It’s a new year, and a fresh start. In the past a new year was simply trying to remember to change the last digit or two when writing the year, but for the most part little changed. With the business it seems to be much more abrupt of a change, because of the way things are setup with the IRS. Closing out your books for the year, sending out 1099’s, and getting ready for taxes.
Last year feels like I was just testing the water, since it was only half the year. 2015 will be my first full year in business, and that is both exciting and scary. I did not have any downtime last year, since as soon as I left my day job I had a project to work on. This is the first time with the business that I’m not making any money. There is a good chance that January will be the companies first month in the red. Hopefully there will not be to many months this year in the red, but only time will tell.
I plan to use this month to lay some groundwork to hopefully set the company up for success the rest of the year. I feel the most important thing is to get my website updated and looking professional. This includes getting my demo reel edited, and uploaded to the site. I will still mostly be focusing on client work this year as I don’t feel I have the money or reputation yet to start my own projects.
It being a new year I thought it would be appropriate for me to set some goals for the year, or New Year’s Resolutions if you will.
New Year’s resolution: From Wikipedia
The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. In the Medieval era, the knights took the “peacock vow” at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
Below are some of my resolutions I make that I hope to accomplish in the next 12 months. Some of them are a stretch, but why set goals that are to easy to achieve?
These last 6 months have been crazy busy, and that was only dealing with 1 client at a time. I need to find a better balance between the demands of the company, and my personal life and family. I realize that the business will always take a lot of time, and these first few years might be the most time consuming. That is why it is even more important that I find a way to balance my time between it and my personal life now. After all, one of the reasons I wanted to have my own business was so I could enjoy life more.
3 new Major Clients:
This might seem counter productive to the previous goal, but that is why it is even more important to find a balance now. Most companies want to continue to do better and grow their business, so growing my customer base should not come as a surprise. My goal this year is to get 3 new clients with large projects to work on is going to be challenging, but I feel is important for the success of my business. Ideally I would like to have more animation projects, but I also enjoy VFX projects.
Right now the company is just me, and when I have projects I bring on Freelancers to help out. This is great in keeping costs down, but I want to bring on others that can help me grow the business. People that are invested in the idea, and share my passion to grow the company. This needs to be the right person, or persons that can add something to the team. With Strengths that compliment my weaknesses.
Develop my own IP:
I know I’m not at a point to produce my own content, but I would like to start developing our own content. Who knows if we get a great idea we might be able to find funding for it.
Continue to learn:
One of the best parts I experienced in running my own business is that I learn something new almost every day. I want to continue to learn this year. I want to continue to try new things, and push myself out of my comfort zone. This keeps things interesting, and makes all the hard work worth it. I never want to be stuck in neutral.
10,000 Facebook Likes:
At first this sounds like an unrealistic goal, but I feel this is actually attainable. This week alone I have gained 512 new likes on my company Facebook page. I’m currently sitting at 1,450 likes, and growing quickly. I know this week is not the norm, and if it was I would achieve my goal around May or June. Some weeks I don’t get any new likes, so I feel this goal is challenging yet attainable. I could use your help to reach this goal. Share my page with your friends, and help me spread the word. Facebook Page I also hope to grow my other social media sites, but I will focus on Facebook for this goal.
I want to find a way to give back to the community, a charitable organization, or help a cause. I have not figured out the best way to give back, but this is something that is important to me. It also does not have to be only one way. I have always wanted to make an animated video to help kids that are bullied. I know there are a lot of kids that struggle with bullies, and I want to show them how they can get help. Even if it is just educating the kids that are bullying to make them realize what they are doing.
Government contract work:
I want to figure out how to get on these government contract lists. I was way to busy last year to take the time to make sense of all the paperwork that is required to get on these lists to obtain government work. Now that I have more free time I would like to figure it out.
This might seem like an odd one, but hear me out. I have this fun game I like to play with Wikipedia called “Lets see how long I can have an article on Wikipedia for”. I play by adding a new article for “Eric Miller Animation Studios”, and see how long it takes them to remove it. They normally send nice uplifting messages like “The article Eric Miller Animation Studios has been speedily deleted from Wikipedia due to no sign of real notability.”. Normally it is removed within seconds, but this last time I was able to keep it up for 7 days. Progress!!! So my goal is to do something that Wikipedia considers noteworthy enough to get my company in the “modern version” history books we call Wikipedia.
Well, these are just a few of the goals that I have for my business this year. I will keep you updated on my progress on all these goals as the year goes on. I expect all of you to hold me to these goals, and if I’m slipping on any of them to call me out on it. Heres to an amazing 2015!
If you have not already, please join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog. Also, if you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.