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  • January and Jelly Beans: How Organizing Will Help You Meet Your Goals

    jelly-bean-mason-jar

    One of my highlights in January is buying a new planner and diary for the year ahead. I love the sense of new beginnings that it gives me. Re-organize, re-group and re-focus – that is my January motto.

    While many may balk at the prospect of reworking tasks or plans, reorganizing can be incredibly motivating and can set the tone for a productive and rewarding year.

    Have you given your year ahead any thought yet? Do you have ambitious plans to drive your dreams forward?

    What a great start to the year for those of you that have been decisive!

    If not, don’t panic, you are not alone and there is still time to get onto it. I have had many a conversation with those who feel they are just too busy for all that sensible sorting out nonsense. Or you may be someone who has just become wrapped up in your daily process and simply not stopped to consider the possibilities in a new year.

    Even if you are anti-New Year’s Resolutions, resolve to dedicate a couple of hours to a little reorganizing and you might surprise yourself with all that can be achieved through a little task tackling.

    I highly recommend an administrative spring clean as a starting point. By dealing with all that tedious paperwork, writing up important diary dates and mapping out your intentions for the year, you will make great strides towards making your ambitions realities, along with having more time to do the stuff you really want to do. I would add that tediousness always needs to be balanced with pleasure…that would be a welcome little bag of Jelly Beans in my case! I am sure you will have your own favorites to support you through the somewhat mundane chores, but I guarantee you will be invigorated by the process in the end (not just high on sugar!).

    I usually find that by consciously and actively reorganizing myself I almost can’t help regrouping. Could I fit in more time with so and so? Do I want to keep up with this particular commitment? Am I still happy participating in or contributing to this activity? And so forth…

    When I was about 24, this exact process made me realize how much I wanted to travel and explore life abroad. I set in motion a plan that took four months to come to fruition and I moved from sleepy Durban, South Africa to busy, buzzing London, in the United Kingdom. A big dream had become a reality by simply getting organized.

    Working in Britain also made me realize that I wanted so much more from my skin care career and that has led to a fantastically enriched 18 years with The International Dermal Institute teaching all over the world. I am grateful every day for making the bold move to leave a stable job of 5 years to pursue travel dreams.

    Making a little time to reorganize, will give you opportunity to regroup, and inevitably re-focus. It may be just what you need to fire up your career, make those desirable life changes or simply make more of your current situation.

    January is the month where the New Year’s Resolutionists battle it out with the Cynics and Complacents. Some would say resolutions are a waste of time, as most rarely last beyond January. Yet, I would say that making them and keeping them depends largely on how important those resolutions are to you and your future.

  • A Clean Future

    Emma new bio shot cropWe’re all guilty of it — accumulating “debris,” be it physical or mental. Yes, I freely admit, I have a filing system that is screaming for attention and an outlook box that sends me a message most days to tell me it is nearly full!

    Spring is such a great opportunity, and excuse, to take the challenge to dust off your business plan, sweep away the old and tired, wipe up metaphorical cobwebs and make space for fresh, clean business opportunities.

    Here are my nine “Spring Clean Suggestions” to assist you in the process:

    1. Clean Up Your Shop Window
    • Take a look at your business from the outside in; clear all the visual clutter to send a clearly defined branding message.
    • Look at your reception area with a set of fresh eyes. What does your client see that has to go? Old magazines? A half dying plant? Old merchandising pieces and special offers?
    • Remember to do the same for your business’ website.

    2. Check What Works
    • Review what products and services have sold well in the last year; which are profitable? Then be brutal and decide what needs to go from your product shelves and your menu of services.
    • It’s time to be an evangelist of simplicity; remember “less is more” and “quality over quantity.”

    3. Walk the Room
    • Take a walk into every room, look around, open every cupboard and ask yourself: do I use this and do I need it? If the answer is no, it’s got to go!

    4. Take Control of Your Cash Flow Management
    • Aim to pay all your outstanding bills.
    • Renegotiate your rent, bank fees, merchant card fees and terms of trading.
    • Manage your spending, expenses, salaries etc.

    5. Clean Your Database
    • Remove the “dead wood” from your database – contact all clients you have not seen for over 18 months and remove those that are no longer interested or have moved away.

    6. Polish Up Your Skill Set
    • Review your staff’s recent training history to ensure all team members are up to speed in all the latest technique and product developments (this is also a great mental motivator).

    7. Dust off Your Business Plan
    • It’s time to revisit your business plan and ascertain how you are performing. If you’re off course, create immediate strategies to get yourself back on track.

    8. Clear the Air
    • Speak to your team members and find out what may be challenging them in the work place. Is something broken that needs fixing or replacing? Perhaps they are frustrated with the current stock levels? Maybe they are demotivated with the incentives you have in place.
    • Once heard, remove the obstacles and clear the way for positive change.

    9. Fresh Ideas
    • Have a brainstorming session with your staff and your VIPs.
    • Look for new ways to drive increased demand from clients.
    • Offer new services, both seasonal and on-trend.
    • Create new product and service promotions to keep it fresh.
    • Get/develop easier systems for your employees to work with.

    Just Do It!
    Set aside the time for spring cleaning and don’t feel overwhelmed. Write a prioritized to-do list, creating small individual tasks to make them more manageable. And whatever you do, don’t put “it” off – organizing and cleaning is a positive, empowering action that will create a healthier, happier business!