It’s that time of year again… the time where I start creating a strategic business plan for the upcoming year. I do it every year… in fact, it’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s also one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle going in to a new year. I’ve created these business plans a little differently each year I’ve done business, some years have worked better than others.
The one element that’s always stayed the same is looking back over the past year to see what worked, and what didn’t. In my business and with the plan I created for the year.
Last year my business, and I, went through a lot of changes. With Google’s heavy hand I’ve had to rethink some of my business strategies as well as the business models I’ve been using.
At times I felt like I set these big goals (and I’ve written plenty of posts on goals), and when it came down to answering the question “what do I do today…” found the answer lacking. Of course, there’s always plenty of “work” to do to keep me busy through the day ~ but looking back I can definitely see there was a lot of time spent on “non income producing” activities.
So this year, of course I have big goals, but I’ve decided to look at my business as a whole ~ instead of looking at it as “a blog” or “this niche site”, I’m looking at my business as a whole and at the blog, the sites, the facebook accounts as pieces of that business ~ not the business itself.
By taking a bigger picture frame of reference I am able to see where the “pieces” fit in to grow my business as a whole. I also tend to be a very all or nothing thinker ~ so when viewing the pieces as the business it’s easy for me to get swept up in one element and completely ignore another. All this, None of that.
I have several arms to my business, and they all need to be tended to if I’m going to grow my business as a whole.
Now that I have the arms mapped out and the growth expected from them I’m doing something I haven’t really done before.
Breaking it down into the simple, daily, income producing activities.
I’ve absolutely realized it’s taking the small steps, completing the income producing activities regularly, consistently, daily that grows your business. It’s all fine and good to set a goal to be making 100K a year ~ but if you don’t take the correct actions, consistently that goal is really just a pipe dream.
Online business really breaks down into a few simple activities.
1. Produce content
2. Promote content
3. Create connections
4. Nurture those connections
From these activities you can come up with more specific ways YOU can do them, depending on your strengths. It also doesn’t matter what kind of business model you’re running, whether it’s blogging, niche marketing, product creation, network marketing ~ you’re going to need these 4 elements in one way or another. It’s up to you to figure out the specific daily actions you need to take to do those 4 activities.
Here’s an example from my business plan:
For the online marketing arm of my business I’ve got 3 blogs to tend to. Each is in a different niche. I am also starting a new project (that I’ll tell you about soon!) that will also create passive income ~ and ties in perfectly with 2 of the blogs.
So my strategic business plan for that arm of my business looks something like this:
- publish blog content daily (I’ve created a publishing schedule and have decided to do monthly topics on two of the blogs so I can easily focus and create content)
- promote blog posts via social media
- connect with others in my niche on social media, and other blogs
- write for the new project daily
- promote the new project via forums daily (I have already identified specific forums that will be a good match for the project)
- include appropriate calls to action (in blog posts, social media, forums etc) to get people on a list.
These activities all feed into the 4 main income producing activities of my business.
Why did I choose the 4 elements I chose?
Because they, at the very bottom line, are what grow my business.
My business grows by finding new customers, and nurturing current customers.
Creating new content and connecting with people ~ at the VERY base is what this business is all about. That is to be my focus this year. Providing insane value to my customers, creating great stuff that they want, and making them so happy about it they gladly share the word with their friends and online networks.
Now, my business model may be a little different than yours. I’m no longer doing niche sites (in fact, I have a few I’d love to sell so if you have any interest please connect with me) from here on out the online arm of my business is all about creating authority, branding myself, and providing insane value.
Whether this is your plan or not doesn’t really matter… what I hope you take from this post is that to move forward and grow your business you have to be CRYSTAL CLEAR what it is you need to spend your time on every single day. Whether you’ve got an hour or 10 hours to spend, you must, must, must spend it taking the actions that move your business forward. If you don’t know what they are, you can’t do them, and you’ll spend another year spinning your wheels wondering why things aren’t working.
So… take some time before the new year arrives. Think about your business as a whole. Look at the parts of your business as the pieces. Then figure out what steps you need to be taking to make the pieces grow so you can make your business as a whole grow. Creating a strategic business plan for the new year will get you off to a great start, but it will also give you a “center” to come back to when you notice your business has gone off the path and you want to get it back on track. (no worries ~ it happens to all of us, it’s the getting back on track part that differentiates the successful from the not)
I’d love to help you out ~ KISS Club is still in business and will continue to help online entrepreneurs create a plan and take action through the next year. If you need some personalized help or a good kick in the pants join us. We don’t bite.
In case you missed my email yesterday just wanted to let you know I’ve pulled the 2 hour blog blueprint and have replaced it with a rather remarkable (if I do say so myself) Focus and Action Work at Home Business Blueprint ~ it will walk you through all the planning and set up to create a BUSINESS online… not a blog, or a niche site, but a whole business that will be sustainable over the long haul. It’s getting rave reviews. If you’re already on my list and didn’t get a copy just shoot me an email momtohanna [at] gmail [dot] com and I’ll send it to you. If you’re not on the list ~ fill in the blanks (top right corner).