Planning is incredibly important to staying organized in business. One of the difficulties I faced in the early stages of my own business was finding the time for overall planning to take place. I LOVED launching products, programs and serving clients, but the administrative tasks kept me up at night! When I figured out the missing piece was planning… everything began to shift. I suddenly felt like I had a better idea of my overall business and where I was going with it. Big Picture planning is recommended annually. It’s a great practice to hold a planning and review day at least quarterly. Here are some areas where adequate planning really pays off for your business.
The truth is – if you want more sanity in your business, more control over your time, more flexibility in your schedule, and to obtain reliable support and assistance from others to whom you can delegate your administrative tasks, you MUST lay out your strategy, align your goals and then create an implementation plan for every part of your business…
For years, I was so tired of working so hard (by myself, chained to my computer) without realizing the financial results, that I did something about it! I started planning.
NO successful business has ever thrived without a master plan, goals and regular adjustments.
7 Plans You Need For Self-Employment Success
For you to successfully run a business (and even more so if your home includes managing the details of others) you must have a master plan.
Begin with a review
To determine what your focus should be for the coming year (or month or quarter) review all your recent business analytics. Items that are important to reference from last year may include profit and loss, overall income, expenses, mileage, analytics, revenue, costs, clients, marketing and advertising costs and a deep review of the time spent taking care of business. A thorough review will help you focus and crystallize your planning efforts. You’ll know where you need to focus based on the analytics you review.
Identify Your Current Gaps
When you set out to complete your annual planning cycle, start with a look backward. Generate a list of the tasks you left undone, incomplete and unfinished, eliminate what you don’t need to do, and then you’ll have the clarity to set up next steps and plan for what you will do next year.
Set Goals To Focus Your Planning Strategies
If you’ve never set goals before for your business, remember that the best goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-based.) To easily determine your goals base them on reality. Where you are right now? Then set reasonable targets that will incrementally move you forward. If you want to get fancy – think of your business as a corporation with annual broken down into quarterly targets.
Planning for personal time, care & development
Often entrepreneurs work too hard and many long hours. To help you avoid burnout any thorough planning session should include time for personal care and development. Identify your personal self-care strategies, family time, holidays, special days, celebrations, birthdays and vacations. Planning around this crucial area of self-care and personal time is critical for mompreneurs. Another way to think about planning is in cycles. Consider a rolling 6-week window when planning to get your calendar ready. And, always put personal and family commitments in first so you can determine what discretionary time is left for business.
Editorial/Publishing Calendar and Social Media
This one area has the potential to consume every minute of every day if you’re not careful. I use templates to not only plan out all my social media activities, but I also work in 6-week tracks to manage my blog posts & newsletter content. It helps me to use a BIG paper calendar and colored pens to lay everything out in one space so I can see it all at a glance.
Networking, partnering, & public speaking
Another plan to put in place is one around the time you spend networking. You will be greatly aided if you identify who will you work with, partner with and align with to help you play a bigger game in your business. For entrepreneurs, your network is KEY to your success. Who will you work with to ensure your audience is well-served?
Marketing & Client Care
Your marketing plan includes every touchpoint you create to connect to both your potential clients. As well, be sure to include how you will not just attract new clients but how you’ll nurture and serve the clients you already have. What will help you honor and nurture your existing clients and keep them happy and engaged with you? What types of programs will you institute to attract new clients into your pipeline? Identify and create strategies such as referral and evergreen programs, and client loyalty offers to nurture your clients and keep them coming back next year!
Your business will be greatly aided if you create a plan for success in each of these areas above. If you need assistance in planning, my Planapaloozah Workshop can help you! It is a self-paced workshop that has modules for each of these areas. You’ll get tools, workbooks and the templates you need to create your successful master plan!
Your Sanity Assignment
Identify which area you need to focus most on in your business planning efforts today. Please share your planning hurdles and thoughts with us below in the comments. We love collaborating and learning from each other!