Today I have more tips for creating a successful business plan.
In my post about Easy Internet Marketing: How To Create Your Business Plan, we went over how to research a great business idea.
This week we are going to look at what it takes to be successful and how to put that into your business plan.
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Creating a successful business is more than setting things up and hoping for income.
Unfortunately, this is how many people start their businesses, be it online or brick and mortar.
They dream about having fast success and a 10K a month income in six months, with no previous experience.
Get rich quick is not a business plan, it is marketing for lottery tickets
If you are looking for:
- Extra income for gifts or vacations
- Full-time income, so you can quit your 9-to-5 job
- A scalable income that will allow you to work less but earn more
You are going to have to put some work in to build that.
The good news is that many people have already created successful online businesses.
And most of them follow a basic strategy: figure out what you want and then figure out how to get it.
So get a piece of paper or a notebook and work through these steps and plan your success.
Six Steps To Help You Create A Successful Business Plan
You do not have to wait until the first day of a new quarter, especially if you are not used to following a business plan.
In business, the quarters are:
- Q1 – January 1 to March 31.
- Q2 – April 1 to June 30.
- Q3 – July 1 to September 30.
- Q4 – October 1 to December 31.
You may hear people talking about Q4 as the biggest money making quarter of the year, because of holiday sales.
Many businesses plan into future quarters for what they want to accomplish, and this is a good practice.
90 days is easier to plan for than 12 months.
But you should still have long term goals, such as 5 year, 3 year or 1 year.
1. Get clear about what you want
You may be thinking “I want a million dollars!!!”. Great goal but how will you get it?
It might be easier to think about what you want your business life to look like in the future:
- Do you want to be the go-to business for your niche? What does that look like?
- Is your ideal life to semi-retire in 5 years and only work on your business part-time?
- Or do you want to set up a business and have your family work on it with you so they can quit their jobs?
- Why do you really want to start a business?
These are some questions you can ask yourself. If you come up with more, list them and your answers.
2. Set goals that lead to this outcome
So now you have an idea of what you want and why, the next step is to set goals that lead you towards it.
First decide how long it should reasonably take for you to hit your end goal. If you want to semi-retire in 5 years, that time frame is your “stretch” goal.
What steps do you think you will need to take to get to that goal?
For most online businesses, the answer if probably:
- Create content
- Get traffic to the content
- Sell products to the visitors
- Rinse & repeat.
So if you are brand new, you should set a goal to create x number of pieces of content (blog posts, videos etc).
Once you get some content, your goal might be to find website traffic. This could be:
- Promoting on social media
- Paying for ads
- Using Pinterest to promote pins about your content.
And if you want to create scalable content that you control, you will want to create products of your own to sell.
You can create products of different price points and get traffic to those to bring in the money.
This is a business plan that many bloggers have.
You figure out what content your visitors are coming to you for, what problem they need fixed, and you create a product for it.
So reasonable goals for your first year might be:
- Create 30 pieces of content in 90 days
- Then create less content in the next 90 days, but start looking into traffic options.
- Pick one traffic option to try, do your best and check your website analytic data after 90 days.
- Figure out what is working and do more of that, monitoring the results for success.
3. Chunk your goals to make achieving them easier
Chunking refers to breaking goals into smaller pieces and achieving the goals progessively.
So if your goal is to create content, you may want to create 30 pieces of content in the next 90 days.
So chunking this goal could mean:
- 2 to 3 pieces every week for 4 weeks
- Spending two weeks creating all 30 pieces
If you are new to creating content, you may want to be conservative in this goal until you know how long it takes you to create each piece.
4. Every quarter, create a plan for the next 90 days
Set two or three goals (you do not want to get overwhelmed and then procrastinate), such as creating content and finding traffic.
Decide how you want to achieve these goals.
Carve them in stone and do not deviate from this plan.
Bloggers who use social media for traffic have found that they can waste hours on those platforms when they only went to check stats.
Or you can get a really interesting newsletter that leads you down a rabbit hole.
If you have a solid plan for what needs to get done in 90 days, it may help for you to set office hours.
For example, you may decide to work on your business for at least 4 hours a day, and after that you can check email and social media.
You can use Google calendar to block out your work hours. Or use your favorite planner.
But the idea is to get some work done before play time 🙂
5. Stick to your plan and take action to hit your goal
Do not adjust your plan unless you have completed the tasks for the 90 days.
If your plan is to create 30 pieces of content in 90 days, but you get it done in 60 days, then you can move forward.
Try to avoid jumping around as you get “great ideas”. Stick to your plan, and then pencil your good ideas in to your planner near the end of your quarter.
6. Rinse and repeat every quarter
When you start a new quarter, you create a new plan.
If you did not complete tasks from the previous quarter, and they are important, put them into the new quarter.
The goal is to keep pushing your business forward.
This helps you to see that you are making progress, because sometimes it may not seem that way.
But if you can look at your plans, and see that you are indeed checking things off the list, it will help you to see it on paper.
In my post about The Power of Momentum in Business, I explain this concept more. It is like a snowball rolling downhill, and momentum is the key to business success.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and found it helpful. Next weeks edition: Internet Marketing Advice: What To Do and Not Do In Your Business
Please share with others…sharing is caring! Let me know in the comments how these tips work for you!
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Until next time, happy blogging and follow me on Pinterest!