Q3 2017 – Quarterly Review of Financial Goals

Q3 2017 Review of Financial Goals

It’s the end of the quarter! Time to review my goals from July. These were mostly split between drumming up business for my new cat-sitting business and blogging, with a couple of others thrown in for good measure.  Let’s review the list of goals:

Marketing my cat-sitting business – goals

  1. Get 5 new clients by…..
  2. …Inviting people to my Facebook business page, and regularly posting new material.
  3. …Setting up Google+ business page.
  4. …Posting more online ads, such as Thomson Local.
  5. …Promoting the business by word of mouth.
  6. …Finishing leaflet deliveries.

Blogging – goals

  1. Set up a Facebook page for my blog.
  2. Join the UK Money Bloggers group.
  3. Be a bit more active with this generally!  

Other – goals

  1. Set up a £50 per month saving into my equity ISA.
  2. Proof-read a book for my husband so that he can self-publish.

So, how did I do?

Marketing my cat-sitting business – review

  1. Did I get 5 new clients? No! I’ve booked in 2 new clients though, for upcoming cat-sitting, and also had some repeat business from existing clients. I knew this was an ambitious target, but hoped I might pick up more because of the summer holidays.  
  2. Did I invite people to my Facebook business page? Yes! Some invites sent and accepted! And post regularly? Yes, intermittently anyway! I don’t think this will a big source of new business, but I’m getting a small amount of traffic from my FB page to company website, and it’s useful to have a presence on Facebook.
  3. Did I set up a Google+ business page? Yes! I set up a Google My Business page, which (I think!) is the upgraded version of Google Plus. It involved submitting my business details to Google, waiting for a code to be sent by post, and then verifying the business by inputting that code when received. I think this is a key part of online marketing, as if clients search on ‘cat sitting’ and my local area, my website now shows in the list of local available businesses. Previously, my website was only coming back if people searched for it by name. A client has kindly given me my first Google Review too, which will hopefully mean other clients are more encouraged to give me a try.
  4. Did I post more online ads, such as Thomson Local? No! Still to do….
  5. Did I promote the business by word of mouth? No! Not much opportunity for this.  
  6. Did I finish leaflet deliveries? No! I’m considering paying a firm to do this for me, but am unsure how productive it is.  

Blogging – review

  1. Did I set up a Facebook page for my blog? Yes! But I’ve done absolutely nothing with it, and have no followers….I don’t really know where to go with this! 
  2. Did I join the UK Money Bloggers group? No! This is because I’ve discovered it’s not possible to join a Facebook group using anything other than a personal Facebook page. I’m blogging anonymously, so at present this isn’t an option for me, which is a shame.  
  3. Was I more active with blogging generally? No! I’ve written a couple of posts, but this hardly counts as ‘active’.

Other – review

  1. Did I set up a £50 per month saving into my equity ISA? Yes! First payment due any day now.  
  2. Did I proof-read a book for my husband so that he can self-publish? Yes and no! Yes, I’ve skim-read it and given some initial feedback, but not in detail and there’s still plenty of work to do.

A few extras not on the list! 

I may not have completed all the above goals, but achieved a few other relevant things over the quarter.

Picture in the paper!

A journalist friend drafted a press release (thank you!) that I sent to my local paper to promote my cat-sitting business, which led to a telephone interview and photos. I was very out of my comfort zone actively seeking public attention for my business in this way, yet it’s as a direct result of this that I got one of my new clients. I can also see that I’ve had a lot of traffic from the online newspaper article to my website, so I’m hoping getting my name in the public domain will lead to more business in the future.

Received a client review on yell.com 

Self-explanatory, it’s good news!

Attended a SavvyWoman event in London on saving for retirement

This was sponsored by Fidelity, and there were speakers from Fidelity on getting started with pensions, and auto-enrollment. Also speaking was Tina Weeks from Serenity Financial Planning about the financial planning process, and Anna Sofat from Addidi (financial advisers) talking about pension consolidation. It wasn’t all useful for me, but never a bad thing to hear others talking more broadly about the subject, and also very useful chatting to other women at the event to find out what they are doing for their retirement. It’s not so easy chatting to others in ‘real life’ about money, so when the opportunity arises to chat with others who are also interested it makes a nice change!

Attended UK Money Bloggers conference

Even though I didn’t join the online UK Money Bloggers Facebook group, I did go to the annual conference in September, which I wrote about last month. This was a great way of meeting other bloggers interested in the same topics, and of sharing experiences and picking up tips.

Fitted new windows

Yes, the house renovations have started, and our old aluminium, draughty, broken windows have finally been replaced by new uPVC windows. They’re warmer, better-looking, and I’m thrilled with them. Financially, it’s a big expense, but the local company that fitted them did a great job, at a good price, which has made the trauma of parting with large sums of cash a bit easier to deal with!

Verdict? 

What do you think?

With the cat-sitting, highlights for me were the 2 new clients, press article, Google My Business page, and Google and Yell.com reviews. It’s taking time to get the business up and running, so actually getting new clients is what it’s all about. The online press article, Google presence, and reviews are the most likely to bring future clients I think. There’s very little income, but it has to start somewhere!

Financially, the extra savings into my equity ISA are a highlight, as I think it’s automating savings that makes a real difference over time. I’ve done the work, now I can forget about it and so long as I can keep my monthly budget in hand, I’ll be making a small difference to my early retirement plan.

Personally, the new windows are going to make a huge difference to our house, and I love them. I’ve struggled with spending large amounts of money when I’m so focused on saving more, but we have no plans to move and they needed replacing. We’d have had to spend on them sooner or later, and they should last into retirement.

Finally, I’ve enjoyed chatting to other bloggers, and other people planning for their retirement. There’s always more we can learn from others, so this was a good quarter in that respect!

 

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