Start your year with specific and measurable business goals. For example: I want to earn $200,000 in 2008. Or, I want my newsletter distribution to double.
Create a plan to achieve your goals. We have all heard about the person/business who was at the right place at the right time and became the “overnight success”. Luck favors the prepared. You do not know what the future will bring – but you can control your reaction to it.
Craft your plan to describe who your market is, what problem they have, the existing solutions to their problem, your solution, why your solution is best (and for who), and why they should trust you. If you already have clients, poll them to find out more about why they use you.
Note: there are two major types of plans: strategic plans and business plans. A strategic plan is focused on creating a clear path for achieving your goals, while a business plan is focused on funding for the goals. Create a strategic plan for yourself, and a business plan when you are seeking outside investors (and you already have a strategic plan).
Test your plan. Which plan is best? The one that produces the results you want. How do you pick that plan? You measure. For example, to increase newsletter sign-ups on your website, try different offers, wordings, font sizes, location of sign-up box, colors, etc. Split test – compare “A” vs. “B”. Pick the one that works. And continue to refine.
Anticipate your results. Imagine you wanted 25 new clients in 2008. Do you have the resources to handle them? At your current rates, can you afford to have these new clients (how much time does acquiring and maintaining a new client take, and what is your time worth)?
Get help with your business. You started your business because of specific skills or products that only you can provide. Focus your time on your specialty. Working on and working in your business are very different skills.
If you are considering a shift in your business direction, contact me. My specialty is creating creative, customized, and effective plans that achieve your business goals.