The holidays are SO close we can almost taste it! It’s not long before we pop the champagne and say goodbye to 2018.
Amidst the dizzying end of year rush, you might not have even thought about 2019!
But, now is the best time to set yourself up for a highly successful year ahead. And, reflecting on your achievements and setting some fresh goals is the best way to get inspired and excited after a long year.
Don't know where to begin? Today I’m sharing the 4-step planning framework we’ll be following when we have our planning day this week.
So, grab a friend, business partner or staff member, block out your calendar, bring the snacks and get stuck in!
Step 1: What did 2018 look like?
Often we forget how much we have learnt and achieved in 12 months. So, this first step is to take stock of the year. If you have data and records (e.g. Google Analytics, accounting software, calendar events, email marketing software) use these to help jog your memory and inform your discussion.
Here are some questions to guide you—
- What were your big milestone moments for 2018? What stands out as a defining moment? These can be big successes or a big mistakes!
- What did you really enjoy working on this year?
- What didn’t you enjoy working on this year?
- Is there anything that worked well that you want to repeat next year?
- Is there anything you tried that you never want to do again?
- Which marketing strategies brought in the most sales for you this year?
- How much did you earn this year?
- What did you spend on expenses?
- Which of your products/services was most profitable?
- Which of your products/services was least profitable?
Step 2: What do you want for 2019?
For this step you’ll be brainstorming all the opportunities and experiences that would make it an exciting, hugely successful year. What would you do if you couldn’t fail? How can you do more of the things you enjoy and less of those you don’t?
Here are some questions to get you thinking—
- What is your revenue goal for 2019?
- What would a really successful year look like for you?
- What products or services would you love to retire?
- What new products or services would you love to add to your business?
- What professional development opportunities (e.g. courses, conferences, groups, masterminds) would you love to invest in?
- What marketing strategies would you love to try?
- Which areas of your business would you love to invest in?
- Who would you love to hire or work with to free up your time?
- What are some habits and practices you won’t be doing in 2019? E.g. working weekends and late nights, under-charging for your products/services etc.
- What are some habits and practices you’d like to introduce in 2019? E.g. read a book a month, celebrate the milestone moments in my business.
Step 3: Outline your money making plan
Ok, now it’s time to create a plan for making money. This step has 2 parts— Part 1 is about deciding on how much you can earn via each of your revenue streams and Part 2 is about brainstorming how you’ll make those sales.
Part 1 - What are your revenue goals?
In step two, you should have written down an annual revenue goal. Do you have one? Good!
But, rather than thinking about the next 365 days, I’d recommend breaking up your revenue goals into quarterly or biannual increments. This focuses your attention on the immediate future and creates quarterly or mid year milestones to achieve. Personally, I like set 90 day revenue goals as it allows me to evaluate what’s working and what’s not and change tack if needed.
Here’s how to set your revenue goals—
- Based on your annual revenue goal, work out how much you’ll need to earn every quarter. E.g. If your annual goal is $100 000, your 90 day goal would be $25K.
- List out each of your revenue streams for 2019.
- Determine how much each revenue stream needs to make for you to reach your goal and allocate an approximate percentage or figure to each stream. E.g. To earn $25K I’ll need to earn $20K from course sales (80%), $4K from consulting (16%), and $1K from affiliate income (4%).
Part 2 - How will you make money?
Now that you know what you’re working towards, it’s time to decide how you’ll attract the customers or clients to achieve them.
Here are some ideas to get you started—
- Increase your prices.
- Create a free lead magnet to collect email addresses from new potential clients.
- Promote free content and offerings via an email list to stay top of mind.
- Create a blog with helpful articles.
- Create a vlog series on youtube with helpful tutorials.
- Be consistent with content creation (e.g. 1 blog/vlog per month)
- Grow your social media following and promote your offerings to them.
- Learn how to optimise your website for search engines so you can show up in results for clients who are searching for businesses like yours.
- Run social media ads (facebook, instagram, pinterest) to promote your lead magnet, free content and/or offerings.
- Run search engine ads (e.g. AdWords) to attract ready to buy clients.
- Attend conferences and events that my ideal clients will be going to meet new people.
- Find businesses who share the same ideal customers as you and work out a cross promotion strategy.
- Reach out to past customers to say hello, or with a special offer.
- Create a referral or rewards program for loyal customers.
- Update your visuals, packaging, storefront to reflect the quality you offer.
- Revisit your website copy to ensure it’s optimised for conversions.
- Refresh or rebuild your website to optimise it for conversions.
- Run free webinars, workshops or trainings and use them to sell your offerings.
You might come up with a big list, which is great! But, just remember implementing these will take time, resources and effort. I’d recommend choosing just a few strategies to focus on that will be most likely to help you hit your revenue goals from part 1. Once those are humming along, you can add more strategies into the mix.
Step 4: Create an action plan
Now that you have a clearer picture of how you want your business to look, how much you want to earn and how you’ll hit those sales goals, it’s time to take action! Add your big milestones to your calendar, write a to-do list and identify what needs to happen to take your goals from paper to reality.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to celebrate! We’ll be popping a bottle of champagne and having some amazing food after our session.
We haven’t always proactively planned our year in advance, and I know some people much prefer to take opportunities as they come. However, we’ve found that some simple planning (just like what I’ve outlined above) not only motivates us when things get tough, but has also significantly increased our profitability. I hope this helps you to plan for 2019 and I’m so excited for you to hit those big goals!
I highly recommend doing your planning session with a friend, so don’t forget to share this article with them too. And if you’re feeling brave, I’d LOVE to hear about your goals for 2019— drop them in the comments and make it real! Happy planning!