Written by: Two Girls and a Laptop
We’ve had an influx of clients go through our ‘Business Planning & Strategy Intensive’ session of late so we’ve been in the thick of guiding clients with their business goals and strategy – and well, its been awesome.
The light bulb moments, bringing the goals to life and paving those clear next steps – all of these things help reduce our clients feeling of overwhelm, and that’s why we enjoy what we do.
So if you are a little stuck on where to start with your own business plan we have some tips…
Firstly, before you set qualitative goals or look at the numbers before you do anything – we recommend you start with your why. That is, why you started the business in the first place. There must have been a bit of a fire in your belly to get you excited and motivated to pursue your business idea! Define it and remind yourself about what excited you?
Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing might sound simple but we’ve met many business owners who are struggling and spinning their wheels because their business has turned into something they aren’t happy with – and often they have stepped away from the core reason they started in the first place. No doubt there are times where you’ll wonder if you’re cut out for it, have you made a huge mistake or perhaps you’d make more money if you quit and went back to a paid job.
But if you are clear on your why, and you understand your motivation, you are pursuing your passions and chasing what makes you truly happy – knowing and owning this will get you through those moments of doubt. This is so important when you are in the growth phase and having to reinvest all your profits and are unable to draw a wage.
So what else do we recommend?
When planning and strategising, set the time aside, turn off all technology, work offsite if it’s possible and be disciplined. Don’t attempt planning when you’re super-stressed and busy. At the end of last year, we took an entire day out to set our financial, sales and marketing plans for 2019. We sat in a park by the water with our food and drink supplies and mapped it all out on butchers paper. We worked off a template we’ve created and set a timer to complete each section so we could walk away at the end of the day with the outline of a plan. We are most productive at the start of the day and tend to lose concentration when we get tired and hungry so we do the most challenging work early in the day.
Start with the overall goals before you jump into marketing.
Understanding your overall ‘business objectives’ is going to make all your other tasks easier and clearer. Just like having a content plan makes scheduling your social media content easier, having a completed business and financial plan makes the execution of all the other moving parts of your business (i.e.; sales, marketing, product, customer service etc.) easier as you’re going to be working against a road map.
Set your intentions.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. We suggest to our clients that they start with a realistic financial number for the year and work back from there in terms of what that will look like as a sales forecast etc. Be realistic about the number and brutally honest with yourself about the number of hours you will need to work in the business each day, week, month to deliver it.