We are back and ready to start a fresh new year! This is always such an exciting time thinking of all the possibilities, beginning fresh and new. I just love it. While we were closed, I spent a lot of time relaxing. I hated to waste a week doing nothing but I felt like I really needed to clear my head and truly start the new year fresh.
One evening while sprawled out on the floor in front of the fireplace, I opened up my notebook and started brainstorming goals I’d like to work toward this year. Some are leftovers from last year but they are still goals I don’t want to give up on. It’s a long list(in no particular order), but starting fresh always makes me feel hopeful.
More consistency and regularity with the blog. This has been ongoing for years. We do ok for a short time and then we get busy or I don’t have time to put together ideas. I’ve spent some time researching how other bloggers plan ahead, find topics, etc and I really want to put in an effort.
Keep up with Social Media. With Tara helping with marketing this past fall, she really taught Jen and I about other social media outlets. Jen is better at this than I am but I’d really like to see us continue to grow twitter, Instagram, pinterest, etc.
Grow our online shop. This was launched with little fanfare but I’d really like this to become a bigger part of what we do. I’d like to add new designs and products regularly and make it easier for customers to place orders.
More clearly defined services and pricing structure. There is a big difference between ordering a design we already have and wanting a custom design from scratch. We need to do a better job of defining these things and how they are priced differently and then better answer the “how much does it cost” question.
Improve website. We really fell behind with updates this year and I’d really like to get it caught up and then keep it up and fresh as well as updating some of the graphics and copy to better fit who we are now.
Do more non-wedding work. I got my start designing for small businesses. I’d still really love to work with other small, creative businesses doing logos, business cards, websites, etc. A solid brand is so important and I’d really like to diversify our design work.
Make more time for studio designs. When we are busy, I don’t get to design just to design. I’d really like to make sure I’m setting time daily or weekly to work on designs that aren’t for someone else.
More letterpress. Letterpress has been my dream from day 1. The results are amazing and I’d really like to be doing more.
Increase our online reach. In 2015, for the first year ever, most of our sales were local. While I like that we are reaching our local area and doing well, we value our online community as well and would like to keep a balance between both.
Be more profitable. The business woman in me would like to see a stronger profit margin by cutting back on waste, eliminating mistakes, being smarter with our spending, cutting time off of administrative tasks, etc.
Update our shop furniture. I’d really like to upgrade our furniture in the shop for a more comfortable meeting experience. It bothers me that we ask our clients to invest in our stationery when we aren’t investing in the experience of our clients. If we don’t look like we care about how our shop looks and feels, how can we ask our clients to spend their money here and convince them we care enough about our work? It’s all part of our overall brand and it’s important.
A private office. We’ll be gaining a small room off the back of the shop soon and I’d really like to convert this into a private little office for me, the boss lady. I’m the one with the constant messy desk and I’d like to keep that hidden as well as give myself a quiet place to work when I’m designing. Having a place where I can truly concentrate will only benefit our awesome clients because it will help me do my best work without distractions and interruptions.
Organize. When I originally made my list of goals for the year, I was primarily thinking about the workroom upstairs that we added last year. The plan originally was for that workroom to be the place where all the assembly and packaging is done so the shop could remain the showroom we intended it to be. It never quite worked out that way because it was never fully organized and made usable. Since making the list, I also feels that this applies to the actual shop as well. Jen is always very organized and neat while I am not to much. I always know where stuff is, but my work areas always look like a disaster. I think we also need to organize the shop and purge what isn’t necessary anymore.
Promotional Pieces: After attending a seminar for wedding professionals this past fall, Jen and I realized we needed to take a step back and evaluate the business, our brand, etc. This led to a fresh list of words we want our brand to be, a logo update and a list of new marketing and promotional pieces that we need to design and start using. One of the things at the top of our list is a wedding brochure.
Improve our client experience. Custom wedding invitations and custom stationery are everywhere ranging drastically in price and style. It’s hard to stand out on the designs we offer alone. One of the key things that Jen and I feel makes us special is the personal experience. We want to be professional but building a relationship with our clients and getting to know them is key. There are some things I’d like to do and/or do differently for our clients to show them how much we appreciate them and make their overall experience before, during and after their project even better.