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Year End Planning

December is always a busy month for me. I have business obligations, including getting the Winter issue of The Professional Quilter off to the printer; family commitments; volunteer activities, plus a few fun things scheduled just for me.

I also plan to get a head start on business planning for the next year. A particular resource I like is a small book called Your Best Year Yet by Jinny S. Ditzler. It offers an easy framework to define your personal values, identify the various roles you play and create goals for those roles. I particularly like the emphasis on evaluating all the good things before you look at setting new goals. Here’s a link to Amazon if you are interested in learning more about the book.

Here are six ideas to consider as you plan for next year.

  1. Join or start a networking group. And if you are already in a group, volunteer to run the program one meeting. You’ll not only share but probably learn something you didn’t already know.

  3. Set a schedule to back up your financial, and other, data on a regular basis.  It’s easy to let this slide, and then disaster strikes, and you have to input a lot of data again. If you work on your financial data every day, then you should back up every day. To be on the safe side, keep two backups. You could back up the even days on one disk, and the odd days on another. Watch for an article on backing up from Gloria Hansen in the Winter 2009 issue of The Professional Quilter.

  5. Spend an hour each day learning something new that will have a positive impact on your business. This could be reading business books, studying accounting on the Internet, learning a new computer program. One hour per day equals 365 hours per year. The average college course is 35 classroom hours. That would be 10 college courses a year. Over time, one hour a day will make you an expert at any subject and the real expert at what makes your business better.

  7. Get a head start organizing your accounting and books for the new year. Setting up some kind of system, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly depending on your business size, is the key to staying organized. And, if you are a shoebox filer, resolve to set up a better system. You can’t really get a handle on how your business operates without being able to look at the numbers throughout the year.

  9. Set some goals to grow your business and develop a marketing plan to follow through on them. For teachers, it could be sending out additional brochures to show managers or developing a new class. For longarm quilters, it might be sending a thank you note to all your 2008 customers with a coupon for a discount on their first job of 2009. For art quilters, it could be to make one new contact a month for gallery representation.

  11. Participate in some charitable activity. This will not only make you feel good, but the exposure can lead to new quilting business.

I’ll offer six more ideas at the end of the month. And, if you have some ideas to share, let me know.

If your subscription to The Professional Quilter is not current and you need to renew, or you want to start a new subscription, here’s a link to our order page.

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