This has been the third year in a row that I have done proper planning for the year ahead. In 2017, through the HerBusiness group, I was introduced to a planning method. And every year thereafter, I have done planning with HerBusiness, and it has improved every year.
In November this year, I spent a whole day on my planning for 2020, with my HerBusiness Mastermind group.
For those who have done a bit of work in the productivity space, this is an analogy that you are likely to have heard. But the planning methodology that I use is based around filling up a space as effectively as possible. If you think about a bucket, you would not fill it with sand and water, and then pile any big piece of rock and debris on top.
The most effective way to fill the bucket is to put the big rocks in first, then the gravel, then the sand and then the water.
Hence, the HerBusiness planning methodology makes is go through systematically, and prioritising the important things in our life first.
The personal items need to go into your calendar first – these are vacations, birthdays, time that you need to spend with family or friends, self-care and healthcare, personal courses, events you want to compete in, and potentially even your weekly gym appointments.
Only once your personal life is taken care of (because you will not have a personal life unless you plan it – as a business owner, the business always seems to fill every part of your day unless you have planned otherwise), then you can focus on big items for your business.
If you have major business projects that you are considering, then put those into the calendar, including planning in delivery and time to prepare. These may be events, promotions, trade shows, launches, website development, systems development, and joint ventures.
Once the big business rocks are in your planner, then it’s time to think about the marketing tasks to go into your calendar. These can be your routine tasks, such as daily posts, and fortnightly email newsletters, but also think about any marketing tasks needed that are related to the big business items you’ve just put into your calendar.
Finally, if you don’t already have a cash flow budget, now is the time to do it.
If you do already have a cash flow budget, then this needs to be reviewed in terms of any marketing campaigns and outlays that you know you will need to make at certain times of the year, considering the big business projects you have planned into your calendar.
As I said, I have improved at doing this planning each of the last three years, and taking a whole day to do the planning I think will be game-changing for 2020.