It’s that time of year again: New Year’s resolutions.

Today I spoke with a friend whose resolutions are beautifully concrete and achievable: Declutter his journals, letters and cards from his apartment, and make sure all his and his parents’ affairs are in order, with all i’s dotted and t’s crossed. I envied the simplicity of that. In my world, one of my personal resolutions looks like this: Build relationships as I take on leading teams and prioritize those relationships over getting stuff done. But still get stuff done. And inspire my teams with energy so they want to satisfy me!

This sort of goal is much less straightforward and measurable, but it’s my goal and my resolution. I hope to see great progress in that area by the end of 2015.

For now, let’s check in on the resolutions I made last year for my business. How am I doing?

2014 “Ressaylutions” and Current Status:

  1. Increase college essay / personal statement portion of my business to 25% of business. As predicted in my October blog, I reached just about 10%. Most of the marketing efforts I made in good faith did not result in new clients; however I received some inquiries by people doing Google searches (great news for me) and several resume writers have referred clients (thank you—you know who you are if you are reading this!). December is traditionally a busier month for college admissions, so if you know someone applying to school please let them know about The Essay Expert!
  2. Roll out a new “responsive” (mobile-friendly) website. This project is finally on track and I expect to roll out a new site in January! Just missed my 2014 deadline by a smidge.
  3. Choose a CRM and project management system. I am still working with an Infusionsoft expert to create these systems. I have reviewed about 100 pages of email messages that will go out to clients and writers in the course of working on various projects. I have now been advised to get the website up and running before implementing Infusionsoft. I look forward to having things run seamlessly by Q2 2015!
  4. Serve 250 clients. Total clients this year is 160. I did not reach my goal. I will be looking at my lead generations strategies and expect that my new website and Infusionsoft implementation will support The Essay Expert’s expansion to a wider client base in 2015.
  5. Generate 214 success stories. I did not meet this goal (we’re at 50). When I look honestly, I think I may have gotten lazy on my follow-up efforts. I have automated messages that go out to clients but I could do more to reach out individually and personally.

My 2015 resolutions are as follows:

  1. Increase college essay / personal statement portion of my business to 25% of business. I’m going for this one again and am encouraged by the uptick in this part of my business in the last month!
  2. Roll out a new “responsive” (mobile-friendly) website. This will be happening for real in January!
  3. Implement Infusionsoft. See 2015 report!
  4. Serve 250 clients. Going for this again!
  5. Publish a print version of How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile. I have a publisher all set to go on this project. The challenge is that LinkedIn’s interface changes so frequently; I was almost ready in December to move forward and then almost everything about LinkedIn’s home page and functionality changed! Nevertheless, I’m determined.
  6. Implement a robust referral program. I want to encourage people to refer clients to The Essay Expert and to reward them for their efforts. If you have an idea of what would be a great incentive for you, please let me know!
  7. Create more internal systems/guidelines. I faced a couple of difficult negotiations this year that might have been prevented by clearer agreements with my writers. Although I have detailed agreements that I sign with all writers, as well as guideline documents, I’m discovering some missing pieces and will be putting those in for 2015. Setting clear expectations is key to running a business smoothly!

2015 is looking to be an exciting year of growth, both personally and professionally (and I happen to believe they are one and the same). What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 and your growth edges? Please share!

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