We are flying towards the new year and it is this time of year that I start to plan the next. I’m a massive fan of having a fully work-type plan in my business to achieve my goals. Because I know without that focus that planning gives, that I am unlikely to hit any goal in the next year. For me, not having goals and a plan to achieve them, is like getting in a car and not knowing where you’re supposed to be going. Driving around with no directions or satnav, and somehow hoping that you end up in the correct place for the party you’ve been invited to. That will never happen. So today I want to share with you my planning process and hopefully that will help you focus on yours too.
First of all, when planning out a full year, I examine how the year, just gone, has been. What went well, what didn’t go well? What did I enjoy, what did I not enjoy? That helps me figure out what I want to do more of, what I want to stop doing and the things I might want to introduce.
I also keep in mind the word “simplify” during this process. It is too easy to think that to achieve our goals we need a tonne of programmes and services or to overcomplicate our offerings. So keeping things simple is usually the way that preserves our sanity.
Having written down everything in those buckets, what went well, what did I enjoy, what didn’t go well and what didn’t I enjoy? I now think about how my services and products align with those buckets. This now gives me a basis for what I should continue with next year and what I should not.
This stuff I want to continue with after this then needs another question asked however. To really make sure it’s the right decision, we need to ask for whether it’s a service, a programme, implementation. Whatever that is, we need to say, “Is this thing profitable for our business?” If the answer is no, then it will usually have to go as well. We can’t keep running a programme or service that is not being run profitably. We are a business and we need to make sure that all our offerings are still profitable to us.
Next, now I have a broad idea of what the year is going to look like, we want to narrow down more. So first off, I want to say, what is it that we want to promote and launch, and when? And we get that pencilled into the diary. We start putting dates around it. What we are going to promote, when we’re going to launch things, what that looks like?
When we know our promo periods, then we can do an estimate of our sales and when we’re going to be bringing new people into our services and programmes. Therefore, begin to plan out our revenue and what that will look like in the next year. And with that, we can also start layering in our costs as well. So what are we spending on ads? When do we need to add new team members, all those kinds of things. So getting some numbers around that plan.
Now we have an outline of what the next year will look like, we can then start saying, okay, what activities need to happen on an ongoing basis to support this revenue and this promo, launch, plans, et cetera for the next year? So do we need to be doing certain activities between promos to ensure results, for example. What does that look like? And who in the team is going to be responsible for doing that? Who needs to be held accountable and what all their matrix be? And, what are the businesses overall target and matrix for each month? So mapping that all out.
So now we have our targets and the activities that need to happen. What is everyone’s 40 hours a week look like in terms of activity? What am I and my team doing each and every time block in every day? We need to map that out on the calendar for the next quarter, actually putting that in the diary. Okay, on Monday at this time, I’m doing this. On Tuesdays at this time, I’m doing this, and actually getting it worked out.
Now, of course, no plan ever survives battle. So this document is not something that is done in Q4 and then forgotten about for the entire rest of the next year. It evolves and grows as the business does. As we are examining the data each month, the plan does and can change, but we need to start by planning it out fully so we can understand what our daily activities will be and we can align those to the bigger strategy.
So I hope that this episode has been useful in giving you some things to think about in relation to goals, projects, and plans. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time, let’s find the clarity in your numbers, increase your wealth and get more money in your pockets.