12 Business Goals for 2012

posted by Andrea | 01/5/2012

It always amazes me how much my business {and business goals} have changed from year to year. I started my organizing business when I was only 21 years old. I had NO idea what I was doing, no real plan, no intention for it to become full time, no website, no blog… I didn’t even have a name or business cards!

However, I knew I wanted to do something I loved, I wanted to set my own schedule, I wanted to make my own rules, and I wanted to make money!

When I started my business, my main goals were to come up with a name, get my name out there, and then find a few clients who would pay me to help them get organized.

Now, almost 5 years later, I’m hardly doing any in-home organizing… but instead focusing on growing my own blog, expanding my virtual assistant services, and booking more speaking engagements.

I went from working full-time outside the home while trying to grow my almost nonexistent business… to now working full-time AT home and trying to figure out how to fit everything into 24 hours!

Earlier this week I posted my 12 personal goals for 2012… and I’m sharing my 12 business goals for 2012 below.

1. Increase my income by at least 20%.

Obviously income is a big factor in what I do! Yes, I love what I do, but considering the number of hours I put in each week and the sacrifices I’ve made for my business, I absolutely have to make money for it to be worth it!

2. Transition from a work-at-home PERSON to a work-at-home MOM.

I’ve been working from home for a couple of years now… and while it was a bit of a challenge to figure out the best way to manage my home life and my work life; it’s been even MORE of a challenge to figure out how to manage home life, work life, AND a new baby!

I still have to do everything I did before, plus take care of a tiny baby who needs me to do everything for her. It’s been a bit overwhelming, but thankfully I’ve had lots of help and was able to take a few weeks off for my maternity leave. But now I’m back to work and slowly figuring out my new routine… however, I’m sure it will take a while to really get back in my groove!

3. Prioritize and learn when to say no.

Before Nora came along, I could easily squeeze in a few more hours for another project… and there always seemed to be just “one more thing” I could do. Now days… that’s just not going to fly. Besides the fact that I’m super tired, I also have to {and want to} spend more time with Nora — apparently babies like to be held :)

So I’m learning that it is absolutely essential that I decide what my priorities are and then say no to anything that doesn’t align with those priorities.

I’ve already had to turn down potential clients, amazing opportunities, and other fun activities because they weren’t one of my priorities and I just didn’t have the time or energy.

4. Maintain my Virtual Assistant business.

When I started my organizing business, I didn’t even know what a Virtual Assistant was. Now, I’m working almost 40 hours per week as a Virtual Assistant for 2 other blogs, one local company, and doing a variety of smaller projects all on top of my own blog and business.

And while I’m not planning to take on any other big VA projects right now, I do want to maintain these hours and continue building positive working relationships with my VA clients.

5. Start some type of referral program.

I’m honestly not sure what this might look like, how it might come about, or even if it’s possible; but I get SO many emails from people who are looking to hire a professional organizer or a virtual assistant AND from people who want to become a professional organizer or a virtual assistant.

So I thought it might be a fun project to figure out some way for these two groups of people to come together and have a way of connecting with each other. Again, I have no idea how {or if} this will happen… but it’s something I would like to pursue in 2012. Feel free to let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions!

6. Transition out of in-home organizing.

As my business has grown and “morphed”, I’ve started to realize that I like working from my computer MUCH more than working in messy, disorganized homes! Sorry, but it’s true :)

So, I’ve decided to start transitioning OUT of the in-home organizing business. I probably won’t be accepting any new clients and I’m already trying to limit the number of appointments I set with my current clients each month.

7. Seek out more private ads.

I often get asked how I make money with my blog — the answer to that is mainly via advertising.

I haven’t been extremely ambitious with seeking out private advertisers, so this is something I want to work on in 2012. Let me know if you are interested :)

8. Increase all Ad revenue.

Along with seeking out additional private advertisers, I also want to get more involved with ad networks and better monetize my Google ads.

This is somewhat overwhelming for me… which is why I’ve been putting it off a little, but I’m determined to do better in 2012!

9. Publish something.

This is another goal that I’m not quite sure how or if it will happen… but I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve already been contacted by a publisher who wants to work with me, but I have a pretty good idea about how intense and time-consuming it would be to write a book and I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet!

Maybe an ebook?

11. More website updates.

Even though massive blog updates can be stressful and time-consuming, I had so much fun planning and implementing my latest batch of updates this summer… and I already have lots more ideas for future updates!

11. Attend at least 2 blogging conferences.

Believe it or not, I’ve only been to one blogging conference and I’ve been blogging for almost 1.5 years! The ones I want to go to always seem to come at the wrong time, in the wrong place, or simply conflict with something else I already have going on.

So in 2012, I’d like to attend at least 2 blogging conferences to continue building relationships with other bloggers, sponsors, etc.

12. Have fun!

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make when they start their own business is forgetting to have fun. I started my business because I absolutely LOVE to organize. I love living a simple, organized life and I’m truly passionate about helping others to do the same.

And while I’m thrilled that I can make money doing something I love, I also have to keep reminding myself that this IS something I love… and not to get too serious. I don’t want to hate my job… because that’s the reason I wanted to start my own business in the first place!

So there you have it, my 12 business goals for 2012. I’m hoping to achieve them all this year… but as with my personal goals, I’ve given myself grace and plenty of room to change my goals as my business changes!

What is one of your business or personal goals for 2012?

