This is the first post in our kickstart-the-year series on setting business goals. Find the other posts in the series here:
Do you set aside time regularly to plan what you want (and need) to achieve in your business? Ideally you should be doing this on a weekly basis (I follow the Sunday planning system recommended by Darren Hardy – creator of Living Your Best Year Ever). But setting aside time at the end of the year, to plan out what you want to achieve over the coming year, will give you some real clarity and allow you to plan both what needs to be done, and how to tie it all together. If clarity is something you’re short of, grab a FREE copy of our printable workbook, 7 Steps To Clarity as a Solopreneur. Don’t have time to read this article now? Pin it for later.
Over the next few days, I’ll be posting a series of articles about planning, and how to kickstart your new year (so do subscribe if you want to follow along). Coming to this post at another time of year? No problem. It doesn’t matter what the calendar says. Any time can be a good time to assess where you are and what you want to achieve in the next 12 months.
Let’s start off by taking a look at why business planning is “the secret” to success. There are a few different factors that come into play here. The first is efficiency. When you have a clear plan, you can focus on what’s most important. Instead of spending time trying to figure out what you should be working on, what pieces of the puzzle are missing from your sales funnel, or what you need to do to break through to the next income level, you know exactly what needs to come next. This stops you wasting time and allows you to do less, but better, ultimately meaning you work less, to achieve better results. According to Brian Moran, author of The 12 Week Year, the right planning techniques can help you achieve more in 12 weeks than most people do in 12 months.
Next, setting a big goal for yourself helps you think outside the box. Decide on a big income (or impact) goal for the coming month. Write it down. Keep it in front of you. Then get to work and start to notice what happens next. You start to think of things that didn’t occur to you before. You come up with creative ways to get more traffic. You decide to run a fun promo that adds dollars to your bank account. The same happens when an important deadline comes up unexpectedly. You suddenly get very creative about how to reach it on time.
A well-drawn up plan is probably the best tool I know of to allow you to tie everything in your business together. Yesterday I sat and planned out the entire year on my content calendar. Yep, that’s 12 months’ worth of content. It’s not all written, but it is all planned. This has allowed me to sit down today and clearly see:
- When I should be launching new products
- Which of my current and affiliate products can be promoted in each post
- Whether I should make new content upgrades, especially where I have a series (usually of between 5 and 10 posts on a topic) planned
- How I should be tying my social media content into my blog content
This in turn has allowed me to sit down with my passive income planner (Yes, passive income is important enough in my business model to warrant it’s own separate planner – I use this one from CoachGlue) and plan out how every piece of content will generate income over the long-term.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the subconscious. Our subconscious mind is powerful, and looking at our goals for the year on a daily basis, or keeping weekly goals close at hand as we work our way through each week, keeps our mind trained on exactly what we need to achieve. While we are busy plowing through our to-do list, cooking dinner for the family, and even sleeping, our subconscious mind is working towards those goals as well.
In short, planning and setting goals is important because it helps you grow faster. That means you end up with more money for yourself and your loved ones while spending less time slaving away at your desk. Need help with business planning this year? Consider the Slay Your Goals planner, currently available with the free new year bonus, 10 Quick and Easy Goal Slaying Hacks. And check out the next post in the series, where we’ll be looking at which metrics to measure in your business, so you know what you should be working on, and where you should be focusing most of your efforts.
Need more clarity before you can plan out the coming year? Maybe you need our FREE printable workbook for solopreneurs? Just let us know where to send it. You’ll also get a chance to grab The Busy Blogger’s Success Kit for half-price, and a regular newsletter with tips, freebies, and special offers.