It’s Still a New Year!

It’s Still a New Year!

Did you make resolutions for the new year? Did you make a plan? How are you doing?

If you are like most people, you have all but forgotten your resolutions and can’t remember where your plan is. Amiright?

The purpose of this post is not to make you feel guilty, but to remind and motivate you (and me). Here we go!

Try to remember those resolutions that you made in anticipation of the new year. If you can’t remember, that’s fine. You can start over. If you made a plan, take a look at it. If you did not make one, it’s OK. Start it today.

We are so conditioned to think that everything starts on January 1 and if we don’t institute the resolution or plan immediately, then we let it go until the next January 1. That, of course, is not true. You can start at any time.

If you think it is challenging to make resolutions and plans, it is even more challenging to commit to resolutions and plans. It is really tough. Here are some ideas to help:

Grab a notebook and pen and sit quietly, away from distractions to let yourself think. Where do you see in yourself by December 29 of this year? Jot your ideas and visions down, leaving space between each.

Go over the list and refine it. Throw out those you have little control over and define those you do. For example, “Win at least 1 million dollars in the lottery” is something you have no control over so get rid of it. On the other hand, if you wrote, “Learn how to make more bath and body products,” refine and define the plan. Add which ones you want to learn, how you will learn them and when. For instance, say you will try one new idea each month.

Go further. Fill in each month with the product you want to make. On the first of the month, perhaps, find a book, class, formula or videos. That same week, order necessary book or ingredients. Schedule making the product two weeks later. Now, you have a realistic plan.

Did taking stock of the previous business year make you realize that you didn’t get products launched for certain holidays so you want to do a better job this year? You are not alone.

Fortunately, the answer is as simple as making a plan.  Go through the calendar and think about seasons or holidays you want to prepare for, then work backward. Think about the lead time you need to advertise the product or to get it in stores or on the website ahead of the holiday. The product must be made, packaged and photographed by that date. How much lead time is necessary to have it ready to photograph? Include cure time for products that require it.

Example: You want to be ready for Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8 in the USA. To do that, you want to have the product and advertising ready on April 8. How long will it take to make everything and put it together to have it ready to sell? If cold process soap is part of a gift set and you cure the soap for six weeks, you must make the soap by February 25. Candles require less time to cure so move the date up for those, and even later for products that require no cure time.

Staying on top of the game takes vigilance and dedication but when you accomplish a goal it will encourage you to continue on.

Give it a try!

Next time, we will talk about other goals and ideas for meeting them.

May your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles Magazine

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