Here we go again. It’s a new year and everyone is thinking about goals. Of course, when you’re a small business person the ultimate wishes are to grow your business, increase profits and boost your visibility in your industry.
But to make those things happen, you have to take action. Each year I review what my goals were for the previous year, decide if they were met, and brainstorm what the upcoming months should look like to get where I want to be.
So, today I’m sharing a few snippets of my 2017 business goals and tips that helped me become a successful full-time independent contractor.
5 Actionable Tips to Drive Your Business Forward
1. Ease up on automation and be yourself. So much social media interaction is via pre-scheduled posts. I’m not saying I don’t use those services too, but you’ll also find me tweeting, posting on Facebook and gramming about daily life to help relate to my audience. Warning: There are ample pictures of yoga, pets and food on my Instagram account!
2. Evaluate your most profitable work tasks. Then, make them a priority. I’m slowly making this happen by juggling my freelance writing clients. I’m sending more pitches to the editors who handle writing assignments that I find the most enjoyable and give me the biggest return on my time investment. In the end, work smarter, not longer, to pad the bank account.
3. Make time for yourself. It takes an incredibly long (unprofitable) time to dig yourself out of a burnout situation and get your business back on track. Instead, make a little time each day to enjoy nature, read a book that’s not related to work, go to the gym, play with a pet or share a homemade dinner with someone you love. The happiness and energy from self-care will propel you forward both in your personal and professional endeavors.
4. Put everything on your schedule. I use Google Calendar faithfully to map out each work task. I schedule writing assignments, invoicing, processing payroll, marketing tasks — and yes — writing for my own website. If it’s not visible and on a list, things tend to get pushed aside. Give your business tasks the attention they deserve. Sloppy entrepreneurs don’t thrive!
5. Be ready to make changes. As I move forward, I’m trying to take note of what works best for my business, not what should work in general. For example, my Instagram account gets more love than Facebook. So, I’m going to be spending more time there in the future, despite the general popularity of Facebook. Hang out where your fans and customers are, not where you think you should be!
What are you working on to improve your business? Tweet me or comment below!
Note: This post was updated on January 2, 2017.