How to plan for your business
If you read my last post you’ll know I’m a bit of a planning fanatic, I LOVE spending time planning and getting organised especially when it comes to things I’d like to achieve.
Where you can adopt more of a fly by the seat of your pants style approach with your life, if you’re running a business it just makes sense to have some kind of plan to give you direction and to make sure you’re going to make money!
In this post I’m going to share some ideas and a video training (which includes a bit of a behind the scenes chat about what I’ve been doing in my business) about how to plan for your business this year. Whether you’re already running a business or just thinking about it I hope this post will be helpful.
How are you going to make money?
I could have started with something more fluffy like your mission and values but ultimately if your business isn’t making money it’s not a business. Starting off with some ideas for how you’re actually going to make money is key. That might be offering coaching services, a product, an online course, a book, working as an affiliate etc. It might even be a combination of all of those things! Just getting those ideas down is the first place to start. Then refining those ideas into specific offers and flesh them out. See my video for my example of this.
Note – if you’re already running a business make sure you take a look at what worked and what didn’t work well for you last year and why. Not only in financial terms but also think about your levels of enjoyment – if we’re going to be running our own businesses we might as well make sure it’s going to be fun!
Note 2 – If you’re just setting up your business rather than income streams at this stage it might be about having some projects like getting your website up and running, market research etc.
Something that has taken me many, many years to learn is how to not try and do to many things at once – although I still struggle with this! The penny really dropped for me when I was taught the bridge analogy and 90 planning system by Amber McClue. You might have a lot of ideas for generating income but if you try and do them all at once you’re splitting your energy and resources. Try and decide which income generation area is the path of least resistance and that will generate the most income. That will be the first thing you should work on. When that is up and running then you could focus on something else. If you like, you can then spend some time mapping out projects across the year, I like to do this in quarterly chunks. Again, see the video below for an explanation of this.
The How To
By this stage you should have an idea of what you will be doing to generate income (or move your business forward) as well as a rough outline of when you’re going to make these things happen and in what order.
From here you could write each income / project area in the middle of a page and just mind map out all the steps you can think that you’ll need to do to make it happen. You can also add all the ways you can think of to market it. Do that for each income stream / project then take all the steps and marketing ideas and form them into an action plan.
Finally, you can also approach things by simply journalling out under set headings, for example customer service, admin, financial management, marketing, social media etc
If you like, after those nitty gritty steps you could spend some time reviewing / coming up with a mission statement for your business, reviewing / coming up with an ideal client profile and then making sure that everything you’ve planned so far makes sense within those. If not go back and tweak.
Run the numbers
At this final stage it can be really useful to go back to those income stream ideas and run the numbers. If your goal is a £3k month and you charge £300 a month on a 3 month programme that means you’ll need to hit 10 clients every 3 months (or 3-4 clients a month). This can just help you get a better sense of what you need to do to cover your expenses and reach your income goals.
The reason I personally start with the income generation ideas is that most people will start with things like mission statements etc and just get stuck or procrastinate. And as I said, a business ultimately has to make money if it’s going to enable you to do your work in the world. No harm in starting there right?
Here’s a video training I made that goes through this process with a little more explanation and examples:
I’d love to know if this has been helpful to you, leave me a comment! Have you planned for your business in this year or are you hoping to start your own business?