Are you even human if you didn’t start a diet in January? How long this diet lasts or if you manage to actually lose any weight is an entirely different discussion. Sitting down and planning a business strategy should be done with the same excitement and dedication as starting your diet!
Don’t pretend like you don’t care and you’re going to wing it! You know you’ve planned your meals for the week ahead. Emptied the cupboards to avoid falling for a midnight snack. Shopped till you dropped at Woolworths grabbing those fancy veggies you swore to include in your new diet. You start off with great excitement and a brand new water bottle. Going to make sure you look good doing this ha ha! Determined to get it right. You won’t let doubt creep in because this time things will be different.
One thing we know for sure is that most of us start January feeling a little on the heavy/uncomfortable side. We hit the ground running and get back into the swing of work fast and furiously without thinking twice about business planning! Very rarely do we approach the start of a new business year or a business strategy with the same enthusiasm as starting a new diet.
Very few business owners start a new year off with a business planning session where they sit down to create a solid business strategy. Some might do a bit of planning. Perhaps write a few lines down into a fancy annual planner, aka fancy water bottle… see where I’m going with this! Sadly our good intentions once again end up right next to those fancy shakes. Those ones we bought at top dollar that expire because they end up in the back of the fridge. Why? They remind you of the brussels sprouts you had to eat as a child. I’m a grown women Karen, don’t judge me!
| 2021 – The year for business planning?
I’ll let you in on a little secret… I am all of the above. I started a diet. Love those fancy veggies at Woolies! Have bought the fancy water bottle, 1L so I can keep track of my 2L intake! And I am excited about my fancy planner, pencilled in some time for a business planning session and I have completed my 2021 business strategy! Every year I swear high and low that this is the year. The year I finally start doing for The Marketing Designer & Co what my team and I do for our clients! So to answer the question, will 2021 be the year… dammit I hope so!
The sad reality is that in the past, my intentions also end up alongside my diet. My business planning replaced with a do/eat what’s in front of me now, I simply don’t have time implement! I write business strategies and check stats. And I get consumed with the stats and research part of things, a part it turns out that I rather enjoy! When it’s all done and dusted I’m left with hardly any time to implement the awesome business strategy I spent so much time putting together. No time to implement because clients have deadlines. I put the doing part off for so long that I inevitably just give up on it all together!
Dare I say it… this year will be different! My business planning cannot be just another note in my fancy planner. If 2020 has taught me one thing it’s that this year simply has to be it. The brutal truth is that 2020 has reinforced that we have to be tough as nails and that we simply have to evolve and adapt. Sliding along as you’ve always done is not going to cut it! Now is the time to think big, to take risks and to give it your all.
| 2020 – No amount of planning helped!
We all tried our best to navigated the chaos that was 2020 – thanks COVID19. In doing so we inevitably picked up weight both physically and in business! The kind of weight that steals your thunder. Leaving you as insecure as the chick who avoids the swimming pool because that bikini body isn’t working out as planned. Perhaps you took on a few nightmare clients out of pure desperation. You hired staff who weren’t ideal because you needed the extra man power to make it to the finish line. Maybe you did absolutely nothing and couldn’t get out of that dark corner because like most, you were afraid! All of these things add to that heavier than usual feeling you might currently be experiencing.
Running a business is not for the faint hearted! If you’ve been in business long enough you’ve dealt with the kind of shit that explains your need to say fuck every so often. Okay, perhaps a little more often than we should – sorry mom! You’ve most definitely been left thinking “my fok marelize” when you hear we’re having another family meeting.
| Consider this your wake up call.
Let this be a slap in the face your friends won’t give you! Yes 2020 was a shit year but if your business managed to keep its doors open you’re better off than most. We can’t stop here and stay in survival mode. Put on your big boy/girl pants! It’s time to kick ass and do great things simply because it’s what you are meant to do. It’s what you owe all of the others who tried and couldn’t make it!
Buy the planner and stay up until midnight planning the year ahead. Get excited about things and tackle the shit storm head on! We’re all in this together. If you can’t find your mojo, I will lend you my brushes so you can paint your rainbow… just make it happen. Find positive people to help get you there! People who are still in it to win it. They are out there, you’ll hear them roaring above the murmur. Avoid getting sucked into the negative dark corners of the current climate.
| Where to start? A business plan!
Right at the beginning! My first step is always looking back at the year that has past. Yes, it’s February already but that still leaves you with more than enough time to get it done! Thank the pope I have systems which make pulling data a lot easier! Systems like Google Analytics that gives me insights into my website traffic. Google My Business that shares a whole bunch of info on search traffic. Facebook Analytics to see what content worked and who’s part of my community. A proper invoicing system so that I can tally up my total sales and determine which services sold most! Remember to look at the expense report and see if there’s anything you can cut that might not be vital right now.
All of the above help direct your energy into the right avenues so that you don’t end up spending days planning a blog post when your number one source of traffic is Facebook and you were better off planning your social media strategy.
Once you’ve done your planning, worked out your business strategy and you know where you need to focus your energy – it’s time to take advantage of having a team. This is where you take the team to lunch (or you grab a pizza for the office) and you hash out some joint marketing ideas. Pen and paper and a lot of fun! If you don’t have a team… I might know a good one! You now have a plan and it’s time to allocate tasks, to take your ideas and make them a reality.
| I have a business plan, now what?
Ever found yourself in one of those trendy Facebook groups or networking meetings where everybody is raving about the epic systems they have in their business? Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you are getting by at the skin of your teeth and reaching for a glass of gin by 12 pm on Thursday afternoon and feeling like the Grinch stole Christmas?
Just can’t find the time to set up processes for you and your team? I’ve been there. And then one day, I had to sit down and accept, that if I didn’t sit down for an hour one morning to get my ducks in a row, I would be losing much more time, and money, at the end of the month. It took me a while, but I soon developed my own, less glamorous, but effective system, and I’m sharing it with you!
Visit the home page on my website, scroll down a little further and sign up to get the link to my Golden Snitch of Time Management and let me know once you do – I may have some additional suggestions based on unique factors in your business. I would also love to assist if you are unsure on how to use it! Any feedback is always great so please do get in touch. Oh, and please, we hate spam as much as the next guy so don’t worry, we won’t show up in your inbox unannounced.