Every year around this time I start planning and creating what I want for the upcoming year and I thought sharing might be helpful to you in planning 2014 because I want you to have an awesome year.
- Go buy a big calendar, a bunch of post it notes, and some colored sharpie markers. Use different colored sharpies to represent different times on your calendar. Use post it notes to make notes that need to go on certain months to keep your focus on track.
- Take a sharpie marker and block off all the days you want off. This includes long weekends, and vacation time, and the odd spa day!
- Take another sharpie and mark out all the events you want to go to so they are planned for in advance. Planning time to go to events and to invest in your own personal growth is critical as an entrepreneur. If you don’t know when a certain event is, email the organizer. They know and they will tell you.
- Create theme days in your schedule. I used to do this in the corporation in order to manage a high volume of responsibility. I always had “team days” where I worked with my team of direct reports, cross functional “team days” where I worked with other teams in different departments that supported my team, and I had days dedicated to me in order to get the work done that only I could do. Lastly, I had events and field days where I was out in the field interacting with the sales team.
- Once you block out time to work with your “team” and time to do “your work” go back and count how many days you have left to work with clients. Then take those days and factor in your billable time in order to see if you have enough client facing days to generate the revenue you want in your business or if you need to add more, or increase your fees.
- Lastly mark down your marketing cycle. I have specific times of the year where we run programs so I map those times out. Then, I map out the preparation time for marketing those things on my calendar so I can see it all at a glance.
This system allows me to have a plan and feel like I have a sense of control over what my upcoming year will look like rather than waiting and being the recipient of everyone else’s plan and it will do the same for you.
This plan is never perfect. There are always changes that need to be made but it is a baseline that helps me to strategize what I want to create in an upcoming year and helps my team and I feel confident about the direction of the business.
It also helps my clients to know exactly when they are going to work with me so they too can plan accordingly.
Speaking of working together, The Pilot Project: Business Building Blocks will run again in January. If you want to learn about numbers, and make 2014 the year you tackle results, I hope you will plan to join us when this kicks off.
And, at the risk of sounding “salesy”, my new ebook can really help you get a jump start on mapping out the plan for your online business. I seriously believe this tool alone can save you thousands of dollars when you start your online business. If you don’t agree, I’ll give you your money back! Check it out here: www.LisaLarter.com/online-marketing-ebook
Now, you tell me – what do you do to imperfectly plan your year and when you look back at the goals you set, how did the plan help you to achieve those goals?
Share your best practices below so we can learn from one another.