Disclaimer: We know your calendar is filled to the brim with tasks and meetings to get through the current month, if you’re planning a holiday sale that’s likely the next big item on your to-do list.
But hear us out, this is actually an incredible time to begin a slow, steady, and sustainable planning period for your next year.
Rather than having to do a year planning blitz and get 60% of your year mapped out in a single go, you can take your time and dedicate an hour here and there to create thoughtful year plans.
The best part of this? Your year begins when you say it does. Yes, we’re saying that if you prefer to start off next month, October 2022, as your new Q1- you have full permission to do so.
The ultimate goal: set yourself up for consistent sales so that you don’t have to overwork yourself to create a much-needed cash infusion, just to burn out and repeat the cycle again.
Define what YOUR year is. As we mentioned above, the calendar bends to you- not the other way around. If January happens to be that magical month where all three kids have birthdays, there’s a random school break, your family has a big reunion, and on top of that you’ll also be moving [wow I’m tired just thinking about it]… you can make Q4 2022 your new Q1 2023 and roll through January already taking in the $$ from an evergreen funnel and keeping hands on work at a minimum. Seriously, the quarters will still be Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4- they’ll just shift so that the calendar finally works for you.
(AKA operating with a fiscal year).
In this step we’ll also want to outline any periods when you simply won’t be as present or will need time off in order to strategically plan how the different pathways overlap in order to have your focus at the right time. Note any important holidays or events throughout the year that your biz will be observing as well.
In the example above, via Business Expansion Blueprint, we see each month Jan-Dec accounted for (remember, you can swap the order depending on the time of year you’re starting this). On top of each month we see an overlay for each pathway- Launch, Direct Selling, and Evergreen, as well as the ramp up/preparation period for that pathway. This is why we want a clear look at your desired availability throughout the year so that the selling seasons and prep seasons are happening when it’s most aligned for you.
Determine which of your offers can exist under one of the three sales pathways. This is an important step because if one offer falls into a particular path, you may have additional work to prepare for that pathway. This is the step where we define not just what we’re selling, but HOW we’re selling:
But note: Any offer can fall within each of the pathways, it simply depends on the price of the offer and the warmth of your audience at the time. You may want one offer to launch in one quarter, then evergreen, then have a quarter of direct selling. So consider what is right for each offer at each point in your year, don’t just designate an end-all be-all path for each offer. Just as you have ultimate control over the quarter system of your year, you also have control over the pathways your offers take and when.
Overlay your desired offers/pathways onto your calendar as seen above. Start with just 6 months at a time (i.e YOUR Q1 & Q2, which may actually be Q4 ’22 and Q1 ’23). Then give yourself the chance to actually reevaluate after that 6 month period. Now you’re looking at a schedule where you’re midway through your first 6 months when everyone else is still wrapping up their year.
Be honest about the amount of prep work you may need for a certain selling pathway (think about assets that need to be created, the internal organization that needs to be in place, and any training you’ll want to do before the main event of that pathway) as well as your facilitation period afterward- you may end up needing to space things out in a different way to accommodate facilitation periods that don’t intermingle with a Live Launch or another pathway.
Our best advice: Start this step by laying out the least time-consuming and highest revenue-baring pathways on the calendar. Find the proverbial “low-hanging fruit” (but nonetheless important fruit!) of minimal time/maximum return so you know your year is stacked with income opportunities.
From there you can reverse engineer your calendar and add the heavy-hitting, high-energy activities. Building around the lighter fare, more “doable” pathways can create a sense of confidence in your year plan that allows you to get out of that cycle of aggressive “gotta sell” that leads to burnout.
Quick Pause: if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the visual of your current draft, take a moment to expand it out into full words vs just abbreviations. Set this visual plan up in a way that makes the most sense to you once all pathways are overlaid. It’s completely okay to take this exercise slower at this point, you’ve got the time!
Want guidance in this process and to get the next steps in your year planning journey- the steps that include pulling apart our pathways to reveal every smaller detail of our upcoming year from generating leads while in a post-launch period to balancing nurture and facilitation modes? Join me inside Business Expansion Blueprint, where you’ll get videos on year planning, offer pathways, and how to put these dates on the calendar so it all happens seamlessly.
As you learn how to optimize your business for sustainable growth and long-term expansion by revamping infrastructure to meet-or-beat your revenue goals- Plus, you’ll get our six Pre-Done Your Year Plans (in both visual and written form) that you can take and apply to your business based on what makes the most sense for you and your offer.
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