Heidi and I are very excited to see what lies ahead in 2015 for Blogger Babes! Of course, it’s very important that we streamline our efforts so that we can see the greatest return on investment in our time, efforts and resources for the new year. And of course we believe that all bloggers (and entrepreneurs in general) should do this as well. For further reading, please read 48.5 Must Do’s for the New Year for Entrepreneurs. [Thanks A.Michelle for crediting us!]
- Reevaluate 2014. What went well? What didn’t? What needs to change? For 2015, set new goals, aspirations, expectations, tasks and milestones. Plan the year out in terms of completion.
My budding partnership with Heidi began late in summer and with our initial excitement and ambition we thought that doing a relaunch within a month would be well within our reach. But then we quickly realized that we would have to add the time to our schedule to reply to emails, text, chat, get on the phone or try to see each other in person. So, we calmly reevaluated our priorities, and then set more realistic goals, such as launching on October 22, 2014 rather than rushing a September date.
Accountability Tip: Publicize only realistic launch dates, so you’re held accountable to your readers and yourself without the added pressure of possibly letting anyone down.
Then, Heidi’s anticipated month-long trip overseas was met with illness leading her to to the hospital. There was a 15-hour time difference between us while I was trying to balance over a dozen outsourcers whom I had no previous relationship with and without Heidi to coax me in the process. It was a difficult trial, but we learned two important things:
- We truly trust each other’s best judgement as business owners and given any emergency situation, we support one another’s decision and will deal with the consequences or difference no matter what. This is a great sign of an ideal relationship, both in business and in life.
- We need to often reevaluate our goals and objectives. We learned (the hard way!) that we were trying to achieve a bit too much too soon and it was best that we set new goals going forward. Fortunately, we met and exceeded the majority of November’s goals, including recouping all of our initial rebranding investment. One unfortunate result was that we only got one blog post published in November – and this on a blog meant to teach women to blog better! Lesson learned.
Things got even crazier! On November 1st, I found out my family of 5 was going to have to make a sudden cross-country move back from Los Angeles (Southeast) to Connecticut (Northeast) by the end of the month. The stress caused me to have to visit ER several times with my smartphone cracked from the inside. Getting the Internet set up at a new home is never simply a 24-hour deal, so public library visits became the norm. Additionally, Heidi and I were finding our now permanent 3-hour time difference to be equally difficult.
So now we were in December and with only one blog post completed in November. But everything we wanted to achieve as business partners in our Pink Press enterprise (which consists of TheAmbitionista.com and BloggerBabes.com) are moving forward with great success. (Both sites are designed to help and encourage bloggers.)
And did I mention we both had unexpected family injuries to attend to as well? Honestly, no one wanted December to end more than the two of us! 😉
So, to follow our own advice, we cut down our goals, aspirations, expectations, tasks and milestones to a tiny acceptable list for 2015. We delegated the brands and client load according to our preferred topics and niches. Our entire January Blogger Babes Editorial Calendar is already set, many articles are drafted, and we’ll share all our new methods with you to blog better!
TIP: Block out times just to “write”, then block out times to edit, format and future-post.
Most importantly, We set dates of completion understanding that technology, electronics, and life (both ours and our loved ones) can create havoc. We’ve learned some important lessons and we always must fit in the time to reevaluate, recharge and simply breathe!
- Reevaluate and determine roles, duties and opportunities for growth in all your team members (outsourcers, partners, sponsors, clients etc). Look at ways to systematize everyone’s tasks and cross train people.
The only way we were able to achieve any of our goals in the last quarter of 2014 was to work on our team. This meant interviewing a lot of players, testing them with multiple tiny jobs, weeding out the bad ones as politely (or in some cases as firmly) as possible. We then gave more duties to those with more potential, and even had to sit down to kindly advise one of the best in the gang that while she may be totally awesome, she too is only human. Life can and will get in the way of reaching our goals, so it’s best to supplement even the best workers with other support staff under them.
We also had to adjust to my long standing Virtual Assistant Habeeba Husain leaving us and professionally moving on to her dream job. I’ve watched her grow up both professionally as well as personally so it was bittersweet. But stay tuned…she’s going to share the lessons she learned in her journey from a hobby blogger to an Assistant Editor of an online magazine in the niche of her dreams!
Outsourcing Tip: Find someone who is “trainable” and be willing to grow with them. Great communication skills with someone of lesser qualifications is much more important than having a highly-paid, non-team-player who might be more difficult to work with simply because s/he may have “better skills, talents or abilities.” Start small (both in tasks, duties and rates) and build together a little at a time. This has proved to give us the most dedicated, committed and truly happy, gracious team players to date. I simply adore everyone we have on our team right now.
- Reevaluate and distribute resources such as monetary investments, equipment/hardware and software), making sure all necessary tools are accounted for in the year. This will help keeps expenses down during the year by avoiding unnecessary impulse shopping.
Heidi and I are dealing with this issue as we speak. Once she returned from her trip, she got all suited up (her home office that is) and now, it’s my turn, one electronic update at a time…like replacing my cracked-3 year old phone. 🙂
Home Office Shopping Tip: Research and make calculated decisions on each and every device, equipment, software program, premium plugin, office supply, etc. that you own by evaluating durability, longevity and most of all profitability prospects. Brand names are not everything, but they frequently offer the best warranties, guarantees, discounts, and business plans/accounts. Be frugal when possible, but always evaluate the hours spent on your bargain-shopping-spree compared to the time possibly lost blogging!
What new goals do you have planned for 2015 to increase your blogging profitability? We’d love to hear from you!