This episode is sponsored by Naked Nutrition.
In the season 4 premiere of Creatives Crushing Anxiety, I share the reasons you need to have a plan for your business. Inspired by an old post, Yes, You Need A Business Plan I shift gears and talk about why you need a plan for your business even if it’s not a traditional business plan.
In this episode:
- How a plan for your business can help you make consistent income.
- How you can create realistic expectations with your business plan.
- How clarity around what you offer and who you help can improve your marketing and attract the right clients.
- How having a well-thought-out plan can keep you in check with your progress and alert you when it’s time to shift your plan.
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To kick off the season, I’m going to bring something out of the archives and give it a whole new spin. A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post called Yes, You Need a Business Plan, and it was all about why your blog needs a business plan. But obviously, I really don’t blog that much anymore. And I thought about what “business plan” really means, I think that it’s so good to have a like strategic organized official business plan, but the way that I’m thinking about this now is that you just need a plan in your business.
So often we started our business, or we started businesses or we started blogs or we started these side hustles or hobbies, and we don’t really have a plan other than to make some income on the side. So, I wanted to re-evaluate the post that I recently, or that I wrote a couple of years ago, and look at those reasons and just kind of talk about why they’re still relevant. If you want to have a successful online business. So the first reason is you hope to have regular income from it. I would just mention, typically like our main goal or our first thought is, “I just want to make some extra money,” but when you have a plan in place.
And I think actually before I dive into that I want to go back and talk about what I mean by you need a plan. I mean, you need a plan for your business, not necessarily a business plan. And I know it’s like, “what’s the difference?” Well, the difference is with a plan for your business, it’s sitting down deciding where you want to go, what that looks like and how you’re planning to move forward. A business plan is going to be the more strategic outline. This is my mission statement, my ethos, those are my values, my projections, my goals… While all of that is so super important. It can be very overwhelming, so even if you just start with a plan for your business before you do the business plan, you can still see growth, and honestly, creating a plan for your business will help you build a business plan when you feel like you’re ready.
So let’s, let’s begin let me give you an example of a plan for your business may say, “Okay, this is the last three months of 2021, I want to make sure that I am posting a new video every week. And in addition to that I also want to make sure that I am increasing my email list and how am I going to increase my email list? I’m going to reach out to so many people a week, about being on their podcast I’m going to create new freebies.” What are these plans and what are the details of the plan that you’re going to do in order to get you from A to Z? I don’t want to get you from A to B only get you from A to Z. Yes, a little by little becomes a lot. If you listen to the first three seasons of the show you know that’s one of my favorite quotes and I’m all about baby steps but the plan for your business is supposed to be the thing that gets you from A to Z, and the little things you do within that is the A to B.
You Hope To Make A Regular Income From It
As I was saying, you hope to make a regular income from it. When you create this plan, you’re going to decide, okay, what am I selling? What is the offer here? How am I generating revenue? Am I going to be an affiliate? Am I going to do sponsored posts? am I going to do collaborations? Joint venture partnerships? What are the different ways that I can make income? Let’s say you are service-based, What is the limitation for you? If you can only say take five clients at a time, what does that look like? How many hours do you spend with those five clients? Are you giving yourself time to do the business operational stuff?
I see it all the time, with new business owners, before they have clients all they’re doing is the operational stuff. And they’re you know they’re keeping track with it but then when they start to get clients and it picks up that stuff falls by the wayside. And a lot of times they need to hire out and they may not feel ready, or they may go ahead and hire out. But the thing is you don’t want to let that stuff fall by the wayside. You want to make sure that you’re planning. (I’m going to say playing a lot here so I apologize if that gets annoying but, hey, this is useful information.) You need to plan for when you’re going to do those things.
For example, I don’t do meetings on Fridays and I rarely do meetings on Mondays. That is my time to do internal things, balance the books, write anything that I need to write, anything internal that I just really need to have my head down and not be distracted or not, want to chop up, those are the days that I get things done.
Have Realistic Expectations
The next thing is to have realistic expectations. This kind of ties into the previous one, when we were talking about. Well, there’s a couple of ways that you need to have realistic expectations but the one we’re talking about like how many clients you can realistically work with? How much money do you want to make? If you believe that the worth or the value of what you’re offering is $2,000 per client. And you know that you can only realistically, and responsibly serve five clients a month, then $10,000 may be realistic. But if you’re saying, I want to have $20,000 months but you have a $2,000 program and you only have time to hope those five clients a month, then that’s not a realistic expectation.
Let’s say you’re not producing service services that are done for you or something that you are trading basically time for dollars, which I know that gets a bad name but sometimes like, that’s good work, doing, doing the deep stuff with people working with people one on one. No matter how far I’ve gotten in my coaching job, my coaching role, I still do project management because a. I love it, I love the variety, but b. I would get drained, if I was just doing one on one work all the time, or even if I had a group program I would still miss that nerdy brain side of me that likes to organize things and plan things out. So it’s really really important to have realistic expectations about what you can do what you’re trying to make what you need to make.
