Well I certainly had some ups and downs in 2017 and I thought now would be a great time to look back and reflect on the year that was. Mainly business-related but a little bit personal too.
Business contacts – I made some amazing business contacts and became more comfortable with being put on the spot and talking about my business. Although I’m used to standing in front of a room full of students, having to promote your business in front of other business owners takes a bit of getting used to.
Out of my comfort zone – I tried some new activities with family this past year that were so much fun and I’m glad I did them. I’m not a spontaneous person, but I’m not afraid to try new things either. Age is just a number right?
Business growth – December 2017 was my best month income-wise since I started Festival Bookkeeping in September 2015.
Business coaching – I signed up with a great business coach who gets as excited about my business as I do! Her network of business owners has also been invaluable in the growth of my business.
Collaborations – local and overseas. In 2017 I had the chance to work on projects with business owners locally. I also had the Head of Marketing at a New Zealand software company contact me personally about a blog post I did. Exciting to see what new projects will come about in 2018. Technology and collaboration will be 2 focuses for me in 2018.
New working space – My hubby made me a beautiful built-in desk which has been fundamental in keeping a clear work-space (and head-space) to while away the working hours.
Xero – Towards the end of the year I received the good news that I’d achieved bronze level partner status. This came from a year of focusing my time and energy on marketing the Xero side of my bookkeeping business, as well as going the extra mile for my existing bookkeeping clients.
Bookkeeping blog award – Also later in the year, Feedspot.com featured me as one of their “Top 40 Bookkeeping Blogs” on the internet. My blog was up there with some popular bookkeeping blogs that I’d been reading over the years, so this was pretty exciting.
Blog growth – My blog “The Savvy Bookkeeping Blog” had 2,762 views. Wow! I had readers from 66 countries reading my posts – from Iceland to Argentina and everywhere in between.
Burglary – Our house was broken into and it hit our family pretty hard. It took a lot of time and effort to get back to where we were with missing items and the injustice of people taking things they hadn’t earned. Things they hadn’t been gifted by loved ones. We tried not to dwell on it and to not let our kids dwell on it too much either. As a result we’ve changed the way we think about security. You can read more about it, from a business owner’s perspective, here.
Pricing – One of my goals slipped by the wayside last year (although to be fair I hadn’t started working on it until later in the year). Talking with another bookkeeper and with my business coach has been invaluable in the progress I’ve made so far. (Tip for other small business owners – don’t be afraid to reach out to others that you trust in your industry when it comes to pricing advice). I’m determined to tick this goal off my list early in 2018. No excuses.
Distractions – I have too many ideas for my business and the past year I think I could have focused a little better. Too many directions I want to move in and things I want to accomplish. I’m sure I’m not the only business owner who suffers from this though. I think it’s part of the reason we start businesses, because we want to get our ideas out there and create businesses we really love and can be proud of.
Friends and family – Unfortunately I felt that I lost contact with some friends and family in 2017. It’s easy to use working on your business as an excuse not to make the effort to see people. Deep down I’m not a “hustle at all costs” type of person, so I’m determined to do better in 2018.
A Down that turned out to be an Up
Part-time employment – My part-time bookkeeping work ended halfway through 2017 which at the time I saw as a “down” but really turned out to be an “up”. Maybe it’s a coincidence that I got new clients not long after my employment ended – maybe those extra free days in my calendar gave me the motivation to work harder and put myself out there a bit more.
So that’s it. Probably a little more personal that my usual blog posts, but it’s been a great exercise to look back over the past year and to clarify my goals for the year ahead.
Happy bookkeeping to everyone in 2018…