This year we want to get down to the nitty-gritty and answer your ‘Burning Business Questions’. So if you have a question you would like answered, head over to our Q&A page and get in touch.
To kick us off, we have Nadia Finer, a micro-business coach who specialises in helping women max-up their micro-business. Nadia provides solutions and ideas to help solve your most pressing business challenges and dilemmas.
So let’s get started with this question from one of our community members – a graphic designer in Shrewsbury.
I’m a creative soul. I like to go with the flow, in life and in business. Should I be planning for the new-year? Personally, I’d prefer to see where the wind takes me. Planning takes ages, requires spreadsheets and makes me feel claustrophobic. What would you advise?
Over to you Nadia!
Hi there, creative soul. I feel your pain – the idea of endless spreadsheets brings me out in a rash.
But, rather than flowing into the New Year in a zen-like fashion, I’m all fired up and raring to go. The start of the year is an amazing opportunity to ramp it up, don’t you think?
Yes, planning sounds dull and not very glam. Perhaps it’s reminiscent of long, boring meetings when you worked for a corporate or a large organisation. You thought you’d ditched all that in favour of being wild and free. And maybe you’re too busy doing “fee earning” work which pays instantly (ish), but in the long-term you’ll make more cash, if you have a concrete kick-ass plan of action.
I’m not a great believer in manifesting stuff, or the laws off attraction, I’m afraid. However, I do believe in setting goals. If you have an inspiring but achievable goal, you write it down and look at it on a regular basis, you’re statistically a lot more likely to make it happen. Without a goal at all or any idea of how you’ll get there, you could end up plodding along, or chopping and changing more often than a supermodel.
If you ever find yourself flitting between ideas, chasing after random impulses and jumping from one strategy to the next, planning will sort you out, and save you a shed load of time. It will help you focus your energy, time and resources on finding the right clients and making more money.
I wonder if your aversion to planning is keeping you all cosy and snuggly right there in your comfort zone. If you’re happy with your business exactly as it is, then don’t bother planning, sure. But if you’d like to move things forward and grow your business, you have to plan!
With no plan, you could end up wasting time, money and making some silly mistakes – best case scenario. Worst case, you end up running the wrong kind of business with the wrong kind of people.
Personally, I think “planning” is due for a rebrand. Let’s give it a twist. Rather than seeing your design work as your creative outlet, why not put your creativity to work ON your business too – and create an awesome plan of action for 2015.
I work with clients all over the world to put exciting plans in place to help boost their businesses. It needn’t be boring. Done right, it can be super exciting and give your ambitions a big kick (where it’s needed!) You’ll leap into the New Year, filled with motivation; focusing like a laser.
Some people love spreadsheets. Some people loathe them. And that’s OK. Don’t let the excel mafia force you into using a medium you hate. If big pieces of blank paper are your preference, go with it. I’m a fan of planning in style, with all the coloured pens and sticky notes a girl could possibly use. So, that’s what I do. Simple.
Right, let’s get cracking!
Don’t bother with New Year’s resolutions made in haste after too much wine where you tell your friends you plan to turn over £10 billion next year – instead, spend some time making powerful plans, backed up by clear actions, to boost your chances of reaching your goals.
I recommend taking some time out from your business – even just an hour or so every month, to really think about your plans for the coming months. Start with your overall goal or ambition and chop it into manageable chunks. You wouldn’t eat an elephant all in one go would you?
To help you get started, here are my top 10 ‘perfect planning’ questions
- How was your 2014? How do you feel about the progress you made?
- What are you going to do differently in 2015?
- What would a super successful 2015 look like?
- What’s your income goal for 2015?
- How much cash would you like to make each month?
- What will your money-making activities be?
- What does your goal equate to – each month? e.g. How many clients or sales per month?
- Who are your perfect clients?
- What’s the problem you’re solving for them? What value are you delivering?
- How will you reach out to and attract your perfect people?
Spend some time working through these questions either on your own, or with a colleague or coach and your plan for a super successful 2015 will emerge. If you do nothing, and don’t put a plan in place, where will you be this time next year? Chances are you’ll be in the same situation, just 365 days older. Don’t be that person.
And to help you create your plans in style, I’ve designed an easy to use Action Planner workbook to help you get organised and on track for the year ahead. It will help you think and work logically, helping you max up your business and, ultimately, increase your revenue. I hope you enjoy using it as much as I enjoyed making it.
So what will you do now? Let me know in the comments below.
Photo credit: deathtostockphotos.com