Another new year and many people participate in that annual ritual of making resolutions for the next 12 months. When it comes to your design business though, you should making that a monthly activity. At the end of every month, evaluate what you’ve done and whether you could do it better.

Become Leaner
Many regular resolutions revolve around losing weight, so why not apply that to your business? Take an inventory of any clunky processes you might be using and see how you could streamline those. How about new training for any of your team? You might also take a look at your current monthly expenses and see if any fat can be trimmed from there.

For us, ditching old processes like old-school invoicing and moving to an online system was one way we streamlined.

Better Time Management
Another big time resolution for people is better use of/management of their time. Whether it’s finding a work-life balance or doing less procrastinating, this is another one that can infinitely help your firm run smoother. You can start by keeping track of your time on everything from day-to-day office tasks, to actual projects, and how much time you spend on email and social media every day. Once you get a good idea of where any time leaks are, you can plan out how to stop those leaks and increase your efficiency.

For me personally, it was all about finding a time tracker program so I could see just how much time I spent on each thing (not just on actual projects) I did in the office. It helped me to realize where most of my time was going as well as identify total time sucks like needlessly checking and replying to email so frequently throughout the day.

I also can’t stress enough how important that work-life balance thing really is. Especially if you’re in a creative field, it’s important to have time away from work to recharge your batteries so you really can do your best work. Sadly that notion of burning the midnight oil, working 12+ hour days, and being “busy” all the time, is something some people wear as a badge of honor. I can tell you from past experience that the only place that sort of things leads to is burn out and poor health.

So make it a point to check in every month (or at the very least, quarterly) with how your business resolutions are doing.

Be sure to start off your new year right with Jason Swenk’s Agency Playbook. Click here for more details.