Business planning is the secret to the success of your handmade or creative business. Do you set aside time regularly to plan out what it is that you want to do in your business?
Over the next seven weeks, I want to share some tips with you that may help you with this whole business planning thing. Think of this as a 7-week challenge 😊
Each week, I’ll share a tip, or a strategy designed to help you make plans for growing your business. We’re not talking airy-fairy stuff here. These will be hands-on, actionable tips and strategies you can use every day to embrace planning, set ambitious goals, and then work towards reaching them.
Keep in mind that nothing is ever set in stone. As our business grows, or as we learn new things, it’s quite possible that the direction that we want to take with our handmade or creative business can change dramatically.
- When you first started your business, you may have wanted to make items that were designed by others and sell them – so your business was geared toward making and selling finished items.
- But as time went on you decided you wanted to design the items you sell and sell the patterns as well. So now the focus of your business has changed and you goal is to become a pattern designer as well as a maker of finished items.
- However, writing a pattern for yourself is totally different than writing a pattern that you want to sell to others. So, there is a learning curve there.
- And, there also the fact you may have established yourself as a maker, so how do you now establish yourself as a designer?
- There are other things to learn as well. Like how to market yourself in this new segment of your business. You’re now going after a whole new customer base.
See where I’m going with all this?
Let’s start off Week 1 by looking at WHY business planning is “the secret” to success.
There are a few different factors that come into play here.
The first is efficiency.
When you go in with a clear plan, you can focus on what’s most important.
Instead of spending time trying to figure out what:
- you should be working on,
- pieces of the puzzle are missing,
- skills you need to learn, or
- you need to do to break through into the world of pattern designer.
You’ll know exactly what needs to come next.
As we’ll explore in a future blog post, with a clear goal in mind and a plan for the year, it becomes easy to walk backwards to create effective and efficient daily to-do lists. Work on what needs to get done each day and you will reach your goals.
Next, setting a big goal for yourself helps you think outside the box.
If you don’t believe me, try it.
- Decide on one big goal for the for the coming month.
- Write it down. Keep it in front of you.
- Then get to work and start to notice what happens next.
You start to think of things that didn’t occur to you before.
- Perhaps you come up with creative ways to get more traffic.
- Maybe you decide to run a fun promo that gets you in front of your new target market and adds dollars to your bank account.
Finally, let’s talk about the subconscious.
So far, we’ve been focused on what we are actively doing to make progress by deciding to create a plan, setting some goals and then, actually following through.
But, there’s another dimension to all this and that’s what’s going on in our subconscious mind. While we are busy plowing through our to-do list, cooking dinner for the family, and even sleeping, our subconscious mind is working towards those goals as well.
In short, planning and setting goals is important because it helps you grow faster – because you pretty much get out of your own way.
That means you end up with more money for yourself and your loved ones while spending less time slaving away at your desk.
Week 1 Business Planning Tip:
Grab yourself a piece of paper, start a spreadsheet or a document.
Create 2 columns, called:
- Where you are,
- and Where you want to be in (you choose a date or a time frame)
Now, make your lists.
In the Where you are section, write down or make a list of where your business is at today. Include whatever you want – business revenue, what you’re doing, etc.
In the Where you want to be section, make a list of where you want your business to be in whatever time frame you gave yourself. Include whatever you want – what you’d like your business revenue to be, things you need to learn, courses you want or will need to take, etc.
Keep this document close to you, look at it every day over the next week, jot down notes as thoughts come into your head.