I’m always amazed at business owners who get excited over the new year and a clean slate. It’s an opportunity to start over and do things differently than you did last year. But talk is cheap, and nothing changes if you don’t!

Taking a stroll through cyberspace, I asked Google about people keeping their New Year’s resolutions. For the most part, it appears at least a third of you give up by February, and when the smoke clears down the road, less than 10% keep their resolutions. Okay, so that’s on the personal side, with weight loss, exercise, and eating healthier at the top of the list, but what about those resolutions you make about your business?

There is no clean slate if you continue to make the same mistakes you made last year. Nothing will change, and there’s that old line: “If you do what you’ve always done, you won’t get any more than you ever got!”

So, here are just a few business-changing topics to consider in the new year and especially while business is relatively slow for most of you:

  • Pricing: Most of you are pricing your services too low and treating photography like a commodity. Remember, you’re not selling prints but an experience. And, you’re capturing memories – turning the intangible into tangible photographs to be cherished for a lifetime.
  • Communication: How easy is it for your target audience to contact you? Too many of you make it difficult using template email forms and not answering promptly. And you need to give every potential customer the ability to call you!
  • Relationship Building: Your base of past clients is your best resource for building your business – but they mean nothing if you don’t keep in touch!
  • Community Involvement: People like buying goods and services from companies they perceive as giving back to the community – GET INVOLVED!
  • Finding Balance: Everyone in business wears multiple hats, but prioritizing is up to you. So often, we lose sight of what’s truly important in our lives. You are not your business!

Last on the list, but it should be first – don’t forget about me-time. You need to recognize when you’re about to crash and burn and then take a break. Don’t discount the importance of a good night’s sleep, time with family and friends, and doing things you enjoy that make you smile and laugh! Most important of all take time off – step away from the business when you feel like there’s a train headed your way and you’re tied to the tracks.

Remember, you can’t create images that pull at people’s heartstrings if your own heart isn’t in it.