AEP 010 – Planning for 2016

Small Business Planning for 2016Will 2016 be all that you hope it will be for you and your business?

The only way to create what you want is to do it.  Without a plan, life intervenes.  In this episode I will walk you through step by step the exact process I use to plan for the coming year.

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Do You Know Your Numbers? (No Apologies)

Do you know your numbers?  I don’t mean your bust, waist, and pant size either.  Your business numbers.  One of the major reasons businesses fail is not because they don’t have a great idea or aren’t great at what they do – it’s because they run out of the runway of cash. I hear from my clients and prospects all the time – “I don’t know what to charge!  I’m afraid it’ll be too much!”

Let this video guide you to what you need to know so you don’t become one of those struggling or failed businesses.

So many self-employed business owners do not know their numbers. What do you need to earn to break even? How do you need to price your services so you are profitable AND have a life?  What are you earning, where is your money going, and what does it all mean?

This isn’t some thinly veiled pep rally about raising your rates. Yes, you may need to raise your rates but that is not the only factor. In some cases you might need to lower your rates, serve a different audience, or diversify your offerings. Let me help you  build the confidence and the practical tools to get at the bottom of what is really going on in your business so you can stop selling yourself short and get paid what you’re worth.

It’s time to understand what is really going on where your numbers meet your mindset, visit to learn more.

Roadmap to Self-Employment: Review & Reinvent Regularly

Running a business is not a wash – rinse – repeat thing. Sure, systems and procedures allow you to leverage your efforts, but being an entrepreneur means you never get to go on auto-pilot. Even the best laid business and marketing plans need to be reviewed regularly. The most successful businesses know how to keep things fresh and respond to the ever-changing business climates and customer behavior.

What to Review and When

It pays to review critical plans and metrics regularly. If you set aside time to do so as part of your ongoing business operations you should never be taken completely by surprise. Here are some common things you will want to review and the frequency with which you should review them:

  • Business Plan – at least annually
  • Marketing Plan – at least quarterly
  • Finances – at least monthly with more in-depth analysis quarterly
  • Marketing Metrics – at least monthly, more frequently with active campaigns
  • Support Team Needs – at least quarterly

Taking a regular peek under the hood allows you to proactively respond to changes in your business rather than react in a panic.

How to Know if It is Time to Reinvent

It can be tempting at every bump in the road to undertake a major reinvention, rebranding, or re-course of action. After all, if the water isn’t boiling, change pots!

That said, it takes consistency and time to build a business so you don’t want to change course too soon but you also don’t want to wait too long. (Need I say again that there is no handbook of absolutes when it comes to owning your own business?). If you look to the entertainment industry, the most successful artists reinvent themselves at different times. For example, as Justin Beiber matures as a young man, his music and brand is changing. Madonna is the queen of reinventing herself. Sometimes it works and sometimes it crashes and burns. That is why you need to be conscious of what you’re doing and why.

Here are top signs that it is time to reinvent (a little or a lot):

  • Changes in customer or business behavior that requires you respond differently to them to succeed.
  • You’ve hit a plateau in your earnings.
  • You are bored and no longer as passionate about what you do as you once were.
  • A major disappointment or game-changing life circumstance happens.

Remember that sometimes reinvention is the best revenge. Whatever you do, be certain whatever reinvention you undertake is authentic and stays aligned with your bigger “why” and purpose.

Reinvent Your Business
Credit Image: Foto_di_Signorina via Flickr

How to Reinvent Successfully

You can’t just snap your fingers and reinvent yourself or your business. It’s like starting a new business. It requires inspiration, thoughtful planning, reflection, and discernment. Follow these principles to make your reinvention a successful one.

  • Create space to allow the process to unfold. You can’t force it.
  • Test every choice against your own authenticity meter, bigger purpose, and desired life.
  • Be playful. Creativity requires equal parts creative tension, contained chaos, and playfulness. Allow creativity to flow during this process.
  • Explore possibilities. There is no logical, linear path to this process.
  • Embrace “not knowing”. This is where your need to be ok with uncertainty and dance in the mystery.
  • Create a roadmap to make the transition successful.
  • Manage priorities. You will likely have a juggling act navigating the old and new simultaneously as you make the transition.

Have Fun

At the end of the day, being in your business should be fun. It’s a journey that begs to be enjoyed along the way. If you regularly review and reinvent when called to do so, you’ll keep things fresh, grow your business faster, and create the longevity you crave.


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Why You Need a Business Plan (No Apologies Video)

Business plan. It can sound like a four letter word. But it doesn’t have to be.

Using a kinder, gentler type business plan is the foundation for your success.

I’m not talking a business plan of epic proportions. Fifty, sixty pages of thick charts, graphs, and numbers. I am talking about creating something that sets the foundation for your business to grow. A compass. A navigational tool that makes the big and small decisions more effective and easier. Even if you have no idea or clarity around your business plan, this is the type of thing that I can help you create in a short amount of time (or a day-long intensive). From this exercise you walk away knowing your values, who you want to serve, how you want to serve them, why you are getting into this business in the first place, what your marketing will be, finances, and other pertinent details. It becomes a living document that evolves and gets reviewed regularly.

So don’t embark without a clue, without a map. Nebulous = wasted effort and wrong turns. Create a business plan and get clear how you want to navigate in your business from an authentic and purposeful stance.

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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