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Why Planning for 2023 is Important For Small-Business Owners

Why Planning for 2023 is Important For Small-Business Owners

It’s December which means it’s nearly the end of the year. Some of us currently do last-minute Christmas shopping, while others work tirelessly on our business. While I don’t want to ruin your festivities, make sure not to forget about your business and your planning for 2023!

That’s because the next year could be your chance to grow your business to new heights. However, that can be a difficult task to do. So if that sounds like something you’re struggling with, keep reading.

 

Why Planning for 2023 Is Essential For Every Small Business

why planning is important

If you don’t plan your next steps, you’ll never reach your desired heights. Even worse, you could go bankrupt.

Think about planning like this. Two people want to go from Seattle to New York. One of them has an old banger minivan, while the other has a Ferrari. Which would get to their destination faster if there were no speed limit? You’d say, Ferrari, right?

Wrong!

The thing is, it doesn’t matter how fast your car is. What matters is if you have your travel route set out. You could be in a Ferrari and drive as fast as possible, but you’re not guaranteed to get there – you could get lost if you don’t have a map.

And the same goes for your business! If you haven’t started your planning for 2023, you won’t even have a chance to get close to your business objectives!

 

What Makes a Good Business Plan

So how do you create a great plan? That mostly depends on you and your business, but here are some things you should have in your 2023 plan:

  •  Your Business Objective – That’s the most critical step. You cannot create a plan if you don’t know where you want to go. But when choosing your goal, don’t make it vague, like “I want more sales this year.” Instead, make it specific, like “I want £150,000 by the end of 2023”.
  • Business Milestones – To reach your business goal, you must cut your objectives into multiple milestones. That helps you to see if you’re on track with your plan.
  • Business Strategy – Writing down goals and milestones is one thing. The other thing is figuring out what to do to get there. That is one of the most challenging planning tasks, so if you need it, get someone to help.

If your plan incorporates these three aspects, you can be assured that your business plan is better than the average one.

 

2 Tips That Help You Succeed in Implementing

By now, you should have a better-than-average business plan. That’s great, but if you want to ensure your plan succeeds, I have two tips for you to help ensure that you get results.

 

Tip #1 – Review Your Plan After a Few Days

why planning is important

Once you’ve completed your plan, I suggest you leave it aside for at least 24 hours. That will help you freshen up your mind and find any problems with your plan. Once you’ve taken a considerable time gap, it’s time to review it again.

 Look through everything and brainstorm anything that could go wrong, and do your edits. If you can, make sure to get others involved with it. For example, discussing the plan with your team can help you set more realistic expectations. Also, you could schedule a consultation call with me so that we can revise your business plan together.

Tip #2 – Track your progress weekly

One of the worst mistakes most small business owners make with planning is not having a way to monitor their progress. If you don’t track it, you’ll never know if you’re actually moving the needle.

 So find some data you can track. For example, if you’re an eCommerce business, and your goal is to get a certain amount of sales, try monitoring your add-to-carts, conversions, clicks, and other vital metrics. Then every week, look through your data and find solutions to your problems to get back on track.

Conclusion

And that’s why planning for 2023 is so important. Without planning, your business will either stay where it is or fail. And if you need any help with your ambitious plans, then I’d love to help you out. Just schedule a call with me, and let’s see how we can grow your business.

How To Use The Covey Matrix To Smash Your Goals

How To Use The Covey Matrix To Smash Your Goals

Previously I talked about the importance of managing your time efficiently. One of the most important aspects of this is to evaluate the tasks in your life. Hence, you want to lay them out in a time management matrix. This gives you the critical information you need when planning how to work your way through the list

What Is A Time Management Matrix

The Time Management matrix goes by many names – the Covey Matrix, the Eisenhower Matrix, the Urgent Matrix, and many, many other variants. It’s been discovered and reused by business planners for decades. Presidents have used it. CEOs have used it. So have work-from-home parents and struggling students.

It’s all about the nature of each task. Let’s look at a grid with four cubes in it.

Tasks get put into whichever of these four cubes makes the most sense.

Seems simple, right? But if we look at the tasks we tend to do in life, a lot of them somehow end up being the “urgent but not important” ones. The things that cry the loudest and perhaps are quick, easy, and painless to do. It brings a sense of progress. But in the meantime, urgent and important things are often left undone because they seem complicated or stressful. And the non-urgent things keep getting shunted to the back of the list until suddenly they become urgent.

