Happy New Year, everyone.
Well, 2015 is over and (apart from the last part) it was a pretty good year for me. I finished 2014 with business gradually increasing, after several months of finding it difficult to get the business going. By that time, I had three regular clients who gave me varying amounts of work, as well as one-off jobs from several people.
That started increasing almost at once, and during the year I acquired a number of new regulars, as well as several interesting one-offs who may hopefully come back to me for future jobs. I’m not at full capacity yet and certainly have room for more clients, but I’m heading in the right direction.
What’s become a lot clearer to me over the past year is how much I enjoy researching topics I know absolutely nothing about, whether that involves the holiday industry, construction, or landscape gardening. At one point, I wrote consecutive pieces about care of the newborn and arranging funeral plans – a true cradle-to-grave experience.
Obviously there are topics I find less interesting than others, but it’s all good. Any day when I learn something new is a good day.
I’ve continued to improve my newsletters. I use MailChimp to design and send them now, and although I took a while to get the hang of the design templates, I think the whole system is more streamlined now. Hopefully the content matches. If you’re not on my mailing list for the newsletter and would like to be, just let me know through the contact page.
Networking has gone from strength to strength through the year. I’ve kept up Business Buzz and #HertsHour, along with another excellent group run by Wenta which started in Ware this summer. The 4Networking group at Ware has grown immensely – from struggling to get 15 attendees at the start of the year, we’ve had many meetings with numbers in the high twenties, and once touched 30. I’ve also regularly attended 4N groups at Enfield, Bishop’s Stortford, Waltham Abbey and Cheshunt.
It’s paid dividends, too. Four of the regular clients I’ve gained during the year, as well as a few one-offs, have come from 4Networking, either directly or as referrals, and it’s worked the other way round, too. I’ve found excellent services from fellow-members for everything from my mobile phone account to a successful PPI claim.
I also did my first 4Sight. For those not familiar with 4N terminology, this is a twenty-minute presentation about anything that might be of interest to the members, as long it isn’t a sales pitch of any kind. I offered advice on improving your written communication, and it seemed to go down well, judging from the questions at the end. I have another booked next month, and I’m considering the possibility of offering more formal training.
Then, in late November, it hit the buffers. I got a bad case of flu together with a chest infection that I still haven’t fully recovered from, although I’m well enough now to work and get to some networking meetings. My clients have all been wonderfully understanding, but it has meant that, once I could work again, I’ve been running as fast as I can to catch up with myself while I recover.
Never mind. 2016 is here, and I look forward to things improving even further than they were before the Dreaded Lurgy struck. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions (if I decide to change something, I don’t wait till 1st January to do so), but I do set goals. By the time 2016 is over, I intend to be at full capacity for work, to visit more networking groups out of my “comfort zone”, and to have at least developed a plan for offering training, if not have actually delivered some.
Not to mention, of course, keeping up my newsletter and this blog.