Happy New Year!
It’s hard to believe it’s another new year already. I usually have my goals and resolutions set by late October or early November. But I’m a bit late to the game this year. In fact, I’ve been somewhat absent here for months. I had a crazy year in 2011. My guy and I started looking for a new place around May. That hunt, move, and settling in dominated the majority of my year and took a lot of time away from other things — mostly the time I could spend on my own sites and projects (hence the absence). I also got engaged. And then the holiday season hit with far too much travel and party hosting. I spent a great deal of my time last week sleeping out of the sheer exhaustion of it all.
Now it’s time to get back on track. And like I do every year, I’m going to share my business goals with you. Here are my 2012 New Year’s resolutions for my business.
1. Get back on schedule with my sites, books, and other projects.
I need to get myself back on a regular posting schedule on my blogs. That starts this week for this blog and a couple of others, and I’ll work my other blogs into that schedule over the next several weeks.
On the recommendation of Sharon Hurley Hall, I recently upgraded my version of Dragon, Naturally Speaking. I didn’t use it before because the accuracy was pretty terrible for me. But 11.5 seems to have fixed those issues. Even with just moderate training the accuracy is great. I’ve already used it to speed up some article writing for clients, and I’m hoping it will keep me more productive with my own blog posts as well.
My book manuscripts also took a back seat last year, which was incredibly frustrating. I’m looking forward to diving back into them shortly — editing the Query-Free Freelancer manuscript and finishing the first novel in my Murder Scripts murder mystery series.
2. See a Minimum 20% Increase in Gross Income
I screwed up in 2011. With all of the moving and other distractions, something had to give. Like I said, it was my own sites and projects. Income on that side of my business dropped dramatically last year, and it made 2011 my first year where my overall income dropped. Not much, but a decrease. Fortunately, my business expenses also dropped quite a bit, so my net income wasn’t affected very much. But it’s still disappointing.
As a result, I’m setting a goal of at least a 20% gross increase. That would get me back in line with past earnings increases. That said, I’ll certainly try for even more than that.
3. Finalize My Business Name Change
As announced last year, my base business is changing. The name will be changing from J.H. Mattern Communications to 3BeatMedia. My websites and freelance writing services will fall under the primary business name. A publishing-oriented division name of 3BeatBooks will be used for branding my books and e-books a little later this year.
This won’t take long to finish up, but I still need to put time into the new websites and then incorporating the new branding on all of my sites. Expansion to two other divisions is planned, but probably not in 2012.
4. Finish Setting Up My New Office Space
Even though we moved in mid-October, my new office space still isn’t completely set up and unpacked. It’s not a comfortable work environment, and getting this finished is a priority for me. In fact, I expect to reach this goal by this time next week at the latest. I have three work areas there — my desk, a standing desk setup, and a large chair with ottoman for longer writing sessions such as manuscript work. I can’t wait to finally be able to use them all on a regular basis.
5. Publish at Least 5 Short E-books
My longer projects this year will be the print book manuscripts. So for e-books I’m going to keep things short. I’m planning to release five shorter, lower-cost e-books (mostly released here through All Freelance Writing). Outlining will be finished this week, and the first should be out before the end of January.
6. Finish Editing the Query-Free Freelancer Manuscript
I mentioned this one previously, but it’s a big enough goal that I think it deserves to stand on its own.
7. Finish Drafting the First Murder Scripts Novel
This one is another big goal I mentioned before, but it also deserves its own spot here. This is the project I’m most excited to work on — the first under my Aria Klein pen name.
8. Release the First Murder Scripts Game
The Murder Scripts series has a natural tie-in to games. And I plan to release a few of them as ancillary products to this novel series. While I hope to release a few this year, it’s a completely new experience for me so I’m setting a goal of just releasing the first.
9. Get to $500 per Month Earnings on my Genealogy Site
Last year I started a genealogy site called Climb Your Family Tree. I originally intended to keep it quiet here and use it as an experiment to show earnings for a new site. But yet again, life distractions got in the way. That experiment is obviously off (for this site at least). But I fully intend to grow it and focus on increasing its earnings.
That will include a new design, new resources (some free and some for sale), building affiliate relationships for products I’ll review, and more. Genealogy is a huge passion of mine, and I’m excited to have it take a more prominent place in my work. I consider this to be one of the best parts of working for myself — being able to integrate passions and hobbies into my business.
10. Find Uses for at Least 3 of my Unused Domain Names
I have quite a few unused domain names — over a dozen at least. I have plans for several of them, but I haven’t had time to do the development work. But those domains aren’t earning me any money just sitting there. Even if it means setting up a few starter sites until I can pursue some of the larger projects, I’d like to get at least three of those domains in-use and earning money for the business. Ideally I’d like to have this done in the first quarter, but I’ll be happy just getting them set up this year.
What are your goals in the New Year? Are you hoping to reach new clients? Earn more money? Branch out beyond freelancing, perhaps by writing your first book? Share your goals with us in the comments below and see what your fellow freelancers are hoping to achieve.