The aim of this matrix is to let you look logically at the items you have before you. 

The Covey Matrix Explained

Urgent And Important (Do It Now)

Yes, these have to be done. If your car’s tire goes flat, it has to be fixed. You should always leave time in your schedule for these items which can pop up by surprise. That being said, it’s important to track your schedule over time. If certain things keep popping into this area, look for ways to head them off before they become urgent. It can sometimes mean you aren’t spending enough time in the second category, which is:

Not Urgent And Important (Schedule It)

The more you can work steadily on these important things at a reasonable pace, the better life in general goes. That flow of calm, smooth energy tends to maximize progress and quality. Bills should be paid on time. Correspondence should be kept up to date. Not only does it build a better system in general, but it also reduces stress on those involved.

Urgent And Not Important (Delegate)

We all fall for these tasks. Something exciting is happening. Someone stops by with a question or need. There’s a balance here. We don’t want to ignore everything around us – but there needs to be a focus. Find ways to lessen those distractions. Take steps to remind yourself just what is important to spend your time on, and why.

Not Urgent And Not Important (Don’t Do It)

Ah, the time sinks. We all have them. Sometimes they’re useful in small doses as stress relievers. But if you didn’t have the stress in the first place, you wouldn’t need these to take up even more time. The more you can whittle these tasks out of your schedule, the more time you’ll have available for the key things that have to get done. The more your life will open up to new, soul-filling possibilities.

How To Get Started

It’s a good idea to fill out this Covey Matrix regularly at first, so you get a firm handle on where your time is going. A downloadable version is available HERE. Once you get into the rhythm of it, it’ll be second nature to consider where a task falls. Still, it’s a good idea to fill in a grid every week or two, just as a reminder of what you need to focus on and where your path is currently heading. 

 

How To Review Your Marketing Plan

How To Review Your Marketing Plan

Sales are the oxygen of any business. Without it, no business can survive! That is why almost every business makes marketing plans. This way, your company can achieve its business goals and continue growing.

But there’s a major problem with many small businesses. They think it’s just a one-time task! Instead, the plan needs to be tweaked and changed constantly for efficiency. But how do you do it? Stay tuned to find out.

Why It’s So Important to Review Your Marketing Plan?

To put it simply, times change all the time! And with it, something always unexpected happens. Just think about the last two years; a lot happened. First, iOS 14 changed online advertising forever with its new privacy features. And who can forget about the worldwide pandemic going on?

Nobody was able to predict those things! And for that reason alone, you should constantly go over your plans and change them. That way, you’ll adapt quickly and get ahead of all the competition.

Nobody was able to predict those things! And for that reason alone, you should constantly go over your plans and change them. That way, you’ll adapt quickly and get ahead of all the competition.

So how often should you review your business planning? That all depends on your organization, but the rule of thumb is to check it at least every quarter. Also, make sure you involve your team! You never know when some of them come up with better ideas than you!

How to Review Your Marketing Plan

Reviewing a ma

Now that you understand the importance, it’s time to work on your plan. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy! There are only four steps for an effective review. 

Step #1 – Evaluate Your Past Activity

Let’s start off by looking through our current plan. Specifically, let’s read through our presumptions. Once read, we should start comparing them to the existing data and information we have. What did we get right? And more importantly, what did we get wrong?

By answering these questions, we understand what and where we need to change our postulations.

Step #2 – Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy

Now it’s time to look at our marketing strategy. We should first again start by reading through our marketing tactics. Once finished, we should decide if it’s still a viable strategy for today. To help you out, you should ask yourself and your team the following: 

  • Did the tactics work as expected?
  • How did your target market respond to it?
  • Was your marketing reach expanding?

Responding to these questions helps you to see how well your marketing has gone. Also, if you work with a marketing agency, I highly recommend you to speak with them and ask for feedback.

Step #3 – Lessons Learned

By now, you should have a good understanding if your marketing plan was a success or not! However, before going on and updating your plan, we must look back at our own experience.

What mistakes did we make during that time? How could we avoid that in the future? Without acknowledging them, we’re doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. So, look back, and consider them when updating your plan.