So often we have this big arbitrary number and I had because we hear, “six figures six figures six figures.” But, and I said this before, we may only need $5,000 A month to live comfortably to save to pay our mortgage, whatever it may be. And we’re just saying this other number because everyone else is saying and then we feel bad when we don’t hit it, and we really don’t have a reason to hit it. Now I’m not saying that making money as a reason that now, but we all know that you are more motivated when you have a why behind it, and maybe that why is yes, you only need $5,000 But you want to make $10,000 Because you want to retire when you’re 50 Maybe it’s because you want to start traveling, maybe it’s because you want to buy a bigger house, whatever it may be. It’s really, really getting clear on what your expectations are and what your goals are.
A Word About This Episode’s Sponsor
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Clarity in Message and Marketing
Okay, so the third thing is so you can have clarity. So often when we do this online business thing we know we want to make money and we know what we kind of have to offer, but we’re not super clear on the details. Let’s say that you know you want to do virtual assistant work. Okay, but what is your like zone in? Are you a tech VA? Are you a social media VA? What is the bread and butter for you? Getting clarity on that makes it so much easier to book clients, and I’m actually going to tie clarity in with number four, so it’s just both going to be number three now is figure out marketing.
I cannot tell you the realization that I had when I was booking all these conference calls,mand some would go good and some people knew what they were looking for, but other people were like, “Oh, that’s what you do, like, that sounds awesome, but I need a VA,” and I’m like, “Yeah, you do because I’m not gonna schedule your emails for you. God bless you, but I’m not.” I’m going to tell you how many emails to send out and what needs to be in them, what dates they should go out and that’s because, along with project management I also kind of do a little bit of strategy with my clients, because I have a marketing background. Clarity lets you figure out what you do for people and when you get to be clear, like that, as to what you offer and what’s available and what’s included, then it makes your marketing so much better. It lets people know off the bat. Are you someone that can help me? Are you the person that I’m looking for? Is it me you’re looking for, Lionel Richie said that. But it’s, it allows you to really just come from a place of no confusion. Because think about it, we have so many decisions to make on a daily basis and there are so many online service providers to choose from. So when you are the person who’s very very like hyper clear you say “I am an Ontraport VA, I can set up pages, I can set up, emails, I can set up text messages, I can build on anything in Ontraport. I’m Ontraport certified.” Then that person knows, “Oh, this is Ontraport is my main pain point, and every VA I have worked with, is like, ‘Oh, I’ve never used this before but I’ll learn,’ and then I end up paying for their learning and they still never really get it.” so they know you are the person that they want to work with so just allows you to be really, really clear, and it allows your clients or your potential clients to be really clear and to be able to make an informed decision.
And it saves you time. I don’t think that I’ve ever had a consult call showed up that I wasn’t like this was a great conversation. Honestly, I’m really bad about keeping it short because I just end up riffing with the people. My extroverted side comes out, and we ended up talking about our goals or ethos and all of that, once we get past the minutiae of it all, and I’ve never had one that I’ve walked around with walk left with left from and been like, “That was horrible.” But I have left some saying. “That was not the highest use of my time,” because it wasn’t the right fit, I wasn’t what they needed, or they weren’t what I need. So it just really saves your time and helps you be so clear.
Mark Your Progress and Re-strategize
Now the final thing is it helps you mark your progress and re-strategize. Yes, if you don’t have a plan and you know, “Hey, that first month I made $2,000 This month I made $3,000. Yay, I’m doing better.” Yeah, you could track your success and your progress like that. But the truth is if you’re not being conscious about the things that you’re doing and you’re just kind of throwing spaghetti at the wall and you don’t have a plan of action, you won’t know what’s working, what’s not working.
If you’re saying okay yeah I feel like posting on Instagram today so I’m going to post it. Oh, I feel like posting on Facebook so I’m gonna post on Facebook. Okay, well where did that extra $1,000 this next month come from? What are the numbers? What did you do differently from last month? or what did you do more consistently that is changing that, that’s allowing that that growth to happen? When when you make a plan, you make the plan of not only how you’re going to market, what you’re going to offer, who you are and how you’re going to show up in the world, but what are the goals and how are we tracking the goals. And if, let’s say, you know it’s $2,000 the first month and then it’s only $500 the second month, then it allows you to go in and re-strategize, you may just say, “Oh well, I guess. There was an election this month so I didn’t do as well.” But if you are keeping track and you have a laid-out plan you can say, “Well this was different than this last month. Hmm, I wonder if that was the disconnect, I wonder if that’s where my potential clients got confused.” Or, “Oh I didn’t post on Instagram as much, so I didn’t engage as much and I had less consult calls,” whatever it may be, it really allows you to just stop and say okay what is the situation here? And [figure out] how can I rectify it.
So yeah, those are the reasons that you need a business plan, You hope to make a regular income from it, you have realistic expectations. You want to get clarity and figure out your marketing, and then make your progress and mark your progress and re-strategize, so thank you so much.
I’m so excited for this season of Creatives Crushing Anxiety. There is a series of that starting on the next episode where we dive deep into my methodology, and I talk about how I use that methodology to buy my first house this year. I am so so grateful that you guys have been with me for three full seasons and we’re kicking off season four! If you would like to learn more about how you can work with me in the balanced business experience, please visit diadarling.com and click on the coaching button and we can go from there. Also, a big shout out to my sponsor Naked Nutrition, they have amazing products. Alright, I will catch you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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Now tell me:
- Do you have a business plan?
- How far do you plan out for your business?
- How do you plan?
- Do you set up an official planning session or plan as you go?