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3.5 Tips to Start the New Year

We are about to start a New Year. I’m excited about some of the things I have planned. I’m working with a coach to expand the business, and I have some new business programs planned for later in the year. As I look ahead, I can see that I have a lot to accomplish, and I need to stay focused to do that. A lot of you know one of my favorite planning resources is Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler, and following her process helps me focus. You can read some of the questions she asks on a previous blog post.

I wanted to share three and a half tips to keep in mind as you start the New Year.

1. Set time for yourself in your calendar. I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t take enough time for her or himself. This fall I had knee surgery and was sidelined from my yoga class. I plan to get back in class this winter. And, I want to also set aside time each afternoon for a little self care. It’s important to find a little time here and there to care for ourselves. We’ll feel happier and stronger inside and this will in turn make us happier and stronger business people. One good reference on self care is The Art of Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson.

2. Remember to allow adequate time for marketing. For many, the production is the fun part and the marketing takes a back seat. I’ve had more than one person tell me that she spends two to four times as many hours marketing herself and her product as she does producing the product. Marketing is an ongoing process; you are always marketing. I love this quote from actress Carrie Fisher, “There is no point at which you can say, “Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.” This keeps me focused on marketing my product.

3. Keep on top of your financials. I know, most people do not enjoy bookkeeping, and if you can hire someone to take it over, that’s great. But watch your numbers. You need to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. What is your ROI (return on investment) for your activities? Your business can’t grow if you aren’t aware of the financials.

3.5 Remember why you got into business. For many of us, it was our love of quilting or fiber arts and wanting to share our gifts with other quilters. Sure, we work hard at it, and we are rewarded. When times get tough, step back and remember what got you in the business. Maybe use some of that self-care time to make something for yourself. Another quote I like is from Thomas A. Edison. “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership here.

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