New Year New Plan: 5 Steps to Building A Yearly Plan for Your Coaching / Consulting Business

Jan 14, 2013 by

yearly plan for your coaching or consulting business

One of the biggest mistakes I see when building a business is not having a clearly defined direction for your business. I’m not talking about a 20 page business plan you would share with your bank to receive a loan. I’m talking about simple, yearly plans to guide your activities, marketing, and intentions.

This piece is essential before developing any marketing strategy. If you don’t know what you are working towards, you won’t be using your marketing efforts strategically. This leads to a lot of missed opportunities and time wasted.

Do you need to create a yearly marketing plan? Well, ask yourself, “How much farther along in my business this year than I was this time last year?” If the answer is, “Not much” you need to develop and work your yearly business plan.

Creating a yearly business plan can take place in 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Where do you want your business to be this time next year?

What programs, products, services to I want to offer by the end of the year? How often would you like to offer them? How many clients would you like to have? How large would you like your database to me? What partnerships would you like to forge? By the end of the year, how would you like your business to be positioned in the marketplace? (as an expert, as a resource, as a connector, etc.) What is your business purpose? Determining this piece will help guide the marketing activities you choose to do. You might also want to include personal goals you would like to attain.

Also ask yourself questions such as “How much monthly revenue would I like to make?” “How many hours per week would I like to work?” and “How much vacation time do I want?”

Although we need to think about tangible goals and outcomes for your business, I also like to define how I want my business to feel.

Step 2: Determine completion and launch dates.

What date does each project need to be completed? What days would you like to begin a launch campaign for your new program, product or service?

Evaluate approximately how long it will take you to create each new program, product or service. Don’t forget to factor in any materials that need to be created or additional resources that need to be organized. Then determine when you would like to complete each project.

Now determine when each project should be launched. Also, include how long your launch process lasts.

Step 3: Breakdown tasks & delegate

What steps are required to complete each project? What actions need to be taken in order to reach these goals? Break down each project task by task. Be as specific as possible. If you’re designing a new program make sure you include items such as creating handouts, finding the location, designing the presentation, outlining your content, etc.

Then determine who is responsible for completing each task. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It’s more than worth it.

Now, create SMART goals is essential in this step. For each task you are listing, develop a SMART goal –

S – be specific

M – be sure it’s measurable

A – make sure it’s achievable (do you have the required skills and knowledge to complete the task. If not, where / how can you attain that?)

R – make sure it’s reasonable. (considering everything else you have on your plate, can you reasonable add this goal to it?)

T – time sensitive (when do you expect to complete this task?)

Step 4: Divide activities quarterly

It’s time to break out your calendar and determine what projects you would like to complete this year based on the yearly quarter. Each year is divided into 4 quarters – January through March / April through June / July through September / October through December.

Don’t forget that you also need to plan your marketing activities for each month. You don’t want to overload your time. Keep that in mind when developing your plan in the first place. I highly recommend assigning no more than 1 new project or launch per quarter. Ideally 1 to 2 new projects per year is plenty.

Step 5: Write it out & stick with it.

One of the hardest things for coaches & consultants is sticking with your business plan. Opportunity hopping is in our DNA. We always see new possibilities, new collaborations, new opportunities right in front of us. The problem with this is it pulls us off task and doesn’t always lead us in the direction we want.

I’m not saying don’t take on new opportunities through the year. If it fits with your business plan, if it leads you in the direction you want your business to go, and if it lends to the feel you want your business to have by all means adjust your plan accordingly.

If you see this as part of your normal MO build the flexibility needed into your schedule.

Don’t try to be superman / superwoman. You can’t do everything at once. You’d never get anything done is you tried. (I need to listen to this advice myself!) Slow & steady will get you there as long as you are focused and directional. That’s the point of having a yearly business plan for your coaching or consulting business.

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