Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to get busy planning your year.
In the early days of growing my business, I read how, in order to create a successful business, I was supposed to create a business plan. I bought books on business planning and at one point even invested in “do it yourself” business planning software but trying to use it made me cry!
Clearly, these books were not written for a woman’s mindset or to appeal to a woman’s creativity.
So I created my own version of a business plan. One that is simple, easy to complete and creates a compelling vision with clear, attainable goals.
And even though my business has grown from a from-scratch start-up to what is now a multi-million dollar enterprise, I still use the same business planning basics I designed years ago.
If planning isn’t something you do easily, then you’ll especially appreciate the tips I’m sharing with you. I think you’ll find they make it easy for you to clarify your vision, to get focused on what matters most and to stretch yourself into reaching new goals.
Create Your “Yes” List
While there is no shortage of opportunities you could say yes to, what’s key is knowing which options are right for growing your business. To solve this, what I do is create a list of 5 or 6 questions that act as a filter (or a screen) for assessing whether an opportunity is worth pursuing.
Here’s how it works: All 5 questions must get a “yes” answer, else I say “no” to the opportunity. For example, one of my “Yes List” questions is:
“Is this opportunity what a $_____ business owner would do?”
(Use whatever your bold business income goal is to fill in the blank.)
Use The “What If” Strategy For Creating Your 1 And 2 Year Goals
The “What if” strategy is where you ask yourself what you want to accomplish, if nothing were holding you back. The point of this is to create goals that cause you to stretch beyond your comfort zone, rather than to play it safe.
For example, last year, one of my goals was to win a major award. And I did, having been honored with a 2011 Stevie for Women Helping Women. If I hadn’t made this a goal, I never would have challenged myself to step into a greater leadership role via our association, the International Association of Women in Business Coaching.
Remember that what you put on your goals list commands your attention so dream big and be specific.
Commit To These Bold Money Goals
Every woman entrepreneur wants a business that pays her handsomely and that generates income without her always having to trade “dollars for hours”.
To get started creating this for yourself, I recommend committing to an overall annual revenue goal as well as your new “monthly minimum” goal.
For example, let’s say you need to generate $6,000 per month to meet all of your expenses. If you make your monthly minimum goal be $8,000 then you’ll always have what you need. And, once you consistently meet that amount you can raise it.
This is what I do each year to keep challenging myself to grow my business from the inside out.
Did You Notice What Is Missing From This Plan?
It’s the “how to”! The reason is, if you let the “how to” drive your decisions, you’ll stay stuck and playing small. I let my vision determine the how-to and it never fails to get me to stretch, to play a much bigger game and to increase my business every year, no matter what the economy!