Alex, my project manager/assistant put together a planning retreat for 2011 for Promise Tangeman Creative. This is the very first one that we have ever had, so in a way, we started from scratch. We spent an entire weekend up in a BEAUTIFUL home in Sedona Arizona. The air was crispy cold, and the mountains red. Dreaming and planning was definitely in the air. We sipped coffee, played with her dog, cozied up by the fire and dreamed as big as we could. I was super excited and also overwhelmed at the same time. haha. Alex created a whole list to tackle that was 5 pages long. YIKES!! Here is the breakdown process of our planning retreat.

1. IDENTIFY HIGHLIGHTS & SUCCESSES
One of the first things we tackled was identifying the highlights/successes from this past year, and why we felt like they were highlights. That way we can learn from what worked and what made us most come ALIVE in our job. Some of these things included:

A. Favorite Design Projects
My favorite projects this year have been Brooke White, Jasmine Star, and Epiphanie Bags. I am discovering that my most successful, smooth, inspiring and fun projects have been with clients/businesses that have been up and going for a few years and REALLY know who they are. Brooke, Jasmine, and Maile (from Epiphanie Bags) really know who they are, they know the look, their target audience, their own personal style, and they know the future direction of their businesses. As a designer, I can be very versatile…. but I have to understand and be able to jump on board with their direction in order to really NAIL the design, and make the client ECSTATIC!!

B. The Showit National Freedom Tour
This was really special to me because, honestly, working at home by yourself can sometimes be really lonely, as a lot of you may know. I really feel that being invited out on tour was God giving me a little gift of social collaboration, sharing about things that I love, helping other creative businesses, and even getting some public speaking opportunities in. It was so exciting to connect with friends all over the Nation.

C. Bringing Alexandra on board
I put off hiring an assistant/project manager for a the longest time. I came to a point where I really felt that to move my business and dreams forward, I needed some help. This was a big risk for me in so many ways. This kind of a position is not needed in a lot of other small businesses… but i knew with my personality that i needed some help on the business end of everything. Adding Alex to the mix has been one of the BEST things that has happened this year. She has got me organized and planned in ways that I never would have thought. I am extremely thankful for her and the business has already improved and moved forward in more ways than I could have imagined. THANK YOU ALEX!! I really learned that taking risks is a GREAT thing. and this was a really big learning for me. I hope to take many more risks this next year.

D. SITEHOUSE for Showit
Developing SiteHouse for Showit has been a HUGE success for Promise Tangeman Creative this past year. We developed a product that brings in residual income… and I LOOVE to create these websites for people. And I love offering quality websites at really affordable prices. This release has blown my expectations out of the water and I am extremely grateful and excited for this coming year. This is going to sound silly…. But in this process I really learned that I can make things happen when I put my mind to it. I can create it, I can market it and I can make it happen. That is an encouraging, yet overwhelming realization.

2. IDENTIFY OUR WEAK POINTS
The next thing we did was identify what our weak point was. We then decided if it was crucial to improve that weak point, or focus other places. We chose to improve it by creating a solution that is time and cost efficient for our clients and for us. I’m really excited for these new roll-outs this year.

3. IDENTIFY & EVALUATE ALL MAJOR COMPONENTS OF THE BUSINESS
Alex put together a whole 5 page document calling out all of our major components of the business, total stats from this past year, questions for the future, and items to eliminate or improve. These major components consisted of: Communication, SiteHouse, Custom Graphic Design, Promise Tangeman Blog, Social Media, Money, Short term Goals (within this year), and Long term Goals (1-3 years). We reviewed the stats, evaluated each item, and decided how to move it all forward.

4. BRAINSTORM IDEA PROPOSALS
We have spent the last few days compiling ideas, tweaking job descriptions, crunching numbers, and creating proposals for what these new ideas will look like for next year.

5. CALENDAR SCHEDULING
Alex scheduled & flagged everything into our 2011 Calendar. YAY! It’s not so overwhelming when you see things spread out throughout the year. phew.

Have you thought about what your business or plans look like for next year? Goals, plans, exciting new things? In the comment section explain what your 5 greatest successes were this year… and why. OR post your own blog post and link it here in the comment section. We would LOOOVE to check it out.

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