Reflecting on the first 90 days of 2017 & planning quarter two: Download your goal planning worksheets
Alright, who’s ready to check in on their 90-day goals?
Now that April is here, it’s time to take a moment to reflect on the first quarter of the year and see how those goals you set in January are coming along. As a business owner, it’s so important to check in to see how your business is doing. Through goal setting, you’re setting mindful milestones for you and your business to reach and through the act of writing it out, you’re affirming to the universe your intention to accomplish them.
No matter if you’re a small business owner or not, goal setting and checking in on those goals is an important part of self-growth. It could be as vague as “Going on a vacation a year,” or “Make my business profitable.” By starting with these vague goals, you can break down the steps on how you’ll get there. These steps become mini-goals, making your lofty, vague goals more defined and easier to achieve.
With quarter two getting underway, I’m taking a moment to check in on the goals that I wrote out in January and set my goals for quarter two with the help of my goal planning worksheets. I reflected on my yearly goals and adjusted them slightly since my business model has changed since I wrote them out. As my favorite ladies at Think Creative Collective always say, it’s all about “tweak and repeat.” Take a critical look at what worked and see how you can capitalize (repeat) to make that growth continue, and see what didn’t work and adjust (tweak) to make it work for your business, and even your life.
As I reflected on my quarter one goals, I realized that while I didn’t accomplish everything in the three areas of my life (work, self-growth, and at home), I did make huge strides towards my yearly goals. When I had initially set these goals at the beginning of the year, I was still planning on incorporating paper goods in my products. Since then I have totally shifted towards client based work through my custom wedding stationery and business branding, and have had to adjust my plans for wholesale and product launches.
Do you want to take a closer look at my quarter one goals and what I have planned for quarter two? Keep reading and download your own goal setting worksheets to plan out your quarter two and beyond.
My goal planning worksheets break life down into three areas: at work, self-growth, and at home. Today, I’m sharing with you my business goals and what I have in store for quarter two.
Grow Instagram following to 1k
This one was tough. Instagram is a tough nut to crack. Starting in January I made my creating quality content for my Instagram (@leighwoodpaperie) a focus of mine. My initial strategy for the year had been to include reposts of wedding inspiration from photographers and other vendors that I fit into my niche and scheduling out my posts.
There were two things I learned from this approach:
A) Scheduling your Instagram posts is awesome. If you’re a business owner and aren’t planning out your content, you should start. I use Later to plan out my Instagram posts. You can upload your pictures from either your desktop or your phone, type out your captions on your computer (so you have no fat finger typos!), and schedule your posts for a good time. The app will send you a notification to your phone when it’s time to post, and all it takes is a couple clicks to post your photo. Later also allows you to see a preview of how your photos will look on your grid so that you can keep a consistent look to your Instagram feed. Important when you’re building a cohesive visual identity.
B) It’s best to use your own content. While I did discover a lot of amazing photographers, I found that reposting did nothing for my engagement or follower count. What I wanted to achieve this year was an engaged following and I realized that it was easier to accomplish by showcasing my own work. While reposting is great for creating relationships with other creatives, if it’s something that you want to include in your marketing strategy, be sure that it is going to help and grow your business. If not, stick to posting your own work, even if that means not posting every day. Your followers are following you because they’re interested in what YOU have to show.
Book six wedding or branding clients:
While the year has gotten off to a slow start, it’s also taught me a lot about how to work on marketing to attract my ideal clients. Starting in January I had also transitioned to completely one-on-one work, versus my previous product-based business. Before I was trying to market my products and I had the built in network of having a shop on Etsy, but now as I’m working with brides and business owners directly, there’s quite a bit more work involved. The first 90 days of the year have been a learning experience on how to get myself in front of the lovely clients I want to work with, and also have been a lesson in putting myself out there and owning my ability as a designer. And the hard work has paid off! The ball is rolling and I am going to have two upcoming brand reveals to show off in the coming weeks!
Launch Spring/Summer line:
Since I transitioned away from being a product-based business, this 90-day goal has changed a lot. Originally I would be launching a line of greeting cards and stationery for the season, but instead I have been investing my energy in a collection of semi-custom wedding invitation suites. The work on the suites has been steady, but with client work also happening, it’s been easy to push this one off. Creating the line of invitation suites is high on my priority list for quarter two (as in, one of the first non-client related task I want to wrap up), because it’s also important to me. I’m creating the Collection as an affordable solution to couples who want the handcrafted touch of custom wedding designs, but it just isn’t in their budget. The Collection will consist of five styled of invitation suites, all with handcrafted details and quality finishes and paper.
This quarter I’m re-aligning my focus and checking in on my yearly goals for my business. As I’ve been reflecting about what I want to spend my time on in the next 90 days that will help achieve these yearly goals, I’ve been seeing a common theme: content and marketing. As a creative, the marketing doesn’t come easy, but it’s on the top of my list. Here are a look at a few of my quarter two goals:
Grow newsletter subscribers to 100:
This may seem like a small number, but I have to start somewhere, right? My newsletter hasn’t been something that I’ve focused much on. A lot of names I’ve gathered from craft shows when I was focused on selling greeting cards and stationery, but now that my focus as shifted to helping couples and businesses, I feel like I’m almost starting from scratch. Over the next couple months, I have a lot of great content in the works for both my wedding stationery couples and my small business clients, starting first with a blog series about building a visual identity for your brand. I want to focus on educating all of my readers, helping them to see the value in beautiful visuals for both their special events and their businesses.
Launch The Collection:
The Collection is my semi-custom line of wedding suites that I have been working on. It contains beautifully crafted invitation suites at a more budget friendly price than custom stationery. The Collection is also perfect for couples who need a quicker turnaround time. It will have all the special details of a custom invitation suite at a more accessible price point.
Grow Instagram followers to 1k:
Why did I include it again? Because creating an engaged group of followers on Instagram is important to me. It’s my favorite platform out of all my social media platforms and converts the best in terms of driving traffic and business to my website. My strategy has changed some from my first quarter goal, and I’m focused on creating genuine and thoughtful content. Showing more behind the scenes of my creation process and cluing you in on what life is like in the design studio.
Those are just a few of my quarter two goals that I’m sharing with you today. I also have set thoughtful, intentional goals for the other areas of my life, including for myself and around the house.