Small Biz Advice: Where Did the First Half of 2013 Go?


Holly Howard runs Ask Holly How, a small business consulting company based out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn that works with a wide variety of businesses from restaurants to retail to art studios and pretty much everything in between. Her clients report increased income and profit, decreased expenses and a significantly better quality of life. Holly heads up the Small Business Book Club at McNally Jackson Books.holly-photo-280x290

Want valuable insight into how to grow your business?  Holly hosts FREE 30 minute strategy sessions at The Yard in Williamsburg.  Email her to set up a time or to ask a question for the next Ask Holly How.

Dear Holly,

The year is half over, and I have yet to achieve any of the goals that I laid out for my business in January.  In fact, I’m pretty far off course at this point and want to know if you have any advice on how I can rein things in and get back on track.  I’d like to turn this around and at least accomplish part of what is on my list, but I don’t even know where to begin. 


Half Over, Half Empty


Dear Half,

I’m sure you’re not the only one who woke up this week and realized that the year was officially half over.  Time flies, especially when you run a business and have a million things on your plate.  As the owner, only you shoulder the responsibility of making sure you stay on track and work toward your goals.  The good news is at least you have half a year left to really achieve something that will advance your business and not just maintain it.

First, write out all of your goals and be specific.  I know you mentioned that you laid out goals in January.  Review them to make sure they are still relevant.  Once you’ve come up with three to six goals, post them on your office wall, keep a copy in your wallet, make them your screensaver on your computer, and frame them by your bedside.  The point here is that you need to create a constant reminder of what you’re working toward.  If you are easily distracted, this should help keep you focused.

Next, give your goals hard deadlines and put them on your calendar.  Goals are no good if you don’t set a deadline and hold yourself to it.  So if you just said I want to accomplish these things in 2013, but never assigned actual deadlines, then this is probably why you’re not accomplishing anything!  Deadlines build in the accountability you need to achieve your goals.  Make sure to write in those deadlines on the calendar you use, whether it’s digital or paper.

Finally, just say no!  It’s super easy to get off course and become distracted by what looks like exciting new opportunities.  If we aren’t focused on where we are going and what we need to achieve, we often agree to things that take us completely off course because we are enticed by their short-term excitement.  Don’t get distracted by other people’s agendas.  You don’t need to say no to every opportunity that comes your way, but do consider whether or not it will help you get to where you want to be.  Keep your eye on the prize and stay focused on your long term goals.  That’s how you build a successful business.

You have six months left to turn this around and achieve what you set out to do in January.  Don’t throw in the towel and surrender.  Get back on track and do what needs to be done.  These three simple steps can make all of the difference in your success.  You can turn all of this around!

Good luck!



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