Yay! So you’ve got big business plans for this new year…

But where in the heck do you start and how can you stay committed to making the impact and the money you want in this New Year?

Not exciting, and not always pleasant or fun, but you’re about to take the most important step in experiencing the life and business you want by planning for it.

You can download the free Business Planning Blueprint or keep reading for a quick overview of the 6 steps. 

Following these 6 steps will help you create an actionable blueprint that results in rewards, BIG rewards. Like beyond your wildest dreams kind of rewards. Because when you plan, you give yourself a roadmap and set yourself up to succeed!

But I need you to know something before we dive in. This will not be quick or easy. In fact, most business owners skip planning even though they know having a plan is crucial to making the money and living the life they want. Because it takes time, effort and creative energy.

Taking these 6 steps is worth it! By evaluating your current situation, getting 100% clear about your vision, and mapping out a totally doable action plan, you’ll stay committed to reaching (and even exceeding) your biggest goals.

So, let’s do this! 

Step #1: Evaluate Your Current Situation

Are you making the money you need or want? Are you reaching the clients you want to work with? Are you developing systems and processes to streamline your time and effort? Getting clear about where you are can help you understand what needs to change so you can make the impact and money you want in want the future.

How to evaluate your current situation:
  • Get clear on your current business expenses
  • Revisit service and/or product offerings to determine profitability and demand 
  • Describe the clients you are currently working with

If you aren’t making the money you want to or you aren’t getting the flow of clients you’d like, this step may make you uncomfortable. Embrace that feeling because in order to change anything, you have to first be willing to “see” what’s really going on. Try not to judge yourself. Rather, be an objective observer and focus on the bigger picture, so you figure out what needs to change to make the impact and money you want.  

Step #2: Celebrate Your Wins 

Did you make more or serve more clients this past year? Did you develop new partnerships that helped drive your business? Did you learn something new that shifted how you do business?

It may seem counterintuitive to reflect on the past to plan your future. But, if you don’t take time to reflect on what worked in the past, you may be led down a path of reinventing the wheel instead of building on what already works.

As business owners, we tend to forget to notice our wins or celebrate what went right. Take some time to reflect and acknowledge where you excelled and succeeded. 

How to reflect on your wins:

Take just a few minutes to reflect on this past year…

  • What worked really well? 
  • What did you love doing? 
  • What did you learn or accomplish this past year that surprised you?

You may find that you enjoyed doing something that fell outside of your typical “scope of work.” Or, you may have discovered that you honed a new skill or talent. Or, you may just be proud of yourself for making it through an incredibly challenging year. Whatever it was that worked well for you, take note of it and celebrate those wins.

Step #3: Clarify Your Future Vision

What do you really want to experience by the end of this new year? What will you be doing at the end of this new year that was just a dream or an idea at the start of the year?

It’s time to clarify your vision for your life and your business. You’ll want to really dive deep, without distractions, and let yourself be carried away by possibilities. Allow yourself to dream big and explore what’s really meaningful to you.

How to clarify your vision: 

Ask yourself the following questions

  • What do I want to achieve in the next year?
  • Why are these goals important to me?
  • What does reaching these goals look like? Paint a picture of success.

There are several key questions in this free Business Planning Blueprint to help you get clear about what you really want. This is a critical step because you don’t want to find yourself chasing other people’s dreams. 

Have fun and let yourself go wild as you clarify your vision. This is your life and your business. You get to call the shots. And you have the power and the ability to experience exactly what you want.

Step #4: Map Out Your New Offer

Inevitably, once you set a clear vision for your future, a wave of new ideas come rushing in! With that wave, you may feel a rush of excitement or you may experience a bit of anxiety or overwhelm. Either is perfectly natural and to be expected when something new begins developing and taking shape in your mind.

Although you’ll be tempted, don’t skip these important steps if a new service or product idea comes rushing in. Take your time and explore this new idea before you spend time or money

How to map out a new offer:
  • Determine if this new service or product is needed or wanted (aka people will pay for it) by asking a specific audience 
  • Evaluate the costs to create it
  • Get clear about what it will take to create and sell it.

The best way to predict success of a new product or service is to validate the demand and profitability of it first.

If a new idea didn’t take shape for you, don’t worry. As a creative, you can use the steps above when a new idea strikes in the future. Because we both know you’re full of great ideas!

Step #5: Project Your Future Success

Now that you know your current situation and have a clear vision for the future, it’s time to create a realistic financial picture of how you’ll make the revenue and impact you want.  

How to plan to reach your revenue goals:
  • Fine tune your current offerings
    • Can you charge more by adding more value?
    • Can you streamline processes to save time?
  • Project your business expenses 
    • Can you cut unnecessary subscriptions?
    • Are there less expensive options for automation or marketing software?
    • What costs need to be added for new service or product offering?
  • Estimate potential revenue
    • How many service packages or products will you need to sell per month to reach revenue goals?
    • Are there additional ways you can generate revenue outside of trading more of your time?
    • Can you offer a new service or product at specific times throughout the year to bring in more revenue?

In the free Business Planning Blueprint, you’ll also define how and where to sell your offers and create a business budget that includes marketing spend.

Step #6: Your Kickass Action Plan

Once you’ve mapped out your offerings, revenue and business budget, it’s time to create a kickass action plan so you stay committed and on track!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret first…

You do NOT have to know all of the steps or do the steps perfectly. In other words, you can’t mess this up :-).

Of course, creating a plan that includes smart action steps makes taking those actions a lot easier and makes the results come quicker. But what really matters is that you take action (no matter how small) every day towards getting what you want.

How to create a kickass action plan:
  • Break bigger annual goals into smaller doable action steps
  • Be clear about what you want to accomplish each month 
  • Set tasks for each week to reach monthly objectives

The funny thing about planning is when you do it, you don’t get derailed by drama, doubt and distractions that seem to surface every damn day. Instead, you’ll stay highly focused and engaged in turning your vision into a tangible reality.

If you want a Business Planning Blueprint that walks you step-by-step to creating a vision, projecting your success and templates to take action, download this free guide now.