Wishing is for Birthdays. Planning is for Go Getters.
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything” ~Dwight Eisenhower
At first, it seems totally backwards. The plan is what matters and not the act of planning. Right?
But I’ve learned over the many years of creating plans in my corporate life and solopreneur life, planning is actually more important. Planning requires looking back at past performance to evaluate what worked. Evaluating what worked and didn't helps get clear on goals and prioritizing.
“Plans are things that change.” ~Fujio Cho, Toyota
We don’t have a crystal ball to perfectly predict how our lives, our business, and world events will impact us. But when we’ve done the planning, we have the tools to make adjustments and still be successful.
How do you create plans that enable you to be flexible when things change?
Business Building Activities
There are lots of tasks that you do that don’t actually bring in leads or close sales for your business. We want to focus on the business building activities that grow your audience, build connections, and get more clients. Those are the only three things to be focused on in your business.
For a business that is focused on creating an impact through education and content marketing, here are the activities that matter:
Evaluate Prior Success
How many times have you FELT like you didn’t have a good year, your mailing list really didn’t grow, or your last event was a flop? In writing this blog, I evaluated my own success and found that I had radically grown my mailing list in 2021.
My mailing list grew 47%!
Before I evaluated the numbers, I felt I hadn’t done such a great job of list building in 2021. Our feelings don’t always know the truth, so we’ve got to do some number crunching.
The easiest way to evaluate your prior success is to refer to your CRM (customer relationship management), online appointment scheduler, invoicing / payment processes, and webpages for statistics. Most tools have some reporting function, which makes it easy to pull the information. All you have to do is be consistent about using it.
The Work Smarter CRM collects statistics on all the business building activities.
Then you pull those statistics into a spreadsheet to evaluate how you’ve done against industry averages and best practices.
Tracking these statistics routinely will help you identify what’s working, what’s not working, and what’s missing. We want to keep doing what’s working. Stop doing what isn’t working and start doing those things that we are missing. Tracking will help you stay focused on what’s working instead of chasing those shining new marketing gimmicks.
How Does Tech Fit In?
Most of the business building activities require tech like a sales page, landing page, and CRM. Of course, you can book meetings without tech, but it is much more time consuming.
Make 2022 the year you invest in technology. If this is an area you find challenging, please get The Boutique Effect. I dedicated five chapters on how to select a tool, how much to invest, and best practices for success.
The Work Smarter CRM is an excellent tool for solopreneurs because it includes 90% of the tools you will need to be successful. The only functionality it doesn’t include are bookkeeping, accounting, and invoicing (coming Q1 2022). It is all-in-one, which is much less hassle and we provide unmatched support to make sure you actually use it in your business.
Plan To Get Better Results
All of those are great planning tools. Vision boards are about inspiration and shifting your mindset, but they aren’t plans. Marketing themes and promotion calendars are great marketing plans, but they are very one sided and alone won’t help you reach your business goals.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
With your past success statistics, it is time to make an informed plan that brings is all together.
1 - Identify the business building activities to improve.
2 - Set your business building activities goals.
3 - Define your routine activitites to achieve those goals.
4 - Create a schedule for when you will start each new activity.
5 - Track your performance monthly or quarterly, whichever makes sense for you.
6 - Make adjustments based on what's working and what's not.
If you aren't sure what data to collect or event what it is telling you, I invite you to Get Better Results on January 13th.
Mary Sue Dahill, Founder & CEO of Work Smarter Digital
Ambitious business owners that are tired of marketing gimmicks and digital tools that don't work work with Mary Sue. Because they want one solution that removes complexity and gets their business out of neutral, so they can stop scrambling for their next client and start enjoying the freedoms of entrepreneurship.
Before you buy another digital tool, ask me first! Schedule a Digital Success Strategy Call to explore what’s possible.