As a small business owner, I like to spend some time at the end of each year reflecting on my key lessons and learnings for the year. I then use this information to feed into my planning for the next year.
If you prefer to watch & listen, rather than read, then you can watch the video.
Here’s a summary of my 2011 business highlights and lessons which have general lessons for all small businesses.
- I made my radio debut early in the year with a slot on a community radio show. I ran a 4 Week Kickstart Challenge with listeners. I was scared when I was first asked to do it but I did it anyway and it was fun!
- I gave a presentation on Social Media at the Australian Image Consultants Association. It was confidence building to share my knowledge with others and see how excited they were to apply it to their own business.
- I created new online coaching programs for my personal development business – Transforme. This is a form of income that does not depend on me trading hours – I won’t say it’s passive because it took work to develop and I will need to keep it refreshed.
- I wrote and published my first eBook – How to Start a Business. I now have a valuable product I can offer my subscribers.
- I launched a new business – The Kickstart Business and developed three Done For You online marketing packages – Shoestring, Savvy, Showstopper – to help you grow your business online faster.
- I attended a fantastic 3 day internet marketing event – Fast Web Formula 3 – and even managed to be one of 10 finalists in a video challenge from over 200 people! Pretty good considering I didn’t even know how to make a video a year ago!
- I joined a supportive and inspiring networking group – The Table of Fabulousness – whose members are all small business owners. We meet monthly for a working Home Boardroom Lunch over the kitchen table! Having a trusted network is invaluable!
2011 also provided some hard-earned lessons for me.
- As a small business owner, it’s impossible to do everything. Focus and simplicity is the key. Chasing the next bright shiny object is not. To minimise temptation, I’ve unsubscribed from all but a few of my most valued lists.
- It takes a lot of hard work and effort to build an online business. The key to doing business online, is getting offline and talking to people IRL (in real life).
- At some point, you need to stop learning and start implementing. If you don’t build it and ship it, you won’t earn a single dollar.
- Health, family and friends are super important. You never know how long you have. Live a full life and die empty. In loving memory of Carolyn McCormac.
- It’s not possible to run a business on passion alone. Just because you’re “passionate” about something doesn’t mean there is a market for it. Once you know there is a market for your product or service with paying customers, then of course it helps a lot to be passionate about your business 🙂
- Fail forward. That was a new term I learned at the internet marketing event from Ed O’Keefe. As a high-achiever and perfectionist, I hate to fail. I’m learning that failing helps us move forward when we learn the lessons and do things differently next time. The world doesn’t come crashing down either!
- The internet and social media are constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up. Make use experts to keep up to date but most importantly, provide products and services that help people solve problems and share quality content using multiple channels.
All in all, 2011 has been a year of growth and learning. I’ve met some amazing new people, tapped into great networks and am ready to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small-medium business owners to grow profitably through online strategies. Thank you for being part of my community and especially to everyone who took the time to comment on my blog posts throughout the year. You make it all worthwhile. I hope you find some time to reflect, rest and enjoy time with loved ones over the holidays. One final request from me. I’d love to hear your highlights and/or lessons for 2011. Please leave a comment or if you’d prefer to keep it private, drop me an email.
Get a jump on your competition by discovering online and social media trends for 2012 and develop your own online business growth plan. Join me for my complimentary online presentation “Online and Social Media Trends for 2012” which I’ll be running on Friday 13th January, 2012. Here’s the registration link. Please share with anyone else you think would like to join in.