Are you running your business or is your business running you?
This is all about, do you feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants just to keep up with this crazy monster you’ve created called Your Business? If the answer is,
“Yeah, I’m feeling like I’m flying by the seat of my pants. I’m just trying to play catch up on everything from my inbox to my marketing to all the things that I’m trying to do in my business.”
Then you’re going to love what I have to talk about for today’s episode of the Uncomplicate Your Business Show.
What I hear from so many entrepreneurs when it comes to this topic is that they want the plan, but they just don’t know where to start. That’s what we’re going to get into today.
Last week, I had the opportunity to go to Annapolis, Maryland and I spent some time with my friend, Amber McCue, at an event she was hosting called Implement Live.
It was such a great little two-day event where we had all these incredible heart-centered women entrepreneurs who were getting together to actually work on their plans, their action plans for the year ahead.
I think it was about 25, amazing women for two whole days to talk about nothing more than planning and getting results in your business. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about.
As we were having these conversations, we were going through this process of planning, what really showed up for me and what was really eye-opening for me and got me thinking about this, entrepreneurs are really great at ideas.
We love the ideas. Ideas are our favorite part of being entrepreneurs. What we’re not so great at all the time, though, is turning those ideas into step-by-step action plans.
We’re not always the best at breaking those ideas into actionable plans where we know what we need to be staying focused on every month, every week, every day so that we can implement those ideas.
If you feel like you have all these ideas and you have all these things you want to create, but you’re just not getting results even though you’re busy, maybe you’re struggling with these types of things.
You know you should be consistent with things like newsletters or blog posts, some way to connect with your community on a regular basis, but you always feel like you’re playing catch up.
You always feel like, “I don’t have time to sit down and do that,” or you’re waiting until the very last minute because there’s not a plan.
All these different things you think, “I should be doing all these things.” This leads to a huge sense of overwhelm and feeling like you can never catch up.
A feeling of, “I’m not sure where I should be spending my time and energy because there’s all these little things that are just grabbing at my attention that I think I should be doing.”
Here’s the thing that I know for sure: big companies, they have this figured out. They know something that we don’t. This is something that us small guys, we can learn from big companies.
I’m in Target all the time. I pay attention to their marketing. I pay attention to what’s going on. I know that this summer, coming the end of July/beginning of August, there was all the back-to-school stuff getting set up about six weeks before my kids actually went back to school.
Target (and pretty much every other retailer out there) starts their back-to-school promotion four to six weeks early.
I know that we all complain. I know I say, “Oh, my gosh. It’s not even October yet and we’re already seeing Christmas stuff out.”
But here’s something to think about: in most retail categories, their biggest quarter is at the end of the year Toys, electronics and things like that, their third quarter sales make their year.
Those businesses know this and they plan their marketing strategy, their sales strategy around when they know those offers are going to be top of mind.
Think about all those New Year’s Resolutions. Businesses that are in the health and wellness space, they all know that people are going to be thinking about those things in the new year.
You will see if you pay attention, going into January, they already have their campaigns. They already have their promotions, their marketing and their sales strategies. They’ve got it all locked and loaded.
Even something like magazines, I went online and looked up Oprah Magazine editorial calendar. Just Google it. If you look that up, you will see that for them to put this September on newsstands, they actually finished this issue in probably May or June.
They are several months ahead of what they’re putting out on the newsstands.
This is something we need to take a page out of their book.
We need to take a page out of their book. These businesses, these bigger organizations, they have the answer to a really important question.
That question is: What’s next?
- What is next in the minds of your dream clients?
- What are they paying attention to?
- When are they getting excited for what you have to offer?
Once you understand that, this is the beginning of designing a plan for predictable profits in your business.
What I want to share with you is the elements of a predictable profit plan and what you need to be thinking about.
You can take some notes or you can check out my brand new masterclass that dives even deeper into this topic at YourSweetSpotStrategy.com.
First thing is to be thinking about the times of the year.
What are the hot times of year for your industry for your clients? This is so important to know because if you’re not sure when the hot times of year are, you’re going to always find yourself coming up with promotions out of thin air at the very last minute.
