December is usually a crazy time for designers. You’re pushing to get projects done before the holidays, tie up any business loose ends, fulfill your own holiday obligations, and maybe squeeze in some time for getting together with friends and associates to celebrate the season. Before the clock runs out on 2016, though, set aside a little bit of quiet time to think about what gift your business would like to receive that will make it happier or healthier in the new year.
Thinking back over the past year, what one change or addition to your business would have made the most difference in how it performed? Do you need more assistance, to free up more time for the activities that most impact the bottom line, to streamline or upgrade your operations, to find more qualified clients, to update your skills, to become more familiar with the latest products, to branch out into a niche specialty? How different would your business look a year from now if you make that change?
Then, consider what you need to do to bring about that change or addition. Is it time to hire someone full- or part-time, find a partner or collaborator, invest in new equipment or software, outsource some business functions, make plans to attend one or more upcoming expos, spend more time networking, sign up for a CEU or two? Whatever it is, make a commitment that that is the gift you will give to your business for the coming year—and soon. Your business will repay you with a lot more than thanks. Happy holidays!