Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by Matt Zavadil
Wondering how to plan your year?
Below, I outline how an expert business coach teaches the process (and also give you a video break down of the systems used by 3 planning experts)
“It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” -Tony Robbins
Late in November, on a Friday night, I felt the urge to get some business “stuff” done after dinner with my wife.
I went into my office, sat down at my computer and realized I still hadn’t sat down to think through what will make sure this year improves upon last year.
When I opened my email, I discovered that my business coach had sent me a message not 3 minutes earlier about planning my next year. I will use his expert advice to now help you learn how to plan your year.
Check it out:
After offering up his annual economic review he went into how to plan your year from a business perspective.
So, I went into action and within 90 minutes had my entire year planned out…
…everything from tax planning to monthly/quarterly business reviews to projected revenue…
…most importantly, I created a specific plan for how that projected revenue will happen.
I outlined how much my traffic, lead flow and sales must increase over my “last year” numbers in order to hit my new goals this year.
Then, I outlined my action steps (what do I need to DO) that will guarantee I hit my planned numbers.
Below, I bring you everything you need in order to duplicate this process.
Let’s get started!
Recommended Steps to Your Best Year Ever in 2020:
(Decide where you’ll store everything — I use Google Drive. Everything is saved in real time as you type and it’s easy to create new folders, docs, etc.
1. How To Plan Your Year: Start w/ 3 Business Objectives
List out the 3 most vital business objectives that will lead to future achievements and profit over the next year. Keep these objectives as “big picture” accomplishments.
I created a specific plan inside this step that includes how much revenue I want to generate.
I then backed it up to how many leads I must generate during the year and how many sales I must make from that leadflow in order to hit those revenue numbers.
2. Identify Your Responsibilities
Write out how you’ll take responsibility for accomplishing each objective you wrote above. Exactly WHAT will you do? HOW will it get done? WHEN will you complete it?
I planned out exactly WHAT I will do, HOW I will do it & WHEN I will do it so that my stated goals in Step 1 get accomplished.
3. Break Your Year Into Monthly & Quarterly Progress
Instead of thinking about your year as a whole, break everything down into monthly metrics. On your calendar, set up quarterly reviews to measure your goal results and look strategically at your sales, marketing and business activities.
Every 90 days you should be looking at your overall progress while keeping your eyes on results, such as lead generation, clients, profits, revenue & projects, every 30 days.
Here’s a look at this on my personal calendar:
This ensures that my quarterly taxes are done & ready to be sent to my accountant when she requests my 4th quarter numbers in January.
During my Quarterly Planning Sessions and Monthly Reviews, I’ll focus on what went well in the previous month/quarter, what needs adjusting, where my lead flow, traffic, new clients & revenue numbers are, etc.
4. Don’t Go It All Alone
Don’t do this all alone. Start thinking about partners, referrals and advocates who can help you overcome challenges. Who are partners that aren’t direct competitors and complement your products and services well? Get in contact with these people and create a relationship (or grow an existing relationship) that helps you both grow your businesses.
I made a list of potential partners to create marketing partnerships with, other coaches I need to employ so I can improve in additional areas, etc.
5. Plan Your Professional Development
Create a written list of how you want to improve in terms of professional development over the next year.
Who do you want to become? What do you want to learn? What do you want to become better at as a business owner?
Get specific here. Put these activities and goals on your calendar so they become concrete and so they happen.
I started with books and worked my way from there into other professional development areas I want to get better at, such as specific sales funnels, hiring, leadership skills, blogging results, communication skills, coaching skills, etc.
Here was my initial book listing:
- Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You (John Warrillow)
- MOM Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good (Rob Fitzpatrick)
- Badass: Making Users Awesome (Kathy Sierra)
- Who: The A Method for Hiring (Geoff Smart and Randy Street)
6. Avoid Distractions
Don’t allow yourself to become distracted. You may have heard of “shiny object syndrome”. Many business owners and entrepreneurs are big thinkers and allow themselves to get distracted with new ideas.
Stay focused on the big goals you set up in the first step above. With every new idea, go back to those Big 3 and ask yourself if the new idea supports one of your big 3 goals. How does it do so?
Be relentless here. If your new idea is a distraction, write it down for future use. Stay focused. Make a commitment to that!
I had it put to me this way once, “Stop opening up hamburger stands in vacant parking lots and refocus all energy on making your gourmet restaurant the best one in town!”
I bolded that last sentence because I’ve been guilty of this in the past & I see my coaching clients fall into this all the time.
Main thing here for you to consider? Stop focusing on “rinky dink” business ideas or silly marketing methods. Start putting all your time/attention on business ideas that translate into higher revenue per customer: proven Internet marketing methods, higher ticket offerings, etc
7. Live Inside Your Calendar
Lastly, stop living out of your inbox & live out of your calendar instead. Use daily “blocks” inside your calendar to get what must get done in order to move you into accomplishing your goals.
Put items such as emails, phone calls, client tasks, etc into those blocks and get things done in time chunks. Keep your nose inside your calendar all day, NOT your inbox or Facebook chat.
Are you ready to live an outstanding year? I encourage you to NOT do this: Get interested in how to plan your year, read the above content and watch the video…
…and then fail to take instant action on it.
Instead, go back to Step 1 above and take the next 60-90 minutes to get it done. You can do it and next year, you’ll thank yourself for taking specific action steps toward what will make you happy.