Grow your business, set your goals and start planning

When you want to make progress and grow the coming year as a business owner, it is smart to have a plan. I must admit planning has never been my strongest point, especially setting financial goals for the coming year.

Often I worked without a real plan, and when there was a plan I tended not to look at it again during the year. From my mastermind group I learned a new way of looking at it.

“Why are you doing this? What do you want to accomplish?”, they asked me. I answered this with my biggest goal “Support the self employed in developing countries with my foundation.”

“And, do you need money to start this foundation?” Yes!
“You see, you need those revenues.” I agreed again and was ready to start my plan for the coming year.

1. Goals

The start of the planning proces is goal setting.
The major question that you want to answer is:

What do you want accomplish the coming year?

Set your goals for the coming year.
Select only a few (bold) goals.

These are my top goals:

  • help as many independent professionals as I can to get a better balance in entrepreneurship and family. A