Ah, the new year is here!
For some, that’s scary. It’s usually the people who haven’t really made a plan on what to achieve and how to get there.
But for others it’s exciting. They have a vision and are ready to hustle for it.
New year, new you. Why not a new business venture or an innovative approach to your work too, I’d ask?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan of new year’s resolutions or not. As I’ve mentioned in the past, they usually don’t work.
For a start, people set too many goals, and each requires a massive change in the lifestyle and way of thinking. That’s overwhelming. It’s a sure way to not only fail, but to feel so disappointed about it and you don’t try anything else to improve anymore simply because you will have lost hope.
Don’t let that happen. Don’t let the potential within stay hidden yet another year, and your business goals or idea stay only in your mind again.
I decided this to be the first longer post for readers of Let’s Reach Success for a reason.
I’m sure you’ve been thinking of finally starting a business, or expanding the one you already have. Be it because you need more freedom, more money, or even more work.
That desire won’t go away. If not this year, then the next one you’ll be at this same place trying to figure out what to do with your life and/or your business.
If you’re just starting out, cool. That means you haven’t tried anything yet, and the possibilities are endless. It’s just a matter of time to get to the one thing you’ll work on that will turn your whole life around.
If you do work for yourself already, but are stuck or want to spice things up, congrats! That dissatisfaction with the way things currently are will drive you on the way to making a change.
There are many business goals you can set in the new year, but I suggest you stick to one.
Why? Because our mind works best when we decide to do one thing, but do it right.
And I’m talking about big things here. Yes, you’ll start small, won’t get overwhelmed, and will focus more on taking a small step daily every single day, rather than making big moves every now and then. That’s how progress comes. That’s how you can track things and make changes when necessary. That’s how you never lose hope, see constant progress and thus stay motivated to keep going, and can be crushing it a year from now.
Yes. It takes one year to achieve a massive goal, without even feeling exhausted, physically or mentally, or sacrificing your peace of mind or social life.
Each of the following business goals will be beneficial to you and your business in more ways than you can imagine. Of course, you need to carefully do your research first, have a strategy and a rough plan, and be patient.
Big things take time. Life- and business-changing things take even more time. But they change you and your lifestyle too along the way.
So, without further ado, here are the awesome business goals you can set in 2017 that will let you skyrocket your business:
Let the theme of the year be personal branding.
It’s great to have a direction. That’s why you’re going to set business goals, after all.
I’m sure you think you’re already doing enough about your brand, but most aspiring entrepreneurs or even business owners with experience neglect that aspect. However, it turns out to be one of the key aspects to your overall business success.
For a start, try to truly understand what personal branding is and where it can get you.
It’s more than just a logo and social media profiles on each channel. It’s about being where you potential customers are online, about honest and direct communication, about making each element of the design of your website resonate with your core message, about giving readers more value than they expect with every piece you publish, even if you don’t write the content yourself.
Your personal brand is who you are for your customers. And they want real people, who have principles and whose products and services truly solve problems.
The things personal branding can do for your actual business, though, are countless.
First of all, you’re forming relationships with others in the field, potential readers of your book or users of your product, and even a new partner or investor. All that happens naturally, by just sharing stuff on social media because you found something interesting, by reaching out to people personally via email to thank them for a comment they left, by answering questions in your area of expertise on social forums like Quora, by writing about your real-life experiences and what you learn on your journey.
Then comes authenticity. Something that will help you stand out from the crowd.
The best example of a successful entrepreneur with an awesome brand is Gary Vee, and he’s all about being authentic.
Be bold in your statements. Don’t be afraid to say what you think, even if it’s the opposite of what society believes.
Share photos from behind the scenes of your business on Instagram. Make videos of the actual creation of a product, or during a meeting to show customers that you’re having fun and are working with cool people.
Invest hours in creating the ultimate About page on your website. Check out how Neil Patel did it on QuickSprout. It’s a killer example.
If you’re just starting out, and still at your regular job but with the desire to become self-employed over the next few months, there are many things you can do each day which are related to your brand too.
Focus on creating your portfolio by doing work for friends, or for professionals but for free. Know that one day they’ll recommend you to their peers. You’ll also have experience in the exact niche you want to build a business in, and that’s priceless.
In addition, you’ll see what the market it all about, to what extent your work answers people’s expectations, and how you can optimize your approach when landing a client or discussing prices.
