Whether you’re just starting your VA business or you’ve been at it for a while, having a business plan can really help you to stay on track and achieve your goals.
I absolutely love the time in between Christmas and New Year’s Day, because that’s when I get a lot of planning done for my virtual assistant mentoring business—as well as my personal life. It just seems like such a fitting time to work on things like this!
In this article, I’m going to break down my process for you. You can model this or choose pieces that work for you and make it your own.
Reflections and Lessons Learned
My first step was to look back on my goals for the previous year and how my business did, income-wise and in other ways as well. Did I achieve those goals? Why or why not?
When I ask these questions of myself, it’s not coming from a place of judgment. I don’t beat myself up if I didn’t hit a certain goal. Instead, I dive into the “why” of it all. If there is a goal I set but didn’t achieve, do I still have that goal for the new year? If so, what can I do differently this time?
Then I made a list of all the great things I did throughout the year that I’m proud of. These can be little and big things, like getting a new client or taking action on materials learned from an info product that I purchased. When I think there can’t be anything else to add to this list, I look over my planner and schedule from the past year to help jog my memory. That usually helps me think of more things to add. I read over this list, take some time to soak it in and be proud, and recognize what I have to be grateful for.
Next, I take a good, hard look at my numbers. Numbers totally freak me out–but that’s part of my old money story—so, I ditched that for 2016. I calculated what I need to pay bills and take care of household stuff. Then I calculated extra money for me, for self-care such as getting my nails done, massages or meals with friends. Then I noted how much I want to start saving.
Then I added up all business expenses. I took into account things like website hosting, memberships, supplies, courses and software. (If you need help figuring out expenses in your business, there’s a rate calculation worksheet in this article that will help with that.)
I broke that down into what I need to make yearly, then monthly, then weekly. To be honest, when I see it in black & white, that weekly number doesn’t seem so scary. Instead, I’m thinking, “I can totally do that!”
I also worked on my calendar for the year. I started with personal time that needed to be blocked off. I marked down all the days my son has off school, early dismissal or school activities. I marked down any vacations or family things, time to go to the gym and personal appointments that I have.
I figured out what hours I want to reserve as client time as well as business building and marketing time. I plugged all that in to the calendar. I saved it all in my Google calendar as well, which syncs with my client scheduling tool. That way, I know the hours someone sees to book with me are right, and I didn’t forget about a personal appointment or early dismissal, etc. (For the most part—but no one is perfect!)
Planning the Work
I’ve mapped out the first couple of months out of the year and what business building/marketing things I want to work on. I’m not sure that I’ll get the entire year mapped out, but I’m happy with the first three months at least.
I looked at themes or new products that I want to focus on. I factored in courses or programs that I run regularly a couple of times a year and plugged those into the calendar. I also noted any holidays or times of the year that I offer specials.
You can do this in your service-based business as well. You can look ahead and decide how many clients you want to work with for any given time period. What services or packages will you offer them? For how long? How many clients do you need per month to achieve your income goals? What marketing do you need to schedule on your calendar in order to make this a reality?
The Mental Aspect
I usually choose a word for the year–one that helps me focus on my goals and inspires me. But this year, it’s a quote.
“She believed she could, so she did.” ~R.S. Grey
It really encompasses how I’m feeling for my business and life this year. I plastered that baby everywhere! It’s my phone screen saver. It’s my computer screen saver. I printed a pretty version and hung it in my office. I was even looking at jewelry on Etsy that contained this quote!
I’ve also come up with some core desired feelings as well as affirmations for each that I can say daily. Here’s how I did that. I thought about how I really want to feel in business and in life. Then I chose five words—feelings—that I want to feel daily. It doesn’t have to be five—that’s just what I settled on. Then I created a positive affirmation for each one.
For example, one of my words is “healthy.” So then I thought, “What does feeling healthy mean to me?” Then I came up with, “My body feels healthy and fit. I thank her for all she does for me by giving her nourishing foods and fun movement.”
Now I can say these affirmations each day to start my morning.
There you have it! That’s my business and life yearly planning in a nutshell.
Do you see any patterns here? It’s not just hoping and wishing. I develop a plan, I map it out, I put it in front of me so that I see it every single day—and then I take ACTION! That’s the most important part right there.
So how about you? Are you ready to do this for yourself? If so, I invite you to check out the Ulitmate VA Business Planning Blueprint. It gives you my entire process, step by step, in great detail. Grab a copy of that today and let me know YOUR plan for your awesome business!