No matter what time of year it is, if you don’t have a clear and concise written plan for where your business is heading you’re in for a surprise.
Twelve months from now it will end up somewhere, you just won’t know where. In most cases where you find yourself will not be where you hoped you would be. The key word to notice in the previous sentence is ‘hope’ – successful businesses aren’t run on hope.
Why not try on a new perspective and see planning as a way to reduce future frustration and disappointment instead of seeing it as a boring task you are supposed to do.
Stay connected to the positive feelings you want to have about your business. Focus on having a business that is thriving, profitable, fun, and provides value to your clients.
You may have heard this metaphor before but stick with me because it is so powerful in illustrating why written goals, plans, and strategies are critical to the success of your business.
Imagine a trip you have always wanted to take. Think about all the detailed preparation and planning involved in making it happen.
How will you get there (train, bus, boat, fly, walk)? How long will it take you to get there (two hours, three days, one week)? How much money do you need to get there (hundreds, thousands)? How much money will you need when you get there? What tools and equipment do you need to take with you (clothes, maps, books)? What kind of preparations do you need to make (reservations, visa/passport, shots)?
So how does this apply to your business? Think about taking your business on an adventure trip. Where do you want to take it and how will you get it there? It doesn’t have to be complicated and can even fit on one piece of paper. Yes, you must write it down.
Five Simple Questions to Get You Started
1. How much money will your business make over the next twelve months?
2. What will you sell and for what price?
3. How many clients will you need to reach this goal?
4. How will you reach these clients?
5. How much will it cost to make this happen?
You can add more details as you go, begin with this as a framework and then see what other specific information you need to add. Once you have written this down, don’t put it in a drawer or file it away.
Keep it in front of you at all times and track your progress. Review it weekly or bi-weekly, at least monthly. If you see that things have strayed off course, make the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
If you need any more proof that planning is important take a look at the trip you took your business on the prior twelve months. Did you set out for a beach holiday in Mykonos, Greece and end up in Helsinki, Finland during the Winter?
When planning the next journey for your business it is helpful to see where your planning led you in the past in order to become clear about how to get where you want your business to go in the future.
Feeling anxious because you realize your current plan isn’t going to bring you the results you want? Then stop working ‘in’ your business right now and take some time to work ‘on’ your business. Create an adventure for your business that will allow you to celebrate upon arrival. Happy travels.
© Stephanie Ward
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, BLOG, OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this information with it: Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create a meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com.
I’d love to know what you think, share your clever thoughts in the comments section below.