I know it is not a sexy word. “I need to go plan my…” “I need to write my business plan” “My 6 month plan is…” Not very exciting you might say but hold on, how do you manage anything without a plan?
As a business coach I often hear things like “I want to increase my revenues by 100% next year.” “I want more clients”. “I don’t know why I’m not meeting my revenue targets.” “I need to increase my social media presence.” Then I ask “what is your plan”, “what are the numbers” and get a blank stare or a lot of explaining but not very much planning.
I hosted a summit in July that was called Monetize Your Passions, we had a diverse set of speakers talking about different topics from basic business building steps, to social media, to networking, to developing your story, to attracting more clients. What emerged was one key theme: YOU NEED TO PLAN to be successful.
Achieving your goals mean taking action, action without a direction tends to be ineffective at best. If a task is overwhelming like increase your revenues by 100% in a year it difficult to take action if you don’t know what to do next or how you get to that number.
You need to break it down to manageable bits so that you can turn a goal into action. Even better break it down to measureable items.
I’m a firm believer in a business plan, a plan that you review at least every 3 months. Unless you are going for financing it doesn’t have to be formal but it does have to be workable, measurable and it needs to include real numbers. Here’s an example of real number broken down:
Sue want to make $100,000 in the next 12 months. Sue is selling her services by the hour at $150/hour. Sue’s clients on the average require 12 hours of her time. She needs to have 56 clients over the next 12 months which translates to a monthly target of 4.6 new clients. Sue knows that on average she closes 50% of business when she gets a “face to face” meeting. Ok, so now Sue target is 9.2 new prospect meetings per month with a close rate of 50%. There is a number that she manage, quickly measure to know if what she is doing is working or not, and make corrections.
The example above is a very simple example of knowing your numbers so that you can start to create a workable plan. In this case it was simple math to work from a huge yearly revenue goal to a monthly new prospects meeting goal. Isn’t that empowering?
Setting your target and understanding how they relate to your day to day activities is the 1st major step in creating a plan that works. Do you know your numbers? Are able to translate them down to the actions you need to take each day?