Planning Your Profits In Advance
It is my honest belief that all businesses and all individual business ventures can be successful. What separates success from failure, when you really come down to brass tacks, is planning.
Think of it like this. You want to catch a duck for dinner, so the first thing you do is go and stand somewhere high, and open your mouth… right? Not quite. You’ve got the right vantage point, but you haven’t got a plan, so you’re going to end up standing up there, mouth open wide, looking like a fool for a long time before you catch that duck, if it happens at all. What you need is a more detailed plan!
So, when I talk to people about planning, one of the biggest areas that I want to focus on are profits. I know what you’re thinking: I can’t plan my profits right? They’re a variable! Are they though?
The November/December Planning Window
Most businesses think that January is the time to start planning for the year, but the year has already started by then, and we all know how timelines work. Things are busy as the business year ramps up again, and before you know it the months have flown by, you haven’t done a lick of planning and you’re essentially flying by the seat of your pants.
What you should be doing instead is planning at the end of the year when things are slowing down for most businesses. Utilising the often slower months of November and December is a great option if you’ve always struggled to find time to plan. When you plan in November and December, you’re ready to go in the new year. When you don’t, you’re potentially missing out on opportunities offered by the first quarter, and that’s definitely not where you want to be.
How To Plan Like A Winner
Winners are not, despite what you might have heard, entirely big picture people. Yes, they have a big picture in the back of their minds, but they’re all about breaking things up into chunks, and the year is no different. When it comes to successfully planning, the number to remember is 90. Break your day up into ‘90-day Runs’ (blocks), and then for each block run through the following:
- Reflect: What worked well in your last block, and what could have worked better? What ideas did you have that you want to implement in the next block?
- Review: What goals have you set and how are you going with them? Are they achievable or have they been achieved? Is it time to set new goals?
- Reward: What have you achieved, and how are you planning to celebrate, acknowledge and reward that?
The benefit of the 90-day block is multi-faceted. For one, it’s easier to shift and change to suit changing conditions, goals, hopes and intentions. For another it allows you to be more innovative, and flexible, making quick agile movements that you can use to achieve what you set out to do. Finally, it really helps you to develop more of a growth mindset, which betters your business perspective into the future.
Planning, particularly planning profits, isn’t just a smart idea for businesses, it’s an essential one. Taking the time to sit down and plan out your year in November or December can have more of an impact that you can probably imagine, and I can help. My cash flow to calendar lecture is a great place to start!
Remember, failing to plan means planning to fail, so start changing your mindset, and your opportunities, now!