5-minute daily actions are what it takes to have a real personal brand a few months from now.
And once you do, be sure that all kinds of people will find you, be it from social media, your work, or your website, and will want to do business with you, or will become fans of your brand.
Start building your brand today. Choose this one from the list of business goals. You’ll be happy you started a year from now!
Hire your first freelancer.
There comes a time in a business owner’s life when a big chunk of the work must be delegated to virtual staff, so that you can focus on the actual business, but to also have more time for yourself and peace of mind.
Maybe you’re happy with the money your business is making now, but wish you could have the freedom to travel more often and still have someone to handle issues.
Maybe you’re just starting out but need help with creating content, designing a professional site, or marketing your product.
You might also be freelancing on the side, but still be able to afford a virtual assistant and let him do all the boring, administrative tasks.
Well, let 2017 be the year you finally hire someone.
Here’s why I think that will be good for you and your business goals, regardless of your situation:
- you’ll manage another person and that will let you develop the mindset of a boss, which is good for self-esteem and for taking things to the next level on your entrepreneurial journey;
- you won’t do tedious tasks over and over again;
- you might save tens of hours of your time weekly, and use them to either do what you love and enjoy time with loved ones, or work on growing your business or a new project;
- you’ll learn the art of delegating, which isn’t something we’re initially good at, but a skill we get better at;
- aspects of your work like bookkeeping, branding, social media marketing, content creation, email outreach, or else, will be done by professionals and the quality will affect your whole business;
- you’ll actually save money – freelancers are cheap. You just can’t know it before you work with one. Truth is, your time is more expensive than that. And when you hire someone to get things done (and be sure he’ll get it done much faster than you), you can use the same amount of time to work on business growth. So, you’re making more than you’re spending. It’s simple math.
How to go about hiring your first freelancer?
Start small. With a one-time project. Till you find the right person.
Decide what you’re doing that can be delegated, and be open-minded about it.
Create employer profiles on sites like UpWork, Freelancer, Guru and PeoplePerHour. Post a job describing what exactly needs to be done and what you require from the person who’ll do it.
Be ready to receive many proposals and take some time to go through each.
See how they express themselves as this matters a lot.
Contact the promising individuals to discuss this further. Ask as many questions as you want and judge the person based on his answers.
You can even hire a few people to do the same job and see how each performs. Then, simply continue working with the one who’s most productive, who seems to care about quality, and who meets your expectations.
Once you feel comfortable letting others do some of your work, you’ll love it. You’ll outsource even more stuff once you see the benefits too.
Go to a big networking event.
That’s a new and often uncomfortable thing for people to do if it’s happening for the first time.
You probably think that most people there will already be in the big game, be it for having a profitable company, working with investors, having years of experience in the niche, or else.
Yes, there will be many people like that there. But that’s one of the reasons why you need to drag yourself to at least one event in 2017 and let this be the next one of your business goals.
The price is usually quite high, but it’s an investment many successful entrepreneurs have made back in the days that turned out to be a pretty smart decision.
Here are some tips to make sure you make the most of it:
- have your business cards ready and don’t forget to hand one to each person you talk to longer;
- have a purpose – go to the event with a goal in mind;
- be open to anything – take notes to what lecturers say and make sure you check out any key resources they mention, introduce yourself, discuss ideas, ask questions, get feedback;
- greet people, smile and be polite;
- dress sharp – you’ll feel good about yourself this way and most often that’s all that matters to present yourself in the best way possible;
- accept it as a challenge – it’s a way to get out of your comfort zone. It’s one thing to read about the authorities in your niche, it’s another to be in their company. Don’t overthink it, just get a ticket for the next big event related to your industry near your area, and see what happens;
- but also as a learning experience – there’s no way to fail at this. You’re going there for the first time, so don’t have any expectations. Just explore this aspect of any business – networking is important. Notice how people behave there. Observe and learn.
- follow up afterwards – if you talk to a few people and you exchange contact details, really do send over an email some time after that, but make sure you’re not wasting that person’s time.
- write about the experience after the event – maybe share what you learned there;
- plan your next networking event – you’ll be better prepared and more confident this time.
So, how do these business goals sound?
Anything you’re actually ready to try?
Can’t wait to see what 2017 has to offer to our businesses, but it’s much better if we enter it with intention.
Here’s to you, and to the new direction of your business this year!
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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