It's now the start of a brand new decade - what better time to make some resolutions for your business!
Here are a couple of resolutions you might like to consider as a starting point:
1. I should factor in more "downtime" for myself
Taking time away from your business can be a great way to gain energy and enthusiasm - founder burnout can seriously jeopardise any business' progress, no matter how successful. If you started your business to get away from the "rat race" then remember this fact and ensure that you make time for friends and family without feeling guilty about it.
Setting some regular uninterrupted time to think and strategise (such as a weekly scheduled coffee at a local cafe) can also create some perspective which can lead to better decision making.
2. I will join a networking group
If you are finding living the solo craft entrepreneur life a little lonely at times, connecting with people in similar situations via online or offline meetups and groups can provide a sense of comradery and community: having people to bounce ideas off can lead to trying new things and seeing your business in a different way.
3. I will learn something new
This can either be directly business related or something that engages your skills in a completely different way. This will provide you with a challenge and a feeling of achievement, which can lead to more confidence and resilience, in both your business and personal life.
4. I will give back to my community
Creating initiatives that give back to your community can lead to goodwill and provide a feeling that your business is bigger than simply profits and sales. Find a cause that matters to you and see how you can provide your products, skills or time to help. Perhaps join a committee, or become a mentor to a younger craftsperson in your area.
5. I will be more organised
Find areas of your business where you are feel chaotic or disorganised and attempt to find solutions to improve the situation. Clean up your office space, invest in folders and file your receipts. Assess how you are tracking your inventory and make improvements - you might like to use the new year as an opportunity to stocktake and adopt a specialised inventory system like Craftybase.
6. I will set myself realistic goals
By creating a series of smaller, easier to achieve goals through the year you will be setting yourself up for success. You might like to break up your goals into financial quarters or monthly. If your goals are revenue or sale related, you'll want to be using software that provides you with real time financial summaries so you can see how close you are to your targets.
7. I will not "make do" with out of date essential equipment
Now's the time to look around and see where you are putting up with obsolete equipment. Battling with an uncooperative printer each time you need to print a shipping label is not a great use of your time: if you can afford it try and replace some key items that are making your daily life laborous or difficult.
8. I will reassess my marketing spend
Take a look at how much you spent on marketing during 2018 and how effective it was - if it didn't have an impact on your sales you'll want to see if you can replace it with a different approach. This includes listings on sales channels, promoted pins, craft markets and printed promotionals.
9. I will say no more often
It can be easier to say yes to customer demands, however this can take time and energy away from your core business. Learning how to say no effectively and politely where necessary can free your time to focus your attention more fully on your business and product lines.
10. I will plan out my day, every day
A great habit to begin in January is to take five minutes first thing in the morning to quickly list what you hope to achieve that day. Ticking off your tasks as you complete them can be hugely motivating and can lead to you being more focussed and attentive during the day.
Hopefully the suggestions above help you to point your business in the right direction for 2020. Whatever you decide your resolutions to be, you'll want to ensure that they don't feel like "work" and that they are inspiring and motivating to you.
Happy new year!