We spend a lot of time thinking about our futures, but strangely the subject of business planning still causes folks to groan and procrastinate… many to the point of never planning at all.
Here’s what I know… if you don’t plan for your business you’ll make less and have less fun. It’s true. I still shoot from the hip as much as the next entrepreneur, but over and over I’ve witnessed that the more I plan, the better I do – both financially and emotionally.
What if planning could be fun and inspiring? What if you could do it quickly?
I just whipped together my plan for next year and I feel great! Plus, now it will be really easy to break it down into baby steps so I never have to wonder or worry whether I’m taking actions that will payoff.
Ready to play? Keep this simple at first. Just jot some thoughts down. Then it’s simple to go back and add more structure and details.
1. What are your personal goals for the year?
Before you do anything else, decide when you’ll take vacations! Get the “me time” and “family time” in there because your well-being always comes first. For next year, I’m taking all of May and December off. Woohoo!
Then, consider how you want your days to flow. I’m planning office hours for Monday – Wednesday, no more than three calls a day.
Consider the theme or overarching inner game for your year. For me, this coming year is about JOY, REST and FUN. I’m going to do more celebrating and less sweating the small stuff.
Then answer these questions:
- What do you want your life to be like?
- Who do you want to be?
- How do you want to feel? How will you best take care of yourself?
- What are the powerful mindsets you want to cultivate?
2. What are your overall business goals?
What do you want to earn? How much profit are you aiming for? How much will you grow your list? Think about the metrics and specific results you’ll manifest.
My bold goal this year is tripling my leads list. That means I’m looking for more fun, simpatico promo partners and alliances.
3. What improvements will you make to your biz?
What could be better leveraged? What needs to go away? Do you want to change up your business model? Create new programs?
4. Who do you want to attract as clients?
Go beyond your target market and think about the characteristics, the attitudes and traits of the individuals you would love to work with this year. Who are your ideal clients?
I’m calling in can-do, heartful entrepreneurs who want to make fast progress with personalized support from me.
5. What alliances do you want to make?
What types of peers, colleagues, promotional partners and spheres of influence would you like to play with this year? Who could help you grow your list, get you in front of your target audience, or collaborate well with you?
6. How many promotional campaigns will you run?
What will you offer? (Look back to your financial goals and think about how you’ll earn that.) When will your programs launch? What’s the promotional period? How can you give yourself plenty of time to do each campaign boldly and without overwhelm?
Most entrepreneurs forget to plan well thought out promotional strategies and that keeps their results small. Don’t worry about the details yet, just get down the number of campaigns what you’re offering and the launch dates. Later, you can chunk down the details.
7. What support systems do you need to ease your way?
Who will mentor you and shorten your learning curves? What 3rd party systems or software will assist you? Who do you want on your team?
These 7 steps will take you far and inspire you to go deeper. In my next post I’ll cover some of the finer details for your planning.
Did I forget anything you’d include? Share those tips and also what’s been holding you back from planning in the past. Or, if you are a planner, share how it’s helped you have better results.