I’m a lover of lists. I don’t know if it’s the OCD in me, but nothing makes me feel more satisfied than making a list (other than COMPLETING said list!). And because I love to make to-do lists, they often get long and multi-paged and out of control.
So now I have a list called “New Year’s Resolutions”. These aren’t the typical resolutions that everyone makes and then breaks a week into January. These are things I want to do to improve my business, ideas that need to be fleshed out, and jewelry designs using new techniques that I don’t have time to hone as I head into the holiday frenzy.
I’ve found list-making to be a great tool. I typically get burned out from shows, making jewelry, updating my web site, and shipping packages every single day around the week before Christmas. So I take January and February off and use those months to look back and look ahead and re-write my business plan. That list I’ve compiled all year long now gets a thorough examining.
First, I look at last year’s plan. I always try something new each year, and I see how that went. For 2008, it was Etsy. I opened a jewelry store and a bead store. I’ve spent far more money buying cool things on Etsy than I made, and that’s entirely my fault.
I realized that I already have a web site that’s more than sustaining itself, and putting marketing into new jewelry that I wasn’t that keen on making wasn’t a good plan. But I think all experiments are a chance to learn, and I always can find something useful from them.
Next, I take a look at the list I’ve made over the year and start making concrete plans. What new techniques do I want to try, and will they mesh with my current line of jewelry? What venues do I want to add to my show schedule, and which ones do I want to drop? How many classes do I want to teach this year? I now have the time to give each scribbled note the attention it deserves and figure out what’s going to stay and what’s going to be tossed.
I already know what my big project for 2009 is going to be — a new, separate web site (in addition to my current one) that will focus on luxe jewelry. I’ve already registered the domain name, but the rest of the plans will have to wait until December. If I get distracted with all the exciting things I want to do for 2009, I’ll forget that my focus right now needs to be on, well, right now.
So whenever I get an idea that doesn’t help my bottom line for the rest of 2008, it goes on The List.
So what are your New Year’s Resolutions for your business going to be?
Lori Anderson sells her jewelry at craft shows, on Etsy, and on her web site. She creates and blogs from Easton, MD.