It’s this time of year when we all hear from our friends and family members about their New Year’s resolutions. I personally gave up on the New Year’s resolutions, but I think they are a great way of planning your next business year. The ‘year’ may vary depending on where you reside and conduct your business. For example, if the financial year, like here in the UK starts in April, you may want to start the ‘year’ in April. Whenever you decide to start it, I strongly believe that resolutions are highly beneficial for your business.
What are my New Year’s resolutions for my business?
- More networking. It doesn’t really matter that much whether it is an online or an offline networking strategy. What is important is that there is a strategy in place. Of course it is better to meet in person; however it is not always feasible. This year I have decided to concentrate on the social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter. Although I’ve had an account on LinkedIn for some time now, I haven’t really used it. I intend on participating in groups and conversations, searching for potential leads and making connecting with colleagues and clients. So where do you meet the clients-to-be in person? Check out fair trades in your specialism or look them up in your local Chambers of Commerce directories. But please take note: before the first initial contact with anybody, do your research and get prepared – First impressions count!
- Continuous Professional Development – CPD – is vastly important for translators as otherwise we do not progress. Whether it is a workshop, a seminar, a webinar or a conference, it is vital for us to attend them for a few reasons. First of all, we learn new skills, extend our knowledge and broaden our horizons, not only when it comes to translation skills, but technology or our specialisms. To stay on the ball, we need to continuously develop as things change every day. The other beneficial aspect linked to networking is meeting fellow translators. Whatever the reason, it is good to meet others working in the same industry.
- Marketing is another bullet point on my list. Nowadays it is necessary to have consistent online presence. What you really want to achieve is to present yourself as an expert in a certain domain. Do you work with medical documents? Participate in a discussion on a medical forum or a Polish (or any other language) group, be active, help others and share your knowledge. This will send a message to others, both colleagues and potential clients, that you are a go-to person, should they need help or translation services. However, it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes patience and obviously genuine knowledge. I will also contact a couple of new potential leads each day. This shouldn’t take too much time and if done regularly should bring great results.
- The last point is about a business plan. All of the above-mentioned ideas should be written down and specified using SMART goals technique. You need to include dates, figures, etc. If you are not familiarised with SMART goals, please visit this website: http://topachievement.com/smart.html, as they are really practical. Also, when it comes to a business plan, you need to analyse your rates and whether you are happy with your work-life balance or income. The best way to prepare a business plan for the next year is to scrutinise the last year. What went well and what went wrong? What can you improve? Prepare a detailed plan and try to stick to it.
There you go, here are my business New Year’s resolutions. Thanks to them my business will continue growing and developing. Without any sort of plan, our business just won’t go forward. As they say ‘you don’t progress, you regress.’
Have you made your business resolutions?