After taking a month-long hiatus from blogging, I’m BACK! And what better way to kick off the new year than with some business planning tips for solopreneurs?
(Pssst… if you’re wondering, “but what IS a solopreneur?”, it’s pretty straightforward! A solopreneur is simply someone who has a one-person business—including freelancers and most home-based business owners. If you have a business without employees, you’re a solopreneur. And in 2017, I’m expanding my area of focus to include all kinds of solopreneurs, not just freelancers—starting with today’s blog post. Yay!)
I’ve been doing A LOT of business planning over the past month, and I know this is something that many solopreneurs really struggle with. In fact, NOT creating actionable plans (which you then actually implement) is a major reason why solopreneurs fail in business.
But not you! These solopreneur business planning tips will help you to FOCUS on one goal at a time and create concrete action steps to help you achieve those goals.
Let’s get started…
Business planning tip for solopreneurs #1: start with your BIG goal.
Your BIG goal should be something you want to achieve at least 6 months from now—and ideally, it should be something you want to achieve within 1—3 years. Basically, the bigger the goal, and the more long-term you’re able to plan ahead, the better you’ll be able to create actionable steps and ensure that everything you do NOW works toward your bigger overarching goal.
For example, maybe you have a goal of finally quitting your 9 to 5 job. Or maybe you want to make a certain amount of money from your small business, or maybe you want to work with a specific number of people (or a celebrity client), or maybe you want to transition from solopreneur to entrepreneur.
Everyone’s BIG goal will be different! You need to figure out yours before moving onto the next step.
Don’t know what your big business goal is? No problem! I’ve created a special workbook to help you figure out what your business goal is.
Business planning tip for solopreneurs #2: identify smaller goals which will contribute towards your BIG goal.
Let’s say your BIG goal takes place three years in the future. In that case, what do you need to accomplish within the next 12 months to work toward that BIG goal? Can you break that one-year goal into four smaller goals (one for each quarter of the year)? The more you can identify smaller, more manageable goals, the more realistic and doable your BIG goal will be.
Business planning tip for solopreneurs #3: prioritize your smaller goals and arrange them realistically on your calendar.
Alright, so you know what you want to achieve 3 years from now. And you know where you need to be 1 year from now, in order to be heading in the right direction for your 3-year BIG goal.
You’ve even broken down your 1-year goal into four more manageable goals that you can spend each quarter of the year on.
But hold up! Have you prioritized those smaller goals? Have you arranged them on your calendar in a way that realistically fits into your schedule?
More than that, when you look at your 1-year goal, have you focused on the right priority to contribute to your 3-year goal… or do you need to go back to the drawing board and choose a goal that’s connected more meaningfully with your 3-year goal?
Prioritizing your goals and arranging them strategically on your schedule is fundamental to making your goals a reality.
Business planning tip for solopreneurs #4: create daily/weekly actionable steps to achieve each of your smaller goals.
Plans and actions go hand-in-hand. There is no point in taking action without having a plan, and no point in having a plan if you aren’t going to take action: the former could destroy your business, and the latter could prevent your business from ever being a reality.
“Making strategic plans and taking ACTION go hand-in-hand if you want a successful small business” – @Saganlives
I cannot stress enough the importance of having concrete, actionable strategies that you implement for your business.
Creating daily/weekly actionable steps for achieving goals is a strategy I LOVE—in fact, I love it so much that I created my free Begin Your Biz Facebook group to specifically include super quick daily action steps that any solopreneur can use to make progress in their business!
The concept behind the actionable steps is that you are breaking down each one of your smaller goals into something practical and tangible.
So, if you have a 3-month goal, then you can break down your 3-month goal into even smaller weekly goals, and you can add daily action items that you’ll need to take to achieve each of your weekly goals.
If you want to quit your 9 to 5 job within 3 months, for example, then you might have a weekly goal to get a new client for your business… and you can break that weekly goal into a series of action steps for marketing your business and pitching to clients (CLICK HERE to get a day-by-day breakdown for how to get your first client!).
See how it works? Your goals can be broken down into smaller and smaller chunks, until they can be broken into concrete action steps that you can take to actually ACHIEVE those goals.
The cool thing about using this method is that it works for pretty much any size of goal. We’ve gone with a 3-year BIG goal plan in this case, but you could adapt it to fit a 6-month BIG goal, or a 10-year BIG goal if you wanted. Just switch up the timelines and the workload to fit accordingly!