I don’t know about you, but the Christmas and New Year break always seems to be the time I spend reviewing my business results, and laying out the future direction. I’ve learned over the years that running a successful business (whether you’re a VA or something completely different) requires a certain level of planning so that you can identify and steer a path into the future with any measure of certainty.
The reality is that I always look a long way into the future.
I’m forever planning, running scenarios, crunching numbers and looking at opportunities and different ways to grow and build a better business – I love it! In fact, I’ve always loved pegging myself against myself and aiming higher than my last best result (some may say that’s slightly weird!).
After years of doing this - and gaining great satisfaction in the process - I find that I get the most clarity by ‘chunking down’ what I want to achieve – whether it’s financial goals, or other outcomes. In fact, anyone who has done training with me will know exactly what I mean by this...
...the whole breaking it down thing is evident in how I work with my VA Startups to structure pricing and client workload…
And by using this simple concept of breaking things down into smaller units to aim for, I find that it’s way easier for me to see how - or even if - it’s possible.
For example, if I am aiming for a specific amount of sales turnover, I will normally break that down into a monthly or weekly (or even hourly) amount so I can figure out how to actually achieve it. I know it’s very simplistic, but by doing this, the whole thing actually starts to become much more doable for me, and I can see whether what I’m aiming for is realistic. If it is, then I go for it… If it’s not, then I redo the figures until they work.
This principle works for so many things other than financial projections. So long as you track your business results, you can plan for almost anything.
Maybe your goal is to build your client base… then my advice is to get very specific. How many clients do you need, and how much would each client be worth roughly (so you’ve got an approx per client revenue figure). If you don’t know how much each client is worth, then do some simple sums: if you actually HAVE clients, then average out the turnover from each of them. If you DON’T have clients, then you can get creative and figure out what you’d like to average per client, remembering to be realistic.
Once you’re clear on that number, simply work backwards and assess approximately how many leads you need before you convert one new client? Is it 20? Is it 15? Once you know that, then you know roughly how many leads per day you need to be speaking to in order to achieve your goal. You can then structure your marketing with that in mind (as long as you know your ideal client – but that’s a whole other topic!)
I remember one year breaking down my hours so that I had allocated client time, admin time etc and then timetabling it for myself, printing it out and sticking it up on the wall so that I could see the visual structure around my daily activities. It worked very well for me, and I got really clear on where the gaps were.
With 2020 staring us down, take some time to really think about your goals and projections. What do you want to do over the coming year? Can you break it down into smaller pieces so you can start to strategise? If you can imagine it, and chunk it down so it’s bite sized, you are half way there!
One thing is absolutely certain though – if you don’t plan for it or envision it as a real goal that you want to aim for and can actually see as being possible to achieve, chances are that it won’t happen.
I’d love to hear how you plan for your year ahead, and what works (and what doesn’t).
And, if you’re stuck and just don’t know where to begin with planning your 2020 path, get in touch – I live and breathe it, and would be happy to help!