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Category: Goal Setting

Looking Forward And Planning For 2019

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins to wind down, many entrepreneurs are caught off-guard by all of the things that need to get done for the new year. When you’re a business owner, the working world didn’t just stop for the holidays. After the fuzz of January has worn off, now come the time to plan strategically for February and beyond. Don’t procrastinate! Instead, take a good hard look at all aspects of your business.
How was your business year? Did you achieve your business goals? Exceed them? Fall short? Take a deliberate look at your business, profits, projections and marketing efforts. Are you happy with your results? Looking back, what would you change? Why?
Take a look at the things that you are most happy with. Which projects did you complete? What plans did you have in place that made these projects truly successful? What did you learn from these experiences? What can you plan to do differently?
While you’re looking at your past, think about your future. Do you need to add something to your overall ideals? Do you need to add staff to your team? How do you plan to expand your marketing efforts? Is there a way that you can better reach your clients and potential clients, both online and off?
You can jot these ideas down in a notebook, or create a vision board for your next year. If you respond well to creative efforts, make yourself a board that you can put up in your office and come back to. This should be a memorable learning activity that allows you the opportunity to implement changes to your goals and methods for the new year.
Remember that business is all about learning from your triumphs and shortcomings, and to identify troublesome habits or isolate the root of some of your frustration to experience smooth sailing after the fact. We all have some stumbles amidst our successes, and each serve to teach us where we plan to go in the future.

How To Create A Basic Editorial Calendar That You Can Stick To

An editorial calendar is a great tool for anyone who uses social media or blogs. It allows you to get a handle on your content by answering some of the most important questions about who you’re planning to reach, when you should be writing, what you have to say and where you’re going to say it.

If you’re running a site with multiple contributors, an editorial calendar will also help you keep track of who is responsible for generating content at what time. It’s likely the best way to keep publishing streamlined and organized, and to set time restraints for yourself and your team.

Use A Template

You don’t need to make a complicated calendar for your editorial needs; in fact the simpler the better. All you need to do is find something that you’re familiar with and run with it. If you’re most comfortable using Google Calendar, you can create new calendar and make that into your editorial one. If you like using a day planner, by all means, use that. We even have a weekly planner you can download for FREE!

Brainstorm

In order to create your editorial calendar, You need to have a number of post ideas that fit in with your marketing plans. Take some time to research others who are blogging in your field to get some ideas of what you feel is relevant or irrelevant to your business. Once you have a list that you’re satisfied with, you can start to plug those blog posts into your calendar.

Use and Update

The point of an editorial calendar is to keep you organized and on task. It’s great to wake up each day and know exactly what needs to be written, or to be able to advise your staff in kind. For an editorial calendar to be effective, you need to update it on a regular basis; write, publish, brainstorm, repeat.

An editorial calendar is an excellent way to keep from feeling rushed or overwhelmed when it comes to blogging, newsletters and other outreach. When keeping up with an editorial calendar, you can sit down and write your posts for the week in a matter of hours because you know what needs to be done, and that will free up your time for so many other important things.

Leave us a comment and let us know how your Editorial Calendar turns out!

5 Ways To Stay Motivated In Business

By shaking up your approach to your career, you will find new and innovative ways to keep yourself from growing bored, and you’ll also see your business improving in the long run.

Keeping momentum and motivation in your small business are often two of the biggest challenges that an entrepreneur faces on a daily basis. When your heart isn’t in your company, your clients know it. Your sales will begin to fall, which leads to an even bigger lack of motivation.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest from the trees when it comes to inspiring growth, but it’s important to take steps towards rejuvenating your love for the craft when your motivation starts to slip.

If you’re finding yourself trapped in a place of listlessness or even bordering resentment, there are some important steps that you should take to get active in your business.

Look Backwards

You’re in this to win this; you want to be successful. Yet, losing your motivation hurts those chances for success by dragging you down. Take some times to look back on your past successes. These are the things that will motivate you most, because they will remind you how good you can be. Focusing on these achievements will serve to get you back on track and guide your way into success once again.

Try Something New

A lack of motivation very often comes from a place of becoming stagnant. When you allow yourself to get too set in a daily routine, there’s a possibility that you will lose your passion for your career. Stir things up a bit! Take a new approach to an old problem. See how you can alter your perspective and come at your problems from a new angle.

