March '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M M A R C H 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 8 5 metrics by which you really want to mea- sure yourself and your business this year? Here is the thing — you can change these metrics any time you want! ere are no right or wrong metrics. ere are only the metrics that matter the most to you as a business owner. It is easy to default to what you think should be your key met- ric, for example, annual sales. But what if that is not really what you want to base your decisions on this year? What if you really want to be sure you have time off for an honest-to-goodness vacation this sum- mer? What if you are interested in finding someone to buy your business this year? What if you want to get a bookkeeping system in place so that your paperwork is not such a hassle every week or every month? Right here, right now — what is it that you really want to use as the measure of your business in 2023? Decide this today, knowing that you can make a different choice at any point. Once you have a clear target for this year, stay zoomed out, or up, at the 30,000-foot level, way above your business, if you will. You are at the first point, and you want to get to the other defined point. What is in your way? If you were on foot, and wanted to cross a river, you would have to find or build a bridge, boat, fallen tree, or some other way to get around or across the water. It is no different in your busi- ness. What do you have to go through or around to make it to where you want to be? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing? What do you need to do more of, or less of? If you want higher annual sales, yet you do nothing to attract more business, you are probably going to find it very difficult to move from your starting point to your specified destination. If you want to move your business from your home to a retail location, yet you do not explore what kind of space is available, what it will cost, or even consider the commute, odds are high that at the end of the year, your business will still be exactly where it is. If you want to hire someone, but do not understand what is involved in hiring an employee, how can you even begin to post the job opening? Maybe your goal for 2023 is to increase your pay. In order to do that consistently, you need to have higher profits or more sales volume, or both. You can leave that up to chance, what I call "IFcome," as in IF a customer walks in, you might be able to get some income. Or you can take a dif- ferent approach and intentionally do mar- keting and sales to attract new business and generate more business from exist- ing customers. at is much more likely to increase sales, which will then make it possible for you to increase your pay. I have listed several rather basic examples so that you see what I mean about the 30,000-foot view of your business. Take a beat and see where you are and where you want to be, and how you intend to measure that progression in 2023. Put it in writing, in ink, somewhere that you will see it daily. As you make decisions in and for your business over the com- ing months, use that as your litmus test for any given decision. Will doing this or that help you achieve your desired goal? As often as you can, choose the option that supports the direction you want to go, the destination you have set for yourself, and your business. Just like building up your muscles, the key is repetition. e more times you exer- cise, the stronger you become. In business, the more times you make decisions based on the desired level of success of your busi- ness, the more successful your business becomes. If you have any questions, or want to connect to discuss where your business is, and where you are headed, you can email me directly at jennifer@ GP Image courtesy Adriane Cropley, Rocking My SewJo, LLC Image courtesy Swanik's Embroidery, Nancy Swanik Image courtesy Amanda Ferguson, Your Name Here Embroidery

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