With the new year just around the corner, there’s naturally a lot of reflection on the year past and the year to come. For me as a full time wedding photographer, this winter season is my slow season. However I’ve learned throughout the many years of running my business, this slower season is just as crucial as my busiest season because it sets the foundation for a successful year. Here are 10 ways I set myself and my business up for success in the new year, and a free new year business checklist for you if you’re trying to do the same!
1. Get your bookkeeping in order
Before tax season rolls around, I always make sure to go through and organize my expenses, receipts and payments so that everything is ready to go for my accountant when it is time and there is no added stress in the spring!
2. Reflect on the previous year & cut what is not working
Pull out a piece of paper and write down everything that really worked for your business that year, and the things that didn’t, the things that inspired you and gave you life, and the things that sucked the energy out of you. Take the time to reflect on the things you’ve accomplished and all that you are proud of, and celebrate that.
After lots of reflection, determine what is no longer serving you and cut it out! There is no reason to waste any time or energy on something that is not working for your business. This purge is sometimes necessary and helps free up space for better things.
3. Update Your Website
Freshen up your website with new content, photos, updated headshots and request reviews from your clients so you can showcase the most current look into your brand to prospective new clients.
4. Outsource something off your plate
I understand how hard it can be to outsource parts of your business (I avoided it for years!). But when you have a thriving and growing business, it is so freeing and necessary. Find something you can outsource, no matter how small, and outsource it to free up more time and mental space for creative parts of your business that excite you, and more time yourself and your family. You deserve it!
5. Brainstorm new ideas for your business
Really take some time to ponder the future of your business and brainstorm new ideas for the year to come that excite you and will serve your audience. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone, but use this time to think outside the box and dream big.
6. Optimize and automate your workflows
Examine your current workflows and the things you find yourself doing repetitively and consider how you can further optimize and automate those things for yourself. Small changes can save you so much work and time over the course of a year!
7. Set realistic and achievable goals
Write down a couple realistic goals for yourself in the new year, and actionable steps you will take towards those goals so they don’t feel as daunting.
8. Invest more time into industry friendships
Find and invest in industry friendships who can walk alongside you, dream with you, and hold you accountable to the things you’re working towards in your business. I have a few of these, and I couldn’t be more thankful for them and how throughout the ups and downs of owning a business, we are able to keep each other focused on each of our goals, values, and what truly matters at the end of the day.
9. Learn something new
Read business books, attend a workshop, try something completely new, hone your skills and invest in yourself. Always stay learning! The winter months after the new year are my absolute favorite time to learn new things I wouldn’t likely have time to during busy season.
10. Schedule in time for yourself
Most importantly, take time for self-care and rest during this time, so your business can continue to thrive and you can keep doing what you love and avoid burnout.
Make sure you download my free New Year Business Checklist & Workbook above ! Print it out, complete the checklist and brainstorming questions, and enjoy jotting down notes as you reflect, set goals, and plan for another amazing year. Happy Holidays!