PLANNING………For your business and your life
by Phyllis Sisenwine
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
I’ve known people who spend hours planning a two-week vacation. They do research, print out maps and have every detail thought out. Yet, they don’t spend nearly as much time mapping out their business plan for an entire year.
Do you have a plan for your business this year? If not, plan now. Here’s how. Take some time to review the year 2000. How much money did you earn? How many hours did you work? How many customers did you serve? How many new customers did you get? How many did you lose? Look for any patterns that prevail. Did you offer any new products or services? Were they effective? Did they add to your bottom line?
Review your appointment book. How did you really spend your time? What marketing strategies did you use? Look at the organizations you belong to and the hours you invested. Was it worthwhile? Did you have adequate support? What were your expenses? Did you participate in conferences and trade shows? What were the results of your efforts?
Now take some time to create a vision for the New Year. Once you know what you want you can create your plan. How much money do you want to earn? How many hours do you want to work? What types of clients do you want to work with? Is it time for you to increase your fees? What marketing strategies do you want to put in place? Do you need new brochures or a new logo? What image do you want to project? Where should you be advertising to support that image? (Perhaps this is the year to advertise in the magazine you are now reading)
Is it time to upgrade your equipment? If you are on the Internet is your website getting you business? Do you need a consultant, a mentor or a coach to support you and create a strategy for success? Take some time to answer these questions and to look at what you have, what you want, and how you’ll get there.
Let’s look at your personal life. How was this past year for you? Did you lose the weight you wanted? Did you read the books you bought? Did you spend quality time with your family and friends? Are you making new year’s resolutions that you have no intention of keeping? Don’t put anything on your list that you “should” be doing. Think about what you really want. What do you want this coming year to look like for you? Fast forward to a year from today. What would you personally like to have accomplished? In order to be successful in business it’s important to have a great personal life.
Let’s create a life plan along with your business plan. What do you want your life to look like? Analyze what drains your energy. Make a list of everything you’ve been tolerating. Start eliminating and resolving them. Look at raising your standards and establishing bigger boundaries. Spend time with people you really enjoy. Maybe this is the year to simplify your life. Don’t overcommit yourself. Create space for the right opportunities and relationships.
Think about your purpose in life, your vision. It doesn’t have to be as big as Bill Gates’ vision of a computer on every desk. I ask my clients at the start of every year to create a theme for themselves. One client said she wanted to re-invent herself. She has had a year filled with positive changes. She’s lost weight, is working out with a personal trainer for the first time and has started writing short stories. She is ready to take a big leap in her career. Some clients have chosen themes of balance, self care or creativity. Is this the year you’ll finish that project you started years ago that’s still in the basement or garage?
Do you want to paint, learn a sport or take a course? Put it in your plan. Create a life that brings you joy. You might want to write on a 3×5 card the message you want to tell yourself every day. It might be, “I am happy and grateful for my life” or “I choose to spend time with people who give me energy”. In order to have a successful business without a struggle, it starts with having a successful life. Make a plan, follow it and have a great year!