I know – Christmas is officially over and we’re all gearing up for New Year. Everyone is thinking about giving things up, starting new habits, and setting goals. I am not crazy about resolutions – every year I make a few of the same ones, and I usually don’t manage to keep them – but I am totally down with goals. So, I thought I would share how I am setting business goals this year.
I like goals because I think the key difference is that whilst resolutions seem to be ‘I am going to be different in this way’, goals seem to offer a visible end point, rather than something as lofty as ‘losing weight’ or ‘doing more exercise’.
This is the first year I have started setting goals – I started up a ‘goals book’ for my business and organised them into ‘long term’ and ‘short term’ categories - just one half at the front, one half at the back. I set them in around August and some of them were a little ambitious, but in general I have found the system to work. (As long as I remember to go back and check on them fairly regularly!)
I break down each ‘goal’ into a thing I want to achieve, by a certain time. I then break them down into steps that I can easily act on and ‘tick off’ so that it doesn’t appear like this huge, looming cloud of ambition with not much focus.
So, with the Goals Book in mind, here are my Business Goals for 2016:
Start to Work for Myself: this one doesn’t have an ‘end date’ really because it’s an ongoing goals, I guess for the whole of my life, but I am acutely aware that uni finishes in just 5 small months. I really want to get out there and be doing what I love, so I am hoping to take some small steps to in some way assert myself as a ‘freelance illustrator’. I already have my little shop, so other goals that are in there are ‘find an agent’ (which is subsequently broken down into things like ‘put together a portfolio, and ‘read Fig Taylor’s ‘How to Create a Porfolio and Get Hired’) Ideally, by December 2016, I would like to have some form of income stream as a professional illustrator.
Have Enough Stock for Cool – Ass Gift Guides Next Year: I think we can all appreciate that for most people, the busiest time of the year is the Festive period. I had a small ‘gift guide’ on my site this year, but by next year I would like to have produced enough fabulous things to provide gift guides for ‘the plant lover’ ‘the stationery addict’ etc. I was an eensy bit jealous of some of the gift guides out there this year, and it has made me super excited to be able to get in on the party next year. The smaller increments of this goal are to schedule deadlines for some new collections (and then, obviously, design stuff for them!), and to keep these gift guides in mind throughout the year when designing.
Be in Crafty Fox and Renegade Craft Market Next Year: When I applied for these this year, my photos sucked, and I didn’t have a huge variety of products, and I didn’t get in. In 2016, I want to blow them away with how fab I am, and start to exhibit at some fairs in London. I think it’s easy to end up getting seen by the same eyes, and I am keen to break out of my Nottingham safety zone a little bit! The goals in this one are kind of reached at the same time as I (hopefully) reach my other ones. I mainly want more stock, and just to generally improve as an illustrator.
I'm really hoping to reach them by this year, and I am looking forward to checking back on them this time next year. Let me know what your goals are for this year, or how you're setting them!