Got the end of the year on your mind? Ready to set that out of office reply and switch off for a while?
At this time of year it feels like you’re in marathon mode, focused on just making it to the finish line. But what comes after that?
In past years we have adopted a single-minded focus of just getting across that end-of-year finish line. And we’re not the only ones guilty of that too. But when we do that, we completely close off over the break and come back in January feeling relaxed, but lacking a clear sense of direction.
So this year we’re trying something different. Even though December is busy, we’re being conscious to reflect on how the year went and what’s next.
So when we have some downtime over the break, we can set realistic goals for the new year. No insurmountable resolutions, just tangible goals that we can achieve step by step.
That means when we come back in January, we won’t coast through the start of the year. A lot of businesses are quiet in January (us included) and this is an ideal time to get a head-start on those goals.
Whether it’s reviewing your suppliers, updating your website or cleaning out the office to make space for the new team members you eventually want to hire, having a plan for the start of the year creates a sense of direction and confidence.
Examples of new year business goals could be:
• Setting up new software that will make the business more efficient
• Introducing a new product or service to your business
• Finally going out on your own
• Increasing sales targets
• Offering better customer service
• Investing in training for you and your team
• Setting growth targets
By stepping into this mindset, we have already started to notice a few things that have fallen by the wayside.
To start with, we’ve set ourselves the goal of giving our studio a mini makeover.
A new cafe has opened downstairs from our office, and the newness of the space made us realise that we could benefit from an update.
If we hadn’t been using this time to think critically about our business, chances are we wouldn’t have connected these dots. But now we have, we have an extra excuse to head to the post-Christmas sales, all in the name of work *AKA office decorating*.
Questions to ask yourself when reflecting on the end of the year include:
• Am I happy with the direction the business is going in?
• What went well this year and what didn’t?
• Are my staff satisfied with their work?
• What areas of the business are being neglected and why?
• Where do I want to be this time next year?
• Are there changes in my industry I’m not keeping up with?
As for sticking to your goals? We find that accountability is everything. So the more we talk about these goals openly, the more likely we are to stick to them. And we find Christmas is the perfect time for this – you catch up with friends, family and peers at end-of-year gatherings and talking about the next steps for your business (those that aren’t confidential) rather than the standard ‘where did that year go …’ is hugely inspiring and motivating.
And now we are accountable to you to give our space the TLC it deserves. So in January we’ll be posting progress shots of our revamped studio. For us our office is a source of creative inspiration, so this is more than a vanity exercise. We’ll be planning updates that will make our whole team feel motivated as they sit down at their desks each morning.
We might not be business coaches, but we believe we’re all in business together – and we hope that when you make it across the finish line this December, you’ll feel motivated rather than mentally drained.
From all of our Design Bugs, we’d like to take this chance to wish you a merry Christmas and a fantastic start to 2018. We can’t wait to see you again next year!