There is no time like the present! December starts tomorrow and now is a great time to take a step back and look at your business. This is always the time of year when I start thinking of what I want to do with my business in the coming year and beyond. re-asses what I wanted to achieve in the current year and take a good look at what I achieved and what was put to the side. It is this time of year when I organize my big dreams and new ideas that I have been bouncing around in my head and deciding if I want to make them a reality for the following year. My name is Kelly Noble Mirabella and this is Business As Unusual. In today’s show, I will be talking to you about pre-strategy and taking time to focus on what you want out of your business.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Social Media Marketing World 2018. SMMW is THE place to learn about all the latest in social media and digital marketing from the brightest and best minds and influencers. I am thrilled to be attending this amazing conference again in February 2018 and hope to see you there too! Learn more at stellar247.media/smmw18. Okay on to today’s show! Let’s dig in!
It is this last month of the year when I start constructing a plan for achieving my new dreams. Not quite a strategy (yet) but more an overview, a bird’s eye view of what needs to be done.
Now is the perfect time to get organized, prioritize and start a plan. Here are the things I do every December as an entrepreneur:
First and foremost I slow way the hell down! While many businesses are trying to make big moves and close the year strong, I take this time to slow down, reflect and recharge my battery. Historically I have never gained a client in December but come January and February I will see a huge uptick in interested leads. So I don’t stress.
I ask myself if I need to let go of certain clients or contracts. You heard that right. I actually decide if I need to let go of client’s. Often times I have at least one client that can go for various reasons. Even if I LOVE a client, I may see us going in different directions or our styles just don’t mesh as well anymore. Also if I find myself working so hard on one client that others suffer or it hinders achieving my business goals, I know it is time to part ways. You should never be afraid to move forward and say goodbye to clients you have outgrown. This is better for both you and your business as well as your client’s business.
I list out all of my expenses and see if there are things I no longer need or should be cut out completely. You would be surprised how much money I save each year by auditing the services I use. I also will take this time to see if there is anything I can consolidate or a new service that can achieve better results or similar results at a lower price. This year, as an example, I signed up for AppSumo’s Briefcase service. At $49 per month, I was able to actually save over $150 per month in services because of the products that are included. (learn more at https://briefcasehq.com/products/) I can’t say enough about this product! They are always adding new products that would have cost me a fortune to get otherwise!
Write out my goals. What are my big picture and BIG DREAM goals for the next year (or 4). What are the little things that I want to achieve? This is kind of a pre-plan, pre -strategy process. When I am ready to sit down and put together my next year strategy I will have this as a reference. At that point, I will start thinking of what I will need to do in order to achieve these dreams.
These bigger goals can be things like “I want to make more than my husband” (which is an actual goal I had this year and it looks like we are pretty close so come tax season we will know!), or a slightly smaller goal like “I want to get Facebook Blueprint certified”. Your goals are YOURS so think of something that will keep you motivated and reach for the stars!
I will then start to brainstorm ideas on what I will need to do in order to reach my goals. For example, when I said I wanted to meet my husband’s income this year I knew I would need to generate at least 20-30k more revenue for the year. This meant I would need to make an additional $2,500 per month. So I either needed to add a larger packaged client or several smaller clients OR I could also consider raising my prices (something I did this year and plan to do again next year). I basically listed out the ways I can get this done. I also added in additional income sources I could use to bring in revenue. Courses, consulting, teaching etc.
Okay at this point we may be getting a bit more into creating a strategy but I think it is an important step that takes you from big picture to the strategy and business plan for the year…
I then will break it down even more and list all the things I need to do in order to get those additional clients or to create and sell a good course (which is not something I did this year). For me, this included designing free week-long bootcamps (this is a great way to build a network of people who will either become clients or refer business to you). I stepped up my education so I could bring my skills to the next level. This included attending Social Media Marketing World AND purchasing some targeted e-courses like Pat Flynn’s Power Up Podcasting. I also knew I would need to be more visible this year. While I was very visible in the previous year, I knew I would need to continue this plan and keep my name in the forefront. This is also why I took the leap and started this podcast. I needed a way to share my expertise and be of value to a more scalable audience.
It is important you take time each year to focus on YOUR business. It is very easy as an entrepreneur or solopreneur to get so focused on making money and pleasing clients that you don’t look at the bigger picture. You see, when you take a timeout to take care of you and your business you will give yourself a leg up and your income will grow far higher and much faster than if you just keep grinding (or hustling or whatever the buzzword is right now) and not stopping to re-assess the situation, you or goals, and what YOU want in YOUR business.
There is no time like the present to ask yourself what you want in life and in your business, then lay the plans to get it done.
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