So, you own a business and you have some goals that you think will make the mark, but it feels like something is missing? Well, you’re probably right. Planning can feel complex and time consuming, however, what if I told you I can make it so simple that you will want to do it and dare I say actually call it enjoyable. Would you say yes? We will go with that... So, here is your new path to business planning made simple. Here we walk through the step-by-step process of creating a strategic plan so that you can ditch the overwhelm and start taking large strides to those big business dreams.
First, why do people have a hard time planning for their business?
Well number one it takes time. There is never enough of it to go around and when you are focusing on planning it can feel heavy. If this is you learn how to reclaim your time here my friend!
A lot of people have a hard time knowing where to start. When they do start, they usually create goals and stay within their typical box of what’s achievable.
Or worse, they create goals and never achieve them....pssst: here is a blog on why and what to do about it if that is you!
Plus, planning takes sorting through all the b.s. and knowing what to invest your time and energy in. Let alone holding your own feet to the fire when it is crunch time.
A lot of business owners have no one to be accountable to, other than their customers.
So, let’s start there, being accountable to yourself.
In order to feel compelled to get to the mark, you need a reason to get there. The easiest way is to focus on you and what makes you excited.
There are two things you need to do in creating a vision for your business. The first is focusing on you and then your biz.
So, ask yourself this question:
In three years what do you want your personal life to look like?
For me, I wanted flexibility. The flexibility to work where I wanted, when I wanted. For some it may be, that you always want Friday off, you want to be making six figures, or maybe you want to just be making enough money to support those vacations that you wanna take twice a year.
Whatever your reason, make it a good one, because it needs to drive your work decisions. What is it that would bring you the most enjoyment and joy in your life three years down the line?
When you do this, you realign with your personal goals. When you realign, you get grounded in your life goals and you can truly create an intentional business.
Now , write down your business vision and what it would need to do in order to meet your optimum life path.
How do you set your business up for abundance? You may feel that these two are not connected, but because you are in both words, so you have to find the common ground. Figure out how they rely on one another and what the dependencies are.
Perform this Exercise:
Write down in three years:
- how much you are working
- what your business is selling (one or more facets of your business?)
- How many employees do you have?
- What markets are you selling in?
- What does your customer experience look like and who are you marketing to?
All of these things need to layer back to your overall personal goal. You need to set up your business so that it provides you with the abundance and overall enjoyment that makes running a business worth it.
Once you feel good about identifying what would make your life optimally enjoyable in three years and then decide what would your business structure need to look like to get there you can start to plan.
- Where do you want to go?
- Where are you now?
- What is going to get in your way?
Seems easy enough right….
You already know what your personal vision is in three years’ time, you just did the work to identify what it would take to make that happen in your business on a high level.
Where you want to go.
Take that high-level idea and start to map out your goals. If your personal goal was to make six figures then map out what goals you need to hit to get there: Maybe that means you need to it is launching a new service, a product line and increasing your marketing activities.
Once you have created those high-level goals make them SMART GOALS. Put deadlines on them and make them more tangible by getting more specific.
Milestones are the markers along the way that you get to celebrate your process! Yay~
Start at your finish line as if you have already achieved the goal. Doesn’t that feel nice!
Now back out your goal and create your mile markers along the way. If your goal is to launch a new service then your backed-out strategy would be:
- Create Service Offering
- Identify Marketing Strategy
- Create Marketing Copy
- Create Service Offering Sales Page
- Market Service
- Launch Service
Then add a timeline to each milestone.
When ya gonna get it done? You can break it down further if that suits your fancy, or just identify the smaller tactics that you need to do weekly to make your milestones easily achievable. Each day plan to manage your time in a way that ladders up to the bigger picture.
Where are you Now?
Now you need to determine where you are now, establishing your starting point.
Of course, you need to know your business’s values and your mission. But, what you really wanna focus on is where you are now in comparison to your goals in each area of your business.
Now take these big ideas and define what each section of your business would look like for this to come true:
- Customer Experience
- Product / Service Offerings
Think of this like a blueprint for your house, design the way it would look so that you have a description of what it should look like in the future.
What resources do you currently have to help you along the way? Maybe it is delegating some of this current state work to an employee. Maybe you have a graphic designer in the family that can help you with marketing. Determine what resources you can leverage that will make getting to that goal easier.
What will get in your way?
Every company, big or small has things that will get in their way, even if it is themselves. Be aware of your mindset traps and how that can hinder your progress. Make sure you keep an optimal entrepreneurial mindset for success.
Start by asking yourself, what obstacles you already are facing in your business. We all have competition. Think about your growth, communication, finances, time etc. Determine your greatest barriers to success.
Next ask yourself if you have the right structure in place to support your growth. Do your current processes give you max efficiency? Are you automating as much as you can, is there room to document your processes so that you can recruit a VA or independent contractor when necessary?
Get clear on how you can make your business run more smoothly now and you will thank yourself later.
You know yourself well enough to understand what habits will prevent you from getting there. By looking at your goals and the span of time it will take to achieve them you can probably pin point a couple of potential problems. What are those?
One of the easiest ways to combat your bad habits is to supplement the good ones. Find a habit that is working FOR you and see if you can add onto it.
What’s the one habit that you can create that will make all the difference in the world?
“Increase the outputs that matter”-Brendan Burchard
Focus on the creating “prolific quality output,” meaning create unique content that is 100% relevant in your industry.
That may mean you need to focus on the more qualified prospective clients. Maybe your focus is on creating a greater set of graphics for your client. Whatever your industry and your business, focus on increasing the outputs that get you to your goals. Put those first.
Planning is the single most impactful activity a business can perform to help them grow and achieve their goals, but yet it is pushed off the most.
Goals can be intimidating. However, once you put these things on paper and get really clear on what you want for your life and your business, things get easier, much more quickly.
My best advice is to take a birds eye view before creating your goals. As long as you have all your foundational elements in check and a solid brand message that relates to your customer, all these strategic activities are achievable.
Of course, some people struggle with accountability. They like to have someone ensuring that they are on track and getting things done. That's where I come in. If you are wanting all of the above, with accountability and direction I would love to chat.
My name is Kristine and I am a business consultant & coach that helps entrepreneurs build confidence and clarity so they can create epic strategic plans for growth.
Click here for a no pressure, high vibe chat where we can talk through where things aren't feeling just right in your business planning and how we can get you to a place of freedom and joy.