I think we can all agree that financial success gives us the freedom to live and work on our terms. It may be time to rethink not just how we work, but why we work. More people are looking to start up their own new business to achieve flexibility in their work. As a business owner, how do you plan for that success?
THE BUSINESS PLAN
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
A business plan is a roadmap for managing a business. The plan will detail the marketing, operating, & financial plan elements for a business going forward.
“IT TAKES AS MUCH ENERGY TO WISH AS IT DOES TO PLAN” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Building a business means setting aside time to plan your growth strategies and revenue goals which can be overwhelming if you have big financial goals for your business in the next 12-months. We know the pandemic has changed the way we do business and we have learnt that we cannot control everything, but the business plan focuses on what’s in our control as we work towards these goals. We can break it down into a few simple and proven strategies you can implement quickly that will help you reach your goals quickly so you can build an infrastructure for success and LOVE your business.
It all starts and ends with being organised. When you feel on top of your game, you switch from being reactive to proactive. Book an appointment with yourself (and any other willing helpers) to declutter your space – your house, your office, your car etc. Physical clutter is mental clutter, trust me, and offloading excess stuff frees up your energy for a new opportunity to present itself. And when you are clutter-free, your downtime will be just that – downtime (not a time for the voice in your head to be spinning what jobs you haven’t done yet).
Ask yourself, why do you (your business) exist? As we move forward out of the pandemic, I believe that brand will become the point of difference. Does your audience know your “why”? Make sure that you not only advertise a product but let customers know how it will change their life.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE?
Have a “Top 3” goal list for the next 12 months (don’t set too many). For example, I want to double my income from $100,000 to $200,000 so I can hire another staff member. Then, share your goals, make them visible then track these weekly. Mark your 12-month calendar with your goals and be super clear on the plan.
Work out your “survival” figure. Know your breakeven but don’t ever settle for it (no-one wants that). Focus on your “Thrivival” figure. List all your revenue streams and work out which are the most profitable and concentrate on growing these streams each month with a non-negotiable audit.
Are you missing vital signs? Too often we spend too much of our money and time on customer awareness and never luring them to the purchase phase. People are naturally curious. How do you move people through the key stages of purchasing? Do you only advertise your products like a brochure effect, or do you often talk about other areas of interest – the human side such as your workspaces, a behind-the-scenes look around, connecting with shout outs to other businesses in your community, and of course talking about your “why” – all good ways to build up connection and trust.
IS IT TIME TO INCREASE YOUR PRICES?
The Number One way to increase revenue without adding additional work is to increase your prices. Spend a morning doing an internal audit of your products and services. Determine how many clients you need to sell to this year to reach your goals. Is it a big number? Will that amount of work leave you totally burnt out? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start charging more. Here are a few things to consider.
SERVICE OR PRODUCT VALUE: What value does your product or service hold for customers? Your prices should reflect the value and ROI your product or service brings.
PRESENTATION: How you present and position yourself is Everything. Looks are Everything. Do you stand out? Make sure your brand is presented in a way that looks as valuable as it is.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Often the customers you already have are your best future customers. Do you take care of them and make them feel valued after the purchase? Will their experience make them want to buy again? Will they tell others about you? Each step of the cycle needs to be fully planned so you are creating a culture of ongoing customer support and loyalty.
INVEST IN EDUCATION: If you want to increase revenue, you should continually be learning and developing new skills. Identify these areas in your business that you wish you knew more about or could potentially complement your current offering and provide further ongoing support.
INVEST IN SUPPORT/OUTSOURCING: If growth is in your future, you will need to add to your team, so you are ready when it happens. Start thinking next level as this will allow you to grow faster, become more efficient and manage growth in the coming year.
GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS: Spend some time each week scrolling your social media followers and get to know them. If you have a large number of followers who aren’t customers, then evaluate what you might be leaving on the table like a new product or service. They are certainly interested in what you do but perhaps you haven’t allowed them the opportunity to convert yet. Never underestimate the power of listening to what your audiences are asking for. Increasing your revenue means trying new things, taking some risks, and learning more than you knew before.
Prioritise your “to do” list each day and always tick off your Most Important Tasks first, including the ones that make you the most uncomfortable. Then the rest of the day will get a whole lot easier. Kick procrastination to the kerb, establish good routines and create a path to your next level.
“ATTITUDE IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ORDEAL AND AN ADVENTURE”