September 14, 2015

Setting business goals for 2016

While we still have about three and a half months ahead of us before 2015 turns into 2016 I felt the time was right to think about my business goals for next year. I know a lot of people use the month of January to start new projects or work on personal goals, but for me the beginning of Autumn has always had that vibe of change that I seem to need to get excited about new thoughts and ideas.

With the Summer vacation behind me and the weather getting colder again I'm spending more time indoors by myself. My husband and kids are at work and in school during the week and that allows all these creative ideas to pop up in my mind. And why not make the best of that by setting out and structuring some goals for my business for the upcoming year?

So what are my goals for next year? And what will I have to do to come as close as possible to meeting my goals? I thought this would be a nice subject for today's blog post, so let's dive into some goal setting!

By writing stuff down it feels like ideas and plans solidify a little more than when I only keep them in my head. It's a bit like making a vision board (if you don't know what that is, check it out in this post). I have a little notebook that I use to write down personal and business goals, but writing them down in a digital way, like in a blog post for example is a great way too.

This year was for professionalizing and growing my business. I submitted my little business to the Dutch chamber of commerce back in April, which made things very real all of a sudden and I set a goal for the income I would like to earn this year. I put down a number of 7.500 Euros as my turnover goal and knew that the biggest part of that amount would have to come from my blog design shop Dutch Lady Digi Design

My shop and business were of course a little smaller at January 1st of this year so I had to come up with a plan how to grow towards that turnover goal of 7.500 Euros. I decided I needed to make more premade blogger designs to fill up the shop and to offer my clients a wider range to choose from and I also knew I would have to raise my prices. I did both of these things in the course of this year which resulted so far in a turnover of 5.200 Euros. With three and a half more months to go it is likely that I will be meeting my turnover goal of 7.500 Euros this year.

I am both proud and thankful. If you would have told me five years ago that one day I would have my own business I would not have believed you. I am very happy that the income goal I set for myself at the beginning of this year will probably be met in December, but the feeling of gratitude and passion that I get from working in my own little business gives even more satisfaction. It is as if I start to see and believe that it is possible to make dreams come true and to do something in life that makes my heart sing. Something that benefits me and my family as well as the clients I help out.

For the upcoming year I do not want to set a fixed income goal like I did this year. Instead I am setting the following goal:

- I will make enough money to support a fully organic and ecological way of living for me and my family -

Graphic design is definitely a passion of mine, but my other big passion is healthy living. With the income I earned so far we have been able to buy more organic foods and ecological household products. This does not only benefit my own health and that of my family, but also the environment. I would love to take that a step further by making enough money to buy all my groceries from the organic/ecological supermarket. So that is going to be my goal for next year. In December of 2016 I hope to have a monthly income that supports that way of living.

I started out with my own organic little veggie garden this year which gave me quite a few zucchinis, tomatoes and cucumbers this Summer. I hope to take that to the next level as well in 2016.

Another goal for next year is:

- I want to keep the creativity flowing -

The creative part of my job is what makes it so much fun. 

Having goals is one thing, having a strategic plan to reach them another. So I gave my goals some thoughts over the last few days and came up with the following strategics to try to meet them:

  • I need to widen my product range to reach more possible clients
  • Widening my product range will also give me the opportunity to get creative
  • Opening a third Etsy shop for this new product range
  • To be of even better service and for my personal development I have to educate myself more in the field of web design and graphic design with the use of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I will have to invest time to watch and read tutorials on these subjects or find online courses.
  • Keep writing useful posts for this blog ;-)

Yes, you have read it correctly. I have plans to open a new Etsy shop. Since Autumn is such a very creative time of year for me I decided to put my energy in developing a new graphic design product line and I think this line of products will be best presented in a new shop. It's a work in progress for now but you can expect a blog post when the new shop and products are launched sometime this Fall.

If you have visited one of my shops over the last week you might have noticed that I put in some new products there as well. I made some new clipart sets for The Dutch Lady Designs and I made a section of Customized Business Cards for Bloggers and Business Babes in the other shop. So I have already started putting my plans into action.

examples of the customizable business cards for bloggers & business babes

The title of this paragraph should of course say 'Why don't I make a six figure income YET? ;-)
I almost here you thinking: 'how the hell does she make a living from a 7.500 Euros income'? Well, my husband has always been the one that brought in a steady monthly income. I took care of our kids and had some small part time jobs on the side every now and then. But my main focus was on raising the kids. Now that they are teenagers and I have some more time to myself I can invest that time in my business and slowly grow it. The fact that we were able to live on mostly one income over the years makes my income from the design business a nice extra. With one income we lived on a very tight budget and with my newly gained income our budget expanded. So much that we were slowly able to start buying more organic (one of our personal family goals).

When starting a business it is almost impossible to start earning a six figure income from day one. And I don't know if I will ever reach that figure. But you know what? It's not even a goal of mine. My goal is to live and work happily. To have a good balance between business and private life. My goal is to be able to live more sustainable, but I'm pretty sure my husband and I can do that without a six figure income from both our jobs. 

Have you already thought about business / personal goals for next year? Or maybe blogging goals? Blogging can turn into a serious passionate business too! Let me know your ideas in the comments below, I would love to read about them!

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