Face it, business planning is far less exciting than birthing a new idea, in fact, it can be downright boring for a creative entrepreneur.
Business planning to the creative feels painful, constrained, complicated and lacking in free spirited fun. It doesn’t have to be that way.
If you started your business without a business plan, chances are there are times that you struggle to make progress, feel overwhelmed and possibly uncertain of how to take things to the next level. You may feel that you work all the time, have no real plan around marketing, sales or delegation and yet struggle to get to the revenue generating activities because you are mired down in detail.
You can plan, and feel open, inspired and in control. Planning really can be expansive and fun if you’re thinking about how you can make the upcoming year better than the one you just had.
Here are some things you can consider when starting to plan for the upcoming year:
Time blocking is when you look at your schedule and plan your business around what works for your life. Take a calendar for the upcoming year, and use that calendar as a road map to take back control of your time and use it the way you originally intended. That is one of the beautiful benefits of being your own boss… Getting the time off you really want!
The essential part of sales planning is looking at where you are at right now, and where you want to go next. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say your business generated $50,000 in sales this year and you want it to do $100,000 next year. You first need to look at the makeup of how you attained $50,000 and determine if you are looking to double those sales OR figure out if there a missing revenue stream. Doubling your business isn’t easy to do, but it is possible. You’ll need to do a lot of digging and know exactly how you are going to reach those goals. You’ll have to know things like how much traffic you’ll need, how many customers you need and how much money each person needs to spend. When you get those specifics, it makes it easier to figure out what it is going to take to make it happen.
Once you identify your sales goals, it’s time to dig into your marketing strategy. This is where you should explore things like content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing and traditional marketing. You’ll also want to look into organic marketing versus paid marketing. If you are going to be putting money into your marketing strategy for the year, you’ll need to decide on a budget before you start, so that you only invest what you and your business can afford.
Yes, this is step one AND it’s also step four. Once you have blocked time in your calendar for your personal and professional life, figured out your sales goals, and your marketing plan, you need to layer activities and themes onto your calendar so you can do the work. Take time to look at the promotions you expect to run each month and consider the preparation time for each promotion. You’ll want to look at how much time you have to do these things, and identify what resources (human and technical) you need to put your plan into action.Planning is critical to your businesses #success. Click To Tweet
When you know EXACTLY what your goals are, and you design a plan to get there, you’ll have a much higher success rate. The steps I’ve outlined are exactly how I’ve built a successful, profitable and scalable business myself.
There’s one more thing you need to do: Create a Stop Doing List Sometimes it’s more important to create a stop doing list, than having a to-do list. We get so caught up in trying to do everything, that we stop focusing on what is the most important thing.
Leave me a comment and let me know: What is 1 goal that you want to achieve in your business this upcoming year?
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.