BIG IDEAS AND SMALL TWEAKS – WHAT WORKED FOR US THIS YEAR
People who ask freelancers ‘What is the best business decision you made this year?’ might expect to hear tales of ‘lightbulb’ moments of entrepreneurial genius, which led to an avalanche of sales and success.
And yes, there are moments when this happens – when we dare to dream big enough to expand into a new market, or take a bold punt on offering a new product or service that turns out to be enormously popular.
But successful freelancers also know that the seemingly ‘little things’ can also be powerful game-changers for a growing business. That can mean one simple, clever tweak to how we work, meeting a great partner at an event, or taking a fresh approach to an old problem that’s been puzzling us. Mostly we do this without even noticing – because trying-and-testing is in a freelancer’s nature. We know that the trick is to be hyper-aware of the results, so we can ditch what didn’t work last year, and repeat what did work next year.
All of which explains why our 2017 Rendedesk round-up of our best business decisions contains such a wide range of ideas from our freelance community. See what you think – and add your own below…
What is the best business decision you made in 2017?
Dominic McGonigal, Chair, C8 Associates
"Having the courage to take a project that is successful in London and replicate it in Brussels. We have a group of senior creative industry execs who meet ministers and officials in London for a roundtable lunch. After a couple of trials, we started a full parallel programme in Brussels with senior Commission officials and MEPs. The challenge was ensuring it was a success right from the start and that was mostly about making all the stakeholders realise it would be valuable. We now have new people wanting to join the group but we only have two spare places around the table!”
Bruna De Palo, Life coach and speaker
“Joining Rentadesk. Having a solid base has allowed me to turn my idea into a thriving business. I am so much more focussed now that I have a designated place to work from, as opposed to being at home, where there are constant distractions. I can honestly say I was shocked at how much faster my business started developing after joining this community. It is amazing to feel ahead of schedule for once, when things actually take less time than I expected. When you can concentrate and feel motivated, everything gets done faster!”
Vladimir Maric, Business Development, BG Reklam
“Moving our e-mail and collaboration channels to Microsoft Office 365. It reduced the number of emails sent between our team by around 30%, and cut the number of different versions of files circulating between people. Almost everything is now based on the cloud and we all work on one version of each document. A small thing has made a huge difference.”
Giusy Fratta, Managing director Evoltron
“Improving the way I prioritise projects and tasks. Although my job is to help clients work more efficiently, applying this to myself is hard! I realised my colleagues and I were constantly flitting from one task to the next, juggling too many projects and working too many evenings and weekends. To combat this, we swapped multi-tasking for ‘mono-tasking’, using kanban boards and scrum methodology to manage all our projects, and focussing on the 20% of our work that brings 80% of our results. I’m also quicker to identify ‘time thieves’ – people who steal energy from the business without adding any value. I’m going to be much tougher about saying ‘No’ in 2018!”
Danny Keene, Music Business Consultant
“Being more strategic about business development, which has led to finding brand new clients, and starting new projects with existing clients. For my business, that meant deliberately starting working with other music-related products such as books, such as biographies, autobiographies and coffee table photography books. I also came up with additional creative product ranges. Expanding and diversifying my offering has helped me reach new clients, as well as increasing what I can do for my existing clients.”
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