Having your business plan in place ready for the coming year is possibly the most important thing you can do with the month of November. So I’m going to share the crucial parts that I think should make up your business plan, so that you can achieve what you want in the coming year.
Here’s where most people leave the page though, as the ‘traditional door-stopper’ Business Plan requires a few days to research, put together and format. And most people wanting set up on their own don’t really see the point in something like that.
Luckily there is a much easier way. It’s what I call my 7-Step Business Plan, suitable for all self-employed, would-be self-employed, and small business owners. If you are reading this and are inspired to become a part-time or full-time blogger, making your money online, then you also need this business plan.
Sophie’s 7-Step Business Plan For A Highly Successful 2016:
Step One: Know Which Type Of Business Plan You Are Putting Together.
This is a pretty obvious simple step, if you are completely new then you will need to pay attention to some parts more than others of this business plan. It should be obvious as I go through each step.
2 Types Of Plan:
- New Business Idea – here you may want to start with your current situation and how you plan to transition over, or when your start date will be.
- Existing Business Growth – you will want to start with a review of your previous year. How is went, what your growth was like. What needs improving on etc.
Step Two: Start With Your Life Goals.
This is always the place to start. You should never separate your life and business, after all it’s one that will provide the other. So take some time, sit down and write out 5 life goals that you really want to achieve in the next couple of years.
Then write the one ‘must have’ goal for the next 12 months. This is the one you will focus on now.
What will it take for you to get there? Write out your answer to this on your paper or note-book.
Interested in finding out how to live anywhere and make money online doing what you love? Read my more in this article.
Step Three: Let’s Look At Your Finances.
The next step is to work on the finances. Another favourite area for most people! OK, so we are starting with the very basics though, just enough to give you some clarity and structure.
As a newbie these questions will be most important, but can also apply if you’re not yet making a living from your business.
How are you planning on funding this?
- With some kind of existing income?
- Perhaps a part time job?
- Maybe you have savings that you want to use while you set up.
- Or you have some borrowed capitol to use as you build things up.
Whatever it is, you need to know how long you can survive before you need to make a full-time living from your business. So know your expenses, and consider down-sizing things while you are in this growth and building phase.
Let’s therefore set some simple financial targets for your business plan:
Write out what you want to earn from your business venture, add in some business expenses and then determine your turnover goal.
- Needed salary: $2,500
- Business expenses: $500
- Cash for extras: $1000
- Turnover Goal: $4,000
This will give you the base-line to aim for. The next steps are about how what and how you will achieve this.
Step Four: Your Business:
Here are the 7 central areas (yes I love the number 7…) that I look at when constructing a simple business plan:
- Your market – what market are you in? And even what sub-market (example: Health Market – or Vegan Diet, which would be a sub market of Health).
- Your niche/USP – what do you do specifically for this market. What makes you different, your USP if you like. (Unique selling point).
- Your ICA – who do you work with specifically and what is your Ideal Client Avatar?
- Your products and services – what do you offer and do you have a pricing structure from low to high-ticket?
- Your competitors – understanding who else is in your market is crucial, and deciding how you can distinguish yourself is vital.
- Your keywords – these are the phrases that your potential audience types into Google to find you.
- Your business model – how do you want to run your business? Online, offline, work 1-2-1 or with groups, develop your own products, or sell other people’s etc.
These 7 items need fully researching and developing in each area as you move forwards. If you are growing an existing business, you’ll want to start focussing in here.
Step Five: Big Picture Planning:
Now let’s put some other basics in place. I love to divide my year into quarters and I find this is a really simple way to look at things. I also do this first by drawing it out on a large sheet of paper, with coloured pens. Then transferring to a spreadsheet.
- Divide your annual target into quarters.
- If you prefer working in months then do that.
- Scribble Planner (A1 sheet of paper) in 4 squares (or 12 months).
Ask yourself what’s important in each quarter?
- Income goal.
- Selling what?
- How many do you need to sell?
- What will the main focus be?
- Do you have, or would you like team?
- Any events you have planned.
- Other milestones.
What you are visually plotting out is your key grow points, as well as who might help you and how you will grow your products and services.
You can then see if there is just too much going on in any quarter – be realistic here too.
Step Six: Sales & Marketing:
Once you have all this done, you’ll need a comprehensive list of marketing activity to make all this happen. Planning out what you want is only the start really, now comes the real work to make this a profitable reality.
- List out what marketing activity you plan to undertake.
- When will this get done (deadlines)?
- By whom?
- How will you track your results?
Of course if this is all new to you, knowing what to write in here might be a challenge, so look out for some Marketing & Sales Blogs with more detail coming your way.
Step Seven: Massive Action:
As we all know, nothing will happen if you sit still and don’t take any action. So I really like the idea of Massive Daily Action – and by this I mean doing things outside your comfort zone…as this is where the growth really happens.
These are some areas to work on as you take action on your dreams:
- Daily discipline
- Productivity versus procrastination.
- Outsourcing as much as you can as early on as you can.
- Having a Timetable to keep you focussed.
Read my 5 Life Hacks To Get More Done here.
Now I know this is only the start but I hope it’s enough to help you get started with your Business Plan for next year. I find that November is the best month to do this, as by December you can be busy and distracted with other things!
If you need help with getting this done, don’t hesitate to get in touch.