Like it or not this is a natural time to reflect on the experiences of the past year and consider what you want to do in the year to come. It may be trite, and many of the things we decide upon now will be forgotten by the third week in January, but it’s something we all do, consciously or not.
Of course, in business it is crucial that we constantly review the success of our actions, so we know which to repeat and which to discard. Setting goals, no matter how informally, helps to give our activity some purpose and to define what activities we should be doing.
Finally, as small business owners we can too often focus on how far we’ve still got to go and forget to really look at, and appreciate, how far we’ve come.
So, I’m taking some time out to appreciate, to acknowledge those people that have helped me get here and to look at what happens next.
There were two big birthdays for me this year. NK Credit Consultancy Ltd celebrated one year of trading and I, on the other hand, turned 50!
Both were causes for a lot of reflection, I booked myself in for a colour consultation with the very lovely Annabel Czyba of House of Colour, Swindon to give myself a makeover, and the business got a makeover too!
Working with Isabel Gainsford from The Brand Beneath over this last year has done wonders for the business. When I first signed up with her, I didn’t know if I’d be able to afford the monthly investment I was committing to. I signed up on faith that her coaching and guidance would make that a non-issue, and I was right.
Izzy gave me the courage to rebrand. It’s a big deal changing the identity of your business. I’d spent a year promoting it but came to realise that, actually, I’d spent a year promoting me, my skills and experience, and the new branding reflected me far better than the old. For more on why I rebranded you can read my blog Time for a Change.
The rebrand has been a great success with positive feedback received from clients, suppliers and my network. It’s helped me be clearer about my services and, importantly, I feel very much more connected to my brand now.
Networking & Speaking
I love networking. I’m a member of 4Networking, BNI, and Inspire. I attend other local networking meetings like Swindon Business Village. I also participate in a number of online networking groups, such as Wiltshire Women in Business. At heart I’m a very sociable person and I always knew my business would most likely come from networking rather than a Google Search.
So far, I’ve been proved right.
I tend to throw myself into the things I enjoy! Because of that I am now an Area Leader for 4Networking and will be President of my BNI Chapter for a year from next April.
I have also discovered a love of speaking and have been fortunate to speak at several local and regional events. It’s yet another way I have been able to expand my network, build new relationships and meet new clients. I want to do more!
Asking for Help
It’s not all been plain sailing. At times I’ve felt overwhelmed, anxious, not good enough. Impostor Syndrome is difficult to throw off!
I understand that we can’t be good at everything. That we should focus on those things we are good at and get help for the rest. However, it can be difficult asking for help, particularly when you believe you can’t afford it. In the end I had to ask myself could I afford not to.
The result is I’ve had some great support, some is ongoing, some was of the moment, and I know that 2019 is going to be all the better for it.
As well as Izzy, I’ve had help with marketing strategy from Kay King of Quercus Marketing and Sheena Whyatt from Kapow! I’ve worked with the wonderful Stefan Thomas from The Networking Retreat on getting the most from all the networking I do, and I have the very talented and well-connected Fiona Scott who is managing my PR.
What Happens Next?
Next year will have its challenges, brought about by the political and economic climate as well as the usual challenges of trying to grow a business. I’m determined to continue to build on my successes of 2018.
In 2019 I want to focus on the following:
- Build up a library of articles to use to give value to those ‘can I just ask a quick question’ or ‘can you give me some advice about X’ enquiries. This will stop them eating into time that should be being spent on client work.
- Create a content marketing plan / schedule and stick to it!
- Continue to help clients to develop their businesses. Clients who are happy to embrace change and who understand the value I can bring to their business.
- Find new strategic partners to work with me to help me grow my business alongside those I already have.
- Build my speaking profile by doing more events.
I had a great 2018. And with the support I have got I know 2019 is going to be fantastic! I’d love to share it with you.
If you’d like to know more about how I can help your business to change its strategy and transform your bank account, call me on 07900 83802.