I’m using the new year as an excuse to make some new, and necessary, changes. This year is all about making it work and doing WHATEVER it takes to do so.
Sure, things were looking up as more clients continued to roll in, my networking efforts were paying off and my confidence was on the rise, but that was all another time and place…literally. The relocation of my business undoubtedly pushed me three steps back. And although it can be frustrating at times, at least now I have an excuse to give myself an extra 6 months to make up for that lost time. Time I’ll need to get re-established in a new community. As I mentioned in the previous post “The Pros And Cons Of Relocating Your Business,” while it may require more work, it’s the perfect reason to start fresh. So, that’s exactly what I plan to do…start fresh and do it right!
I use to give my husband a hard time for working as hard as he does (he’ll literally work 72 hours a week just to prove his value). He would constantly burn himself out to the point that he couldn’t even enjoy the little time he had off because he was either sick or just plain exhausted. And although I don’t advise anyone to work like that, I’ve learned from him that in order to get stuff done, get paid and be successful, you HAVE to work hard…really hard. Every friend I have who is a photographer (most of them being wedding photogs) work their booties off! And what do they get in return? A successful business, a decent (or awesome) paycheck, and the freedom of being self-employed. HELLO! That’s why I started this business in the first place! I’ve discovered that my main problem is not that I’m not good at photography, it’s not that I don’t know how to market or create stunning products, it’s not even that I can’t keep my books organized. No…my problem is that I put others before myself. Worrying about being home when my husband is home, making sure the dogs get exercise every day, having food in the fridge and the house clean…all these things (and more) tend to jump in front of my business on the priority list. Well, it’s time for a change. Now, of course, I’m not about to neglect my family and our home, but when something needs to get done or an opportunity knocks on the door of my business, I HAVE to answer! Period.
2013 may feel unlucky to others, but this is going to be MY year. I’m giving it all I’ve got. I’m moving forward and not looking back. It’s sure to be the busiest, craziest, pet-friendliest year yet. Join me as I embark on the adventurous journey to success. I’m coming strong and I’m not going down without a fight!
With that said, it’s time to list some goals. The most effective way to achieve your dreams is to write them down, keep them where you can see them, and make deadlines to achieve them. To prevent to-do list overload, I like to plan one month at a time, with only 3 major goals per month. So, here’s a look at the plan for January:
- Revise Products, Prices & Policies – If there’s one thing the last 4 1/2 years has taught me, it’s what works and what doesn’t. Based on my past clients, I can create a product list of the best selling items, offer them in desirable and affordable packages, implement new significant policies and delete old ineffective ones. Hello new Welcome Packet!
- Get Noticed & Recognized As A Profesional – building relationships with people in and out of your industry is key to getting exposure and earning recognition. I plan to network with fellow photographers & business owners by attending Meetup groups once a month, joining a Women’s network such as eWomenNetwork or the Women’s Chamber Of Commerce, and attending at least 1 workshop or conference a year (I wish I could go to more but those can be pricey).
- Gain Fans & Followers – Social media fans don’t always generate new business but they DO generate buzz. And we all know how significant word-of-mouth advertising is in the world of photography. I have this great idea for a contest to gain FB followers (stay tuned for that!). I plan to do some research a implement some strategies to place higher on Google searches. And, I’ll continue to blog 2-3 times per week. You’re welcome
And there you have it…the goals have been made, the planning is in motion, now let’s get to work! Who’s coming with me?!?!