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12 comments

  1. Julie

    01/05/2012

    After I had my twins, I found it extremely difficult to separate work from home. I worked from home after the kids went to bed. Now I can sometimes squeezed in work when they are home and I still work after they all (I now have 4) go to bed. Even now, I COULD work all weekend and at Christmassome weekends I do, but that is because it is my busy time. We do have traditions and activities that we do on the holiday weekends and I do participate, but most times when we are finished, it is back to work for me. I love what I do, but also LOVE my family and spending time making memories with them. I also know how I am, and that I tend to WANT to work until every possible thing is completed that can be at the time. Even if that means being exhausted and surviving on only a few hours of sleep. Knowing how I am, I it is a huge challenge for me to just set strict working hours. It’s a delicate balance between work and home, one that I am l working on (still after 10 years). One thing that makes it difficult is the every changing schedule/phases that my children are going through. I kind of like my schedules set in stone, but I have long come to the realization that it isn’t going to happen until maybe my last child is out of the house and I am now ok with that.

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    Angela Reply:

    I can sure identify. I have 6 kids and homeschool, as well as work from home. I feel the pressure to work more and more, but I also feel the pressure of missing out on important moments with my family. It’s interesting to learn balance through trial and error. I just don’t want to wake up some day with grown kids and wonder where all my time went!

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  2. Dianne@Baking4Six

    01/05/2012

    Goal #4 – “When I started my organizing business, I didn’t even know what a Virtual Assistant was.” – So, how did you learn about and become a virtual assistant? ~ Thanks

    p.s. It does get easier – because children’s needs change and you learn to adjust to a change in lifestyle; the most difficult part is adjusting to less time – because in theory – where time was divided between your and your husband needs/ wants – now time is divided between your, your husband & your child’s needs/wants. -

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    Andrea Reply:

    Dianne,
    Unfortunately, I don’t have a great answer for you because I actually just “stumbled” into the VA business by accident. A fellow blogger needed some extra help and asked me if I could be her VA. I guess the word got out and I’ve been working as a VA ever since! I will say that I definitely like working for bloggers or other small businesses over a large company — it’s more personal and less “spamy”.

    Thanks for the baby tips. Yes, we definitely have less time right now and it is a difficult adjustment {especially since time management is so important to me!!}

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  3. Lisa

    01/05/2012

    Julie –
    I couldn’t agree more! I wrote an ebook about organizing direct sales from home businesses, because the changing stages of children can really throw your business in a tail spin!

    It is so hard to be strategic focused while remianing flexible for your family.

    For me, hiring a 10 hour a week nanny and puting in one 10 hour marathon day AND hiring a 5 hour a week assistant fit the bill with my babies.

    No matter how you slice it, you just can’t “do” as much as a mom as you did before with out “outsourcing” some of it.

    :)
    Lisa

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  4. Tammy Skipper (@Tammy_Skipper)

    01/05/2012

    I loved reading this but it’s so funny to me because I feel like I’m headed the direction you are leaving! I am often called upon for my organizing skills and have been seriously considering whether or not I should pursue it somehow. I’m not sure if that means creating an onsite organizing service, focusing on it with blogging or what. I love my current direct sales role and don’t plan to change that so I’m not sure how much can fit in one schedule. I have only ever been to one blogging conference but I HIGHLY recommend it. Sarah Mae intends to have a more functional focus this year and I’m praying that I’ll be able to attend again (went in 2010). http://therelevantconference.com/ We just aren’t sure yet if we’ll have to move again this year (should know more in Feb) so I feel like all my planning is on hold. Best wishes, I love reading how you blend home, work, and food so it will be fun to see how that evolves with Nora on board!

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  5. corey

    01/06/2012

    So, as I read your goal of starting a referral program, Angie’s list came to my mind as a possible model. It needs a moderator, but allowing people to put names of people they have used for organizing (or allowing organizers themselves to put information) and then allowing others to rate their experiences. This would not take very much time, but would give you a place to direct others when they contact you.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That’s a great idea Corey! I never thought to do something like that.
    Again, I’m still not sure how that would all work… but I really appreciate your suggestion!

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  6. Patty Gardner

    01/06/2012

    Thank you for sharing your business goals. I’m a fairly new blogger – started last May – and am trying to figure out how all this works. Reading your goals was helpful. I appreciate you sharing them.

    Congratulations on the new baby. I have two grown children and two grandchildren aged 2 and 9 months. I am having so much fun with these grandkids.

    You are wise to modify your goals to make Nora a top priority. Let me tell you, she’s going to grow faster than you could ever believe possible. Seems like my kids were just babies and now one of them has babies of his own. Time flies! Enjoy every moment.

    [Reply]

  7. Suzanne

    01/07/2012

    You are so inspirational to read. Even as busy as you are you are still setting amazing goals!

    Having an addition to our family and a decrease to our salaries due to the economy, has meant less of an “entertainment/travel” budget for my family. Since before my son was born, our plan was in 2012 was to go back to Germany, where my husband’s family is, and take our son, for an up to 3 week vacation. While this is going to be VERY hard for us to save for, I really want it to happen. We’ve ordered the passport for our son, I’m researching flights, we’re planning out a budget, I’m trying to super save at the grocery store, and now you’ve inspired me to try to be even more specific. Maybe I can find 12 ways to reduce our regular spending to save toward our trip.

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  8. Evelyn

    08/10/2012

    Great goals! Thanks for the advice. :)

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  9. Shana

    12/11/2012

    I love your site and saw it on Money Saving Mom which I love as well. I am a very organized person and one of my goals for 2013 is to become a professional organizer in my area. Do you have any suggestions on resources to use to get started in terms of making an effective website and marketing my services in my areas. Any great books you suggest for those interested in becoming a Professional organizer. Thanks in advance and thanks for sharing your tips on having a Simple Life:)

    [Reply]

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