Cool, good on you, OP! I've been thinking about finances recently. I have a few goals (1 and 2) that are related to finances, so I may as well share them.
Well what are your financial goals for the year?
I have a boatload of savings and am putting away a good amount, but my money is doing absolutely nothing for me right now--I don't have any real investments (mutual funds, etc.) and haven't put so much thought into retirement. I'd like to do more than "blindly put money into savings account; hope for the best." I'm looking to change that.
I have two jobs and am pursuing another degree. One of my jobs is a small business that I'm running with a few cohorts right now, the other a more established employer. But I may go further and start my own independent consulting firm, with myself as the sole employee (for now)--that is, I may break away from all of my employers and manage myself so that I can contract any portion of my time out to whomever I see fit. It's an option that I'm currently developing.
How do you plan to get there?
Research and choosing a set of "good enough" options. Thankfully, my mentor (who also started his own business because he disliked being controlled) deals with finances, stocks, funds, and insurance.. soo.. that one shouldn't be too difficult. It's just a territory that I have to delve into and understand a bit.
Weigh out whether it's going to be worth it before I finish my degree; it may or may not be--I might have to put it on hold. Also, ensure that I'm known around here so that I can gather business--which I pretty much am already.
How are you planning to grow your business this year?
Friendliness and true needs-based selling. Hardcore salespeople hate needs-based selling, but I don't give a shit; I'd rather lose a bit of business in the short term than sucker some folks. I'm more likely to have repeat customers over decades if I treat them right--and repeat business is absolutely crucial in my line of work.
Are you developing your personal business brand?
Yup; I've got a brand, website, personal business cards, personal tagline, and everything. When I hand people my card, I hand them my personal card; I then route them to me, my main employer, or my company--depending on which is suitable.
If you've been trying any new business approaches in 2012 so far, how have they worked for you?
I'm more assertive and direct, but, as always, I'm not a dick or pushy to people. It works!
So, essentially, my goals are in the 'test the waters'/'research' phase--but that phase is necessary.