Are you starting to think about how to take this new decade by storm? The start of a new year is a refreshing season. We all go in with big dreams and even bigger expectations that THIS is the year that our businesses are going to totally kick-off. But how do you actually make that happen?
We all know that new years resolutions aren't the most effective when it comes to actually hitting our targets and building our dream lives and businesses. Instead of setting a resolution or two at the beginning of the year, here are a few key areas that you NEED to be looking at in your business so you can create an effective and results-driven action plan before December 31st at 11:59pm.
If you sit more on the #StrategyRules side of the fence, bear with me. Before moving forward with building any plan, it's critical to look back at the last year and seriously look inward. Ask yourself:
- What did I feel was a success for my business or myself?
- What did I want to achieve but didn't? What held me back from doing that?
- Where am I not performing or showing up as my best?
- What am I and my team doing really well?
- What did I really enjoy doing and what do I not want to do again?
- What do I need to do differently?
These questions really force you to look at how you and your team are performing in your business, and what could be holding you back from pushing to that next level. Awareness is the first step to being able to deal with and work on those limiting beliefs.
It's time to kindly say to your limiting beliefs: “Thanks for having my back and trying to protect me, but I'm going to tackle 2020 on my own.”
Your numbers don't lie. They just are. Take the time to go over the PROOF of what's been working in your business and what hasn't been. While you should totally review your analytics more than once a year (try more like monthly and quarterly), they're great to review before you jump into building your money & marketing plans.
Things to look at:
- What products or services brought you in the most money
- What campaigns worked well / what emails had the highest conversion rate
- What platforms lead to the highest sales or brand awareness reach
- What content performed the best in terms of engagement, reach & conversion
Time to talk money, honey.
Okay, we've reviewed and reflected… Now, let's plan! There are two aspects when jumping into your money plan: Your Budget and Your Sales.
Having a budget is a great way to stay on top of where your money is GOING. It tells you what you need to bring in monthly to break even, and it also forces you to look at all of the moving parts of your business.
Once you have your budget and you know your breakeven point, you know the MINIMUM that you need to be bringing in in cash every month. So go through, month by month:
- what products and services you're selling
- what price point you're selling them at
- how many you need to sell to hit your goals
Time to get creative! When it comes to building your marketing plan, there are two areas that you want to focus your attention:
- Your consistent content
- Your campaigns
Your consistent content is the stuff that you're putting out there regularly to hit your goals: growing your brand awareness, positioning yourself as a pro, being visible. You want to keep this simple, especially if you're a solopreneur that seriously doesn't have the time to pump out a bunch of new material. That means: REPURPOSE content for various platforms and mediums and SCHEDULE ahead of time.
Your campaigns are a totally different story. While your consistent content is there to feed into your main “slow-boiling” goals, your campaigns are designed to sell. The first thing you want to do is be clear on what your GOAL is for that month or quarter. Then, build your campaigns around that. Selling a high ticket coaching program? Launching your course? Know what's happening so you can build your content around it for the best results.
Hellooooo systems! I'm a GIANT nerd for Asana and a huge advocate for working smarter, not harder. Nearly everything in your business can be automated, but it's important to build out a plan and be intentional with the systems you're bringing in.
Step 1 to building a systems plan: get a pen and paper (yes, real, physical ones) and map out ALL of the moving parts of your business. Services. Content. Admin tasks. Clients. All of it.
Step 2? Map out your workflows. Once you have a workflow for a specific task mapped out, you can then look at it and ask yourself:
- Does this add value to my life?
- Does this add value to my business?
- Does this add value to my client/customer?
If you are getting 2/3 no's: get rid of it. If you're getting a no for one of them, figure out how to automate or delegate it.
After you do this 5-step planning process once, you'll have already built the systems to do it again. You'll already have the spreadsheets to track your numbers or to create your sales plan. You'll already have apps and systems working for you.
And the best part? You know you're going into the new year with a solid plan, backed by effective reflection and educated decisions, ready to totally kick ass. You've got this, girl.
Sarah Williams is the owner of Rebel Office, an online resource and community platform for ambitious, female entrepreneurs embracing the laptop lifestyle and using their businesses as a platform to design their dream life. rebeloffice.ca