The new financial year is here… so where do you want to be in 12 months’ time? And what’s your plan to get there? Regardless of your area of expertise, there are a few things you can do to drive growth and meet your personal and professional goals. 1. Challenge yourself Don’t be afraid to set a high bar for the next 12 months. The economy has been shaken, businesses are more open than ever before to new ways of getting things done… that makes now a great time for contractors like you to move in and take advantage of the opportunities. Write down your short and long-term goals and underneath each, articulate action points and a deadline to reach each one. Then reflect on your progress regularly. 2. Commit to professional development Build your knowledge by joining professional networks and by taking advantage of live and virtual courses – an incredible number of online courses are now available, locally and internationally (and often at no cost) to give you a new perspective on your profession. 3. Recognise the Opportunity Cost As you get busier, it may seem easier and less costly to do everything yourself. But that can be a false economy. Taking the time to train up a junior, sub-contracting or stumping up the cost of outsourcing, will often mean the tasks you’re least good at can be more efficiently and effectively managed. With more time to focus on your own areas of expertise, you’ll increase your professional satisfaction, impress the businesses contracting your services, and find time to enjoy life outside of work. Isn’t that why you became a contractor? 4. Be Selective Finding yourself stretched for time will only be detrimental to yourself and your clients. If you’ve got more than enough work on, it’s time to say NO. Take a good hard look at your clients and decide which ones you enjoy working with the most, where the greatest returns are… and then weed out the ones you can do without. Life is short. You need to put the annoying ones in the compost. 5. Don’t Be Shy to Promote Your Strengths Strategic marketing needn’t cost you the earth. Take advantage of social media, like LinkedIn, to keep your clients abreast of your latest professional achievements, and career development you’ve undertaken, your views and expertise. Doing so will reinforce your expertise with existing clients, keep you top of mind with those you’ve worked within the past, and put you in good stead to gain more contracts in the future. 6. Monitor and Measure When new clients approach you, ask them where they heard of you – this will help you gain a picture of how your marketing is working. If they come to you via referral, be sure to thank the referee – it’s a courtesy that will repay you again and again. 7. Free Yourself For over 20 years, the Ayers Group has been working with contractors like you to efficiently manage contracts, tax obligations and more. Our built for purpose software means you can manage your contracts, timesheets, invoicing, PAYG and more online, plus we’ve got staff available to take your calls. Talk to us today about how we can help you achieve your goals for the next 12 months.