Welcome to the new year. What have you got planned? Incremental business growth, a better work life balance (how long have you been promising yourself that?) or world domination?
Now is a good time to think about what you want and what that means for your business.
Here are some questions to get you underway with your plan:
1. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years time?
2. How much do you want to earn from your business?
3. How much do you need to earn from your business?
4. How many hours per week/month/year do you want to work in your business?
This will give you some idea of how much you need to earn per hour in your business. Don’t forget that you will need to cover your business costs and taxes too.
A good SWOT analysis will help you to decide how to earn the necessary profit. Look at your strengths, your weaknesses, and any opportunities and threats around you. Covid and potential lockdowns can provide both opportunities and threats to your business to make a plan to eliminate or buffer the formers and to be able to take advantage of the latter.
Take a close look at what you are actually doing. What will you sell and to whom? What problems do you solve?
Now you can start on the details of the plan:
1. Sales plan
2. Marketing plan
3. Staffing – who, when and at what level
4. Technology and other resources
6. Other costs
If you need a hand with any of this then we’re running a Strategic Planning Day on 19 January. We’ll work through templates together to help you come up with your own plan for your best year yet. Email us to sign up.
Anyone who’s already read my latest book ‘Growing by numbers: How to scale up your business with confidence‘ will know I talk up the importance of steady marketing throughout the year.
A large part of your marketing plan should include having a strategy to ensure a consistent and active presence on social media. Here are a few tips based on what I have found works well for me:
- Find the right platforms for your business – think about your target market, your professional network and factor in where you feel comfortable hanging out too. For me, Twitter continues to be my number 1 social media space , but I also have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Find a scheduling tool that works for you. My system of choice is Smarterqueue.
- Set up a bank of key messages and reminders that can go out regularly on a repeat loop, e.g. we have a course that starts with a new cohort each month – we send regular reminders about that out and schedule repeat posts. Don’t forget that not everyone sees everything all of the time, so while you might worry about being repetitive, chances are that other people won’t get that impression.
- Set time aside on a weekly or fortnightly basis to update your plan and schedule new posts.
- Outsource where it makes sense to – I work with a Virtual PA who updates the website and posts my blogs on a weekly basis – she then schedules posts to go out several times to share new information.
- Build up a bank of visuals to go out with posts, incorporating brand colours and fonts and a mix of free stock images and brand photographs where you have some – we use Canva regularly for this (again, my Virtual PA works on this on a regular basis).
- While lots can be scheduled it’s important to show up in person consistently too – after all, it’s called ‘social’ media for a reason. If you don’t naturally find yourself engaging with others on each platform you’ve a presence on throughout the week, set aside some time each week to do just that.