Planning is a huge part of being a successful entrepreneur and these four business-planning strategies will help guide your success.
Don’t mistake having a plan as an inability to be responsive and reactive. Strong business planning does not prevent you from growing your business, or changing and pivoting, as needed in order to be responsive.
I have a number of calendars I use for business planning. A 16-month calendar gives a broad lead-time for the year to come. I start planning in 2015 for 2016. If you fail to plan you plan to fail – I really believe that. You need the ability to pull back and look at your business as a whole so you can think about where you want to be as you move forward. Conceptualize who you want to be a year from now. How do you see your business evolving?
There are four business-planning strategies you can use:
1.) What are you doing to market your business?
Think about the free stuff you are creating to market your business. I do Facebook Live videos all the time, I write blog content on a regular basis, and I have my videos repurposed as blog posts. I also send a newsletter out at least once a week. I have to think about all of the time it takes to do these things and build that into my plan. This marketing is what drives people into my sales cycle. If you’re not consistently marketing then your sales cycle will start to fluctuate.
2.) What are your assets?
The things that you have that help you make money are important parts of any business-planning strategies. For example, my book, Pilot To Profit, is an asset – it’s something that I can sell. My Pilot To Profit Program is an asset – I can sell a monthly membership or even lifetime access to the program and it generates income. I can sell workshops or live events. I sell group coaching programs, private VIP masterminding programs, and implementation services and strategy Those are my assets, the things I have in my business that allow me to make money. You need to be really clear about your assets as part of your business planning process. You also need to know what is worth continuing and what needs to be stopped or changed.
3.) Figure out your revenue goals.
Look at each of your assets as a category in your business and determine how much revenue I want to generate from each one. And, how does revenue get you to your year-end goal? Some may only require marketing effort that can be delegated to your team members, others may require your time specifically in order to generate income. That’s where the calendars I mentioned earlier come in – you have to be able to map out all of your time and understand your own factory capacity model. That means you need to know how much time you have to do what you actually do to make money. When you look at the asset, the revenue goal, and the time commitment you will see if the three things work together or is there a gap that you need to overcome.
4.) Consider your time.
Where do you want to spend your time? I’m big on themes – in my business Monday is Team Day, Tuesday to Thursday are Client Days, Friday is Catch-All Day. I use a mobile app called TeuxDeux that keeps moving my list to the next day unless I check things off as done. This app helps me wrap up all of my loose ends on Friday. You also need to learn to say no because you only have so much time.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you do to plan and prioritize your day/month/year for your business.
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.