How To Apply What You Learned In 2018 For Continued Success in 2019
2019 is just around the corner, we’ll be into a new freelancing year in less than 24 hours and wondering just what happened to 2018!
If you want to make the most of 2019 from your freelance business perspective, now might be a great time to dust off the business plan and see what needs adjusting. If you’re one of the many freelancers who is thinking “why do I need a business plan? It’s just little old me”, then let me ask you this…
Do you still want to be freelancing this time next year? If so, then how sensible would it be to make a plan right now for this to be so?
Unless you’re just starting out, you now have one more year’s worth of experience under your belt to add to the plan for 2019; reflecting on the past year is a great way to revise your plans for the future.
The following 5 questions (with further prompting questions to guide you) might be ones you want to consider when thinking about your goals and business plans for 2019…
What have you achieved this year 2018?
~ in relation to what you’d planned to achieve
~ that you’re most proud of
~ despite difficult challenges
Reviewing your successes is not only a fantastic feel-good exercise and motivator for the year to come, but it can also help you deconstruct your successes in preparation for the next question.
What’s worked for you and what hasn’t?
~ from a marketing perspective
~ from a work/life balance perspective
~ from your clients’ perspective
~ from your colleagues/partners/co-workers point of view
Collecting the insights and the “so whats” from your experiences this year can uncover all sorts of hidden gems that you may not have realised at the time. Analysing what has worked and what hasn’t enabled you to do more of the things that work and fewer of the things that haven’t. For example, here are three common mistakes that folks seem to make year after year because they don’t review the effectiveness of what they’re doing:
- Wasting money on advertising that has brought you very little business
- Offering services that none of your clients uses or seems interested in
- Spending too much time on business admin because of inefficient processes
Where do you hope to be this time next year 2019?
~ Having answered the initial question, is this the business you really do want to be running?
~ How will you know you’re there?
Without wanting to limit what you can achieve in 2019, having some targets to shoot for is a simple way of keeping you on track and guiding your business decisions. Setting measurable targets with interim milestones is also a clear way to tell whether you are on track or not.
If you carry on as you are, are you likely to get there?
~ If the answer is no, what do you need to do differently?
~ If the answer is yes, could you stretch your goal?
If what you are doing is working, then there’s probably no need to change it. If however, it’s not, then the beginning of 2019 might be the time you begin to think about how to change it. Which of your actions are taking you closer to where you want to be? Which ones seem to be taking you further away?
If you don’t know, then maybe this is one of the first things you need to think about changing…
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned this year which you’re going to apply in 2019?
A year older, a year wiser. Running your own freelance business is – and should be – an ongoing learning experience. The playing field and rules of the game change constantly and I’d like to bet that most of you feel far more alive and exhilarated running your own freelancing business than you ever did as a corporate rat. I know I do!
However, your learning and experience is only valuable to you if you apply it. It’s no use filing them away in the recesses of your brain or in a remote, unaccessed part of your hard drive to review later…go back and review them now and see what you can apply to your business for 2019.
Why not take a minute to answer the questions above, celebrate your successes and wins in 2018 and make your plans to achieve even more of them in 2019?
Congratulations for making it this far and we wish you more success in the coming years.