Challenge Yourself

In the same way that routine can get boring and cause you to become unmotivated, so can a lack of challenging problems in your daily workload. Set goals for yourself, whether small or large, and ensure that you work towards meeting each one. Spend your work hours creating steps of action which get you on track to be successful in your goals.

Make sure your goals are YOURS

Have you ever sat back for a minute and asked yourself WHY you’re doing this? If you have and realised that you’re doing this daily grind for someone else, then it’s time to rework things. Obviously some things are for others (feeding the kids etc.) but if your business’ main goal is to make something or someone ELSE happy, you will very easily lose motivation to keep it up.

Make your END GAME very visible

You know those “Vision Boards” everyone chats about? They work! They keep you on track and keep your goals in view. You don’t need a fancy vision board, you can have a list if you’d like or even a jot note on a napkin but the key is to have it VISIBLE to you so you can see it every day – that way you see what all your hard work is contributing to!

Above all, don’t give up! If you need to find an accountability partner, do so.. Join a group like YRCIA or get a few business friends together and help lift each other up!

When and Why to Revise Your Business Plan

You know that business plans are important, but as a business owner, you also know that figures and strategies can often change. You’re probably aware that you should revise your business plan once a year, but there are times when an annual look just isn’t enough. If you’re unsure what constitutes revising your business plan, here are some scenarios where you should take inventory to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Scheduling is All Wrong

When you’re consistently behind schedule, it’s not good for anyone. Clients feel like they’re not important, and you feel like you’re stressed to the max. When you notice that your big projects, or all of your projects are falling behind schedule, your business is in dangerous water. Take some time to re-examine what is happening and make some changes.

Employee Attitudes

Every company should run like a well-oiled machine. If your employees are slacking, losing motivation or lacking in focus, it’s probably time to address something within your business. There are a number of reasons that employee morale can slip, but it’s up to you to find out what is at work and to fix it.

Being Outsold by Competitors

Sometimes your business plans are thwarted by new or suddenly aggressive competitors. Often unexpected, this can feel a little personal; remember that it isn’t. Your competitors are out to make money and retain clientele, just like you are. Instead, sit down and really think about what you can do to stay afloat, but don’t wait in this instance. Address it fast!

Sales Figures Drop or Projections Are Off

When your sales and financial projections are off, it’s a definite indication that your business plan needs to be revised. The positive to this is that you should have a better idea of your clientele and sales than you originally did. That means that it will be easier to forecast realistically.

When it comes to your business plan, the main thing to remember is that it’s an imperative part of your success, and that problems will not fix themselves. Pour time into revisions when you come up against problems and get your company on track and where you’d like it to be.

Goal Setting for the Creative Maker

You know your final destination, but do you know how to get there? Goal setting is a BOR-ING task but oh so necessary if you want to actually get to the finish line of any dream.

You’ve most likely heard the common way to set goals is to make sure they’re “SMART” goals… (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) but the problem with those types of goals is that I get caught up with making sure the goals I set actually meet this criteria! LOL!!

The way that I set my goals to be achieved is to break them down into bite sized (or action based) pieces. Starting from the END result, work your way backwards.

Let’s break a goal down to show you what I mean.

GOAL
Create and Upload New Items to Etsy

TASKS
Research materials
– Decide whether to use fleece or cotton
– Design colour palette

Create items
– Cut materials
– Match patterns and quilt together
– Iron and sew
– Add labels

Write descriptions
– Research keywords and tags for listing
– Write descriptions

Take photos
– Set up backdrop
– Ensure lighting is adequate
– make sure all items are clean/ironed
– Edit photos if necessary

Come up with pricing (based on time & costs)
– Figure out timing
– Calculate costs
– Combine both factors to come up with pricing

Upload to Etsy Shop
– Go through all the steps to add your listing to your shop.

Wait for the “Cha-Ching” Sound 😉

Notice that each one of these tasks has a list of tasks in and of itself, this is the important part of setting goals as it makes the process not so overwhelming. The hardest part of goal setting is indeed the fact that it generally becomes too daunting and ends up falling by the wayside.

You can add dates and times to these if you want to be held accountable, but I find that adding dates and times doesn’t really help me. The bottom line is to make things as simple as they can be – you don’t have time (nor the want) for things to be overly complicated, but you do have to get stuff done so that you can move your business forward.

Do you have a system of goal setting that you use? Share in the comments so we can all be productive together 😉