Do you have a business plan?
And I’m not talking about the 20+ page document that we throw together because someone says we need one.
I’m talking about planning for your business: developing a strategy to keep you focused, motivated, and balanced amongst your multiple priorities.
At the start of any new year, we become surrounded by people talking about their resolutions and goals for the year ahead.
But in order to achieve the things that we say we want, a dream is not enough!
We need to also understand all the tasks that make up our goals, dependencies on other people or resources, and how we’ll manage it all.
That’s when a business plan becomes necessary.
ready to create your business plan?
Today I’ll be walking you through the process I follow to plan out the full year for my business. There are a ton of tools and methods out there. Ultimately, you just need to find the one which works best for you, and that you’re willing to stick with!
step 1: identify your goals for the year ahead
The first step in your business plan is to choose up to three goals that you wish to achieve by the end of the year and to be clear about why those goals are important to you.
Keep the goals high level to start with. For example, my goal for 2022 is to double the salary that I pay myself from my business and to no longer rely on my savings.
This has actually been a goal of mine for the past few years. I continue to get closer to a “proper salary” but I’m not quite there yet.
I know that many of you can relate to this struggle!
To hit this goal in 2022, my business plan needs to support it.
step 2: break down the components of your goal
Once you identify your main goal(s) for the year ahead, you’ll want to think through the components that make up that goal.
Keeping my goal as an example, for me to double my salary this year, my business needs to increase it’s revenues by a certain amount of money. And to increase my revenues, I either need to attract more clients or charge higher prices. Knowing that my prices are fair for my services, my focus is on attracting more clients.
Through a series of components which include:
- developing our marketing plan, which includes what topics to feature in my blogs, email marketing and social media and how to use ads;
- keeping our client pipeline full, and having a strategy for outreach, follow ups and sales;
- creating and nurturing partnerships to help increase our visibility and reach.
step 3: the nitty gritty of your business plan
Each of the components that I list above require an additional level of detail – the individual tasks that must be completed.
Let me start with the first one – developing my content plan.
For me to complete a content plan, I need to:
- decide which services I want to sell this year;
- pull up a calendar to see what other obligations and commitments already exist;
- decide when in the year I would highlight each service, so I don’t become overwhelmed by doing too much at once, and so that my messages remain clear to my audience;
- brainstorm topic themes to support each service (i.e. strategy, storytelling, money, etc.);
- create a high-level content plan for the year;
- communicate this plan with my team, so they also know what they’re working towards;
- develop a more detailed, weekly plan for each month with specific blogs, articles, and resources to create, curate and share.
I then would repeat this process for each of the components that I listed out in step 2.
step 4: execute
You do not need to complete all of these tasks on your business plan right at the start of the year!
But by identifying them all in advance, you can start to see the work that you need to do and understand the interdependencies between your time, your resources and your actions.
Having a business plan for the year ahead will help you understand what tasks you need to prioritise, and when.
Then you just need to get to work!
over to you
Do you need help developing your 2022 business plan? Sign up for my FREE Workshop: Business Master Plan – a workshop designed to help you get strategic and take action in 2022.