Step #4 – Updating and Implementing Your Marketing Plan

Now all that is left is to start making adjustments to your plans. So take everything to consider and adapt your marketing. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to use the four marketing Ps. That will help you make it even more effective.

If you don’t know how to do it, then find expert help. It’s okay not to know about everything!  While consulting hours can be expensive, they are worth every penny. With their help, not only will you get in the right direction, but you’ll also avoid paying thousands of dollars due to costly mistakes.

 Now that your plan has been altered, it’s time to take action! Make sure you talk everything through with your team. That way, you and your colleagues know exactly what they need to change, making it faster for your company to adapt.

Conclusion

And that’s how you review your marketing plan. I hope you’ve found this blog post helpful and that you’ll implement it in your business. However, if you find yourself stuck in the planning process, I’d be happy to help. I would love to help you out with conducting the review and by showing you how to manage the implementations. Book a scheduling call here.

 

How To Set Awesome Business Goals

How To Set Awesome Business Goals

Whether it’s increasing profits, improving customer service, expanding your business, building your brand or increasing the quality of your products, there has never been a better time to start setting your business goals.

 

Setting business goals is an essential part of any business if it wants to grow beyond its current operations. As a small business owner, it is so easy to get caught up in the rush of daily routine activities of running the business, that you forget to plan for its growth.

For small business owners writing down goals, provides a target for measuring progress. They give direction and motivate the business owner to maximize the available resources to attain targets. It also builds teamwork, with each member of the team working towards the fulfilment of a common goal.

The secret to setting attainable goals lies in the integration of these goals to the strategic planning process of your business. The following steps will help you to elevate your business, by progressively and consistently achieving your set goal.

Your Business Goal Strategy

#1. Outline The Vision Statement

The first step is to write down a brief statement on where you see your business in the next 5 years. This should reflect your passion as to why you started the business. For those who are more of visual thinkers, it may help to create a pictorial vision board.

#2. Break Down The Vision Into Specific Goals

In this step, list down the specific objectives in line with your vision. However, it is important to apply the SMART technique in setting your goals:

  • Specific as to the object
  • Measurable in terms of numbers,
  • Attainable by being realistic as to the available resources,
  • Relevant to the vision and
  • Time-bound with realistic deadlines.

For instance, if your vision for your business is to build and promote your brand, your goal might be to increase your cumulative online following by at least 10,000 annually. 

 

Smart Goal Setting ebook

SMART GOAL SETTING

Now is the time to upgrade your goals!

My Free E-Book is designed to help you master the SMART goals technique faster, without worrying about where to start. It even includes worksheets to guide you through the process.

 

#3. Outline Your Business Goal Strategies

Write down a number of activities you will need to undertake to achieve each goal. For this example, you might need to set up a website and social media pages, have at least 2 daily postings, post social media ads weekly, design a logo, organize for a monthly photoshoot of your new stock etc. Make your strategies as specific and time-bound as possible. 

 #4. Formulate An Action Plan

It is crucial to prepare a plan for the achievement of these strategies. While it is good to think of the bigger picture and plan in advance, planning too far in advance can be counterproductive. If you plan to complete a task in a year then chances are you won’t start immediately as your mindset is that you have plenty of time. It is, therefore, better to pick a handful of objectives to achieve each quarter then break these down into actionable activities. The action plan should contain the duration for each activity, the deadlines, timelines, and regular milestones. It is important to also plan for an effective feedback process.

# 5. Allocation Of Tasks

The practicality of your goals will be determined by how you assign activities to different people. Not all the strategies outlined will be within your skillset. It might be important at this stage to determine what you are able to take up beyond your daily activities, and what to outsource to a virtual assistant.
Organizing schedules and appointments, social media and web postings, emailing, handling orders, maintaining your client base, digital content creating, marketing and other routine activities can be outsourced to a virtual assistant so as not to get overwhelmed.

#6. Implementation

The only way to achieve your vision is through the implementation of the goals and strategies, monitoring them against previous trends and figuring out what works for your company. Discipline and accountability are important at this stage.

Setting Business Goals – The Bottom line:

If you are tired of writing goals that do nothing for your business except for collecting dust on the shelf, the above tips will be exceptionally helpful in actualising your vision for your business.