At this time every year, I take time to review everything that happened in my business. I look at the good as well as the not so good. Why? This tells me where my successes have been and where I need to work harder to round out the areas that I don’t do well in.
LET’S START WITH THE SUCCESSES!
I had three new clients this year that produced quite a bit of income for me. Each client allowed me to learn something new and to troubleshoot solutions to their problems.
This is my third year in business and I’m still working hard to attract new clients and retain the ones I have now. My expenses were less this year, because I’ve already purchased all the marketing materials and software that I need to do the projects.
I took my top three skills (research, writing, and creative thinking) and used them to expand my services. I love to write and you can’t write without doing some research. I love the creativity of finding new ways to write something or present a different point of view. I’ve done some copywriting and I felt that it was time to take it a step further. I enrolled in a copywriting course and I found that I knew quite a bit about doing it correctly, but I also learned some tips and tricks of the trade.
I’ve networked more this year that the past two years combined. I’m getting better at meeting and greeting people, so I’m stretching myself and seeking out places and events, where I can meet new people and tell them about my business. I still panic when I walk through the door, but once I’m in there, I start to relax and mingle and I think I’m getting the upper hand in this.
I may never fully conquer this fear, but at least, I’m working toward that goal. I’ve met some great people and learned a few things from them. I always eat something before I go to an event, because I don’t want to feel hungry or faint. That little burst of energy gets me started and by the time I am hungry, I’ve met some people and relaxed a bit. This is part of my 2016 business plan. I want to network more, but also, get more out of networking and I believe practice makes perfect. The more I do it, the better I will become.
It’s always a great idea to socialize with like-minded individuals. I’m so happy I joined NEVA (New England Virtual Assistants). They’re in the process of changing the name to NEVBO (New England Virtual Business Organization). This is an exceptional group of business professionals, who want to learn new ideas and trends, but also want to learn to succeed. The monthly conference calls feature guest speakers and the in-person quarterly meetings at restaurants around New England gives members the opportunity to network and exchange ideas and plan for future events.
I was skeptical about joining, because I didn’t know anyone and didn’t know what to expect, but this group has so much to offer in the form of education, speakers, and possible job offers. It is a wise investment in my business!
MY BUSINESS PLAN FOR 2016
So what does my business plan for 2016 look like?
- I am pursuing copywriting, because I believe it is a perfect fit for me. I will take another copywriting course early next spring.
- I plan to meet with someone from the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center. They offer free workshops and I can learn so much from them.
- I also plan to contact someone at SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), a national group that also serves Massachusetts and Connecticut. They offer mentoring and one-on-one meetings to help small business thrive.
- Do more networking and try to enjoy doing it. Work on my elevator pitch, so the words will flow out of my mouth and attract everyone’s attention.
- Get more involved with NEVA/NEVBO. Try to attend more of these events and attend more of the conference calls.
If I can accomplish most of this, I will have a great year. If I only accomplish some of these ideas, my business will still be better off than just hoping or waiting for something good to happen.
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