New Years Resolutions for 2014 most of which stemmed around work/life balance. Well, I know it's already April but I figured I'd share some of my business goals with you guys as well. I'd actually thought through most of these early in the year before I ever started putting my personal goals together. Although honestly when you run your own business and work from home most of these things end up going hand in hand. So here goes:
Delegate. Up until about a month ago I was doing everything for my company by myself. That is the nature of the one-woman-show. But with Baby #2 on the way and a growing business, I knew there was no way I could continue doing what I was doing. So I'm delegating in a few ways. First off, I hired an amazing employee. Funnily enough her name is also Jessica Davis (seriously, it's like I asked to clone myself). She comes from a banking background, but also loves art which means she is great with money and super organized, smart and creative. She is also a mom of two so she understands what I'm up against. She will be helping me with fulfilment and general admin and problem solving - putting systems in place to make things run more smoothly. And I can hopefully focus more on creating new lines, sourcing manufacturers, and bringing in more business.
You might have also noticed a new look and feel to our logo and blog and our new url www.nest-studio-home.com . I delegated that project to my friend Meredith over at the Killswitch Collective who has been doing my graphics for a while. I also had Carolyn Valentin update my blog so that the look is more tied in with the website. There are still a few things that need to happen (business cards etc) but overall I'm really happy with the look and how it reflects the feel of the hardware line.
Get organized. It's amazing how much being organized helps your peace of mind as well as your productivity. Even doing this blog post is an excercise in getting organized. We recently moved my office to the basement in anticipation of the old office becoming the new nursery. It was my goal to get the office much more organized than it had previously been. Because we pretty much had been moving every 2 or so years before, our files were a mess and our office had always been the last space to be completed (or rather, just remained incomplete through every residence). I really hopped on it this time (I guess having a new employee start also gave me some impetus). Now all my design books are on one shelf, my hardware boards are on display and everything is in it's place (AND I got to go crazy with my label maker which always makes me happy).
Focus. I tend to overcommit - A LOT. Something sounds fun or interesting or I know I will be good at it and there I go volunteering to help. Along with overcommitting in my personal life I tend to over-extend and spread myself thin on too many different work projects as well. This year I'm cutting out much of the residential and commercial design work I had been doing and focusing on really ramping up my hardware business. Last year I was trying to do both of those as well as work on projects around our own home while also volunteering on several committees locally. It was just too much! On the business end, in focusing more on my hardware line, I have a few more concrete goals:
1) Double my 2013 sales figures: working on this. It's always hard to tell but this is definitely where marketing and PR come in.
2) Add 5 new showrooms: on the docket are Miami, Seattle, Boston, DC and maybe somewhere international like London or Hong Kong.
3) Add 2 new collections to the line: See my hardware inspiration posts!
4) Get my hardware featured in one my favorite Design Publications: Print publications are still the top place to get a product or yourself as a designer featured and this year I'm aspiring to Arch Digest or Elle Decor.
5) Partner with a large retailer to develop a line of licensed hardware: I've been watching the evolution of Joy Cho's brand first with her wallpaper for Hygge & West and then her line of Oh Joy party supplies for Target and most recently her collection for Land of Nod. I'd love to do something with a retailer that ties into what I currently do and what would be better than a line of Nest Studio hardware and accessories for West Elm? Hello West Elm?! Are you listening?
Thanks for letting me share a little of what my plans are for this year. What sort of business and career goals have you set for the rest of 2014?