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Happy 2022. What's next?

Posted by Cheryl Yul-Behrenwaldt on
Notebooks and Honey blog about the 2022 goals and New Year resolutions.
           I just love January. It's the time for fresh starts. Whether you need a reset or want to continue with the amazing year you just left, it's great to have a set time to reflect on life, the past and future, and think about your next steps. What better time than the quiet of January, when the air is crisp and you can fill your lungs (and head) with fresh air and the whole year is just laying out right in front you,  waiting for awesomeness to happen. It is New Year's Resolution season after all, whether you practice this ritual or not (most people do, in one form or another), it's so therapeutic to take the time to reflect and reset.
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            Every year, I try to set personal "resolutions", often times this involves things I want to do this year ( e.g. read 15 books ) plus things that I need to work on (e.g. patience with the kids ).  Of course, I have to think about the direction that I want to take my small but mighty business in, my Notebooks & Honey. If you look back on my last couple of January posts ( 2022 / 2021), you will see that I use this space as a time to put my thoughts and intentions down on "paper". Despite the craziness in the world over the last couple of years, I feel that I have achieved all of my accomplishments that I have set out in 2020 ... and then some!  I have started blogging, set up the Curated Collection, and I have started the wholesale side of the business.  To top it off, a new bag color was introduced to the family (this was huge) and I have started to do fairs and markets.  I was late in the fair/ market game but have realized that I enjoy getting out there and meeting customers and seeing their reactions to my bags in real life.  The last two years were major! 
The Social Butterfly, the navy waxed canvas tote from Notebooks and Honey
The Social Butterfly ( newest addition to the family) 
Notebooks and Honey at the Artists and Flea Pop Up at Ponce City Market
 Artists & Fleas Pop Up Market 
                  So where does Notebooks & Honey go from here?! This year, I need to continue with my upward trajectory because let's face it, creating, owning and growing a small business is not easy.  I have been analyzing and strategizing my next steps and part of growing is knowing what areas to focus on and which areas to pull back,  it's very much like a dance. I've watched other small businesses make adjustments along the way and the best way to do this is to be agile enough to know when to take two steps forward and one step back. Also, be okay with taking the risks and often times in the public eye. So readers, bear with me as I lay out my next steps.  These are the areas that I feel that I want to focus on in 2022.  Perhaps they are not life changers, maybe they are even obvious, but me writing it down means accountability and sometimes, that's just the push one needs. 
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WHOLESALE:  Need to ramp up in this department. Although I am super excited about the new wholesale aspect, I'm not sure how to successfully do it.  If you dear readers, have any suggestions or know of a cool boutique that will be perfect for Notebooks & Honey, please let me know!
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FAIRS/MARKETS : I would like to do three markets a year. Unfortunately with the kids and our busy schedules, I feel that this is the magic number my schedule allows, so I need them to be good. I'm thinking one in the spring and two in the fall/winter is a good number for me. This is as much for PR and getting the brand out there as it is for meeting customers in person.
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SEO:  This is always a work in progress, getting the website numbers up, because how else do I increase online sales if people can't find me or don't know that I am out there?  In addition to continuing with some paid campaigns, which is a must for all businesses (big or small), it's my goal to grow my online brand organically.
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CURATED ITEMS:  It has always been my expectation to build on the Curated Collection and now that my inventory is running low, I think it's a great opportunity to reload the store with new items. I love curating things, so I would bring new items to the CC store a couple of times a year.  Who knows, perhaps it makes sense to even expand the Curated store to a more substantial part of the business in the future.  Baby steps, baby steps, let's see how this year goes.
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BLOG: As much as I have enjoyed and been dedicated to this blog, I have decided that my time is better spent working on the above items rather than writing monthly blog posts. Instead,  I will now write a quarterly blog post.  I think it will be a better use of my time, in addition to having more focused content for the blog.  After blogging pretty consistently for a couple of years, it's beginning to be a stretch for me to figure out what it is I want to talk about next.  
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So there you go, I will step up on the wholesale and curated items.  Continue with the fairs/market and SEO ( aka, the "marketing side"). Step back on the blog. Cha, cha, cha.
Here's to a great start of the year! Good luck to you and all of your 2022 endeavors.
~ Cheryl

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