You need to know when people are actively seeking out what it is that you have to offer.
For example, if you are in health and wellness and you don’t have a plan for January, then you are missing out on what is statistically one of the biggest months of the entire calendar year for businesses in that category.
You have to know what the hot seasons of your year are. Take those hot seasons of your year and then plan in your core offers around that.
Let’s say you are a yoga teacher. At the beginning of the year, you have a signature offer that’s all about getting new yoga practitioners and people who are new to yoga.
You have a beginner series that you kick off at the beginning of the year and it’s like a 10 or 12-week series. Then, going into the spring or summer, maybe you have a signature yoga challenge or you just run the beginner series again.
You can, in fact, just run that signature series during all those hot times of the year, create the marketing once and work it multiple times. That’s what I highly recommend to so many of my students.Find your core offering and figure out how many ways you can share it throughout a single year.Click To Tweet
That way you have one plan, one system, one marketing strategy, one sales strategy and it’s all working together.
You also want to think about how you are selling that offering
- Do you need to have one-on-one conversations with people?
- Are you having a workshop where then you’re inviting them to take a next step?
- Are you asking for referrals and focused on getting referrals in to have conversations with people?
- Are you doing conversations?
- Are you having a webinar?
- Are you having a workshop?
- Are you doing a challenge?
- What is the actual sales strategy there that has you extending that invitation?
You want to know your offering. You want to know the sales strategy.
You also want to know the marketing strategy
Like I said, I’m walking into Target now and Target knows that these big categories are going to be really popular soon for the holidays.
They’ve got Thanksgiving stuff and Halloween stuff out right now when we’re recording this. But, coming up, Christmas is right around the corner.
Hanukkah is right around the corner when everybody is buying a ton of gifts. I can guarantee you in the next few weeks we are going to start seeing more and more and more of that stuff out.
They’ve already thought through the marketing strategy. They already know what they’re doing for their Black Friday sale. They already know what weeks they’re going to have certain items on special, on sale, that they’ll be promoting special items.
They already know what the hot items are going to be. They’ve already got that mapped out in advance. That’s the marketing component.
If you have something you know you want to promote next month:
- You need to know what you’re promoting
- How you’re inviting people to take that step to work with you, to buy your product, to buy your service, to get your thing.
- Are you having a conversation?
- Are you offering it on a masterclass or a webinar?
- Are you running it via challenge and sending them to a sales page?
- What are you doing to actually invite them to take that step?
What are you doing in the weeks leading up to that offering. What are you doing to start the conversation? How are you promoting that offering? How are you getting people excited about it?
Here’s what I do:
I know the hot seasons for my business. I know that for me it’s pretty much always going to be January, May and September. Those are really hot times in my business, in the world that I’m in.
But, maybe you’re in a completely different field with a completely different seasonality. Let’s say maybe you’re in the wedding industry.
For wedding industry, the hot time of year is going to be late spring and early fall. It’s not usually going to be in the middle of the winter. You have to know what your seasons are and you want to plan your offerings around that calendar.
Once you know when your hot seasons are, that’s where you put your core offers. That’s where you’re going to make the majority of your revenue.
You want to put those down in your calendar and ask yourself for those big hot months, what is your offering?
How are you inviting people into that offering? How are you leading them to that invitation? What are you doing in the four to six weeks beforehand to get people excited about it?
You want to think about these components because if you can’t answer the question “What happens next” then it’s going to be really hard to get their attention when they’re not ready for it.
That would be the equivalent of right now walking in Target and instead of seeing pumpkins and Halloween costumes, we’re seeing things for summer.You have to pay attention to where people's attention is.Click To Tweet
If you’re not sure, take some time to map it out on a calendar. I hope this inspires you to sit down and begin to map out a predictable profit plan. If you liked today’s little Facebook Live, I encourage you to go and check out my all-new masterclass. It’s Three Essential Strategies to Design a Predictably Profitable Business.
This was just one part of that masterclass and we’re going to dive even deeper. There is a workbook there to help you start to map out your predictable profit plan and I’d love to support you as you start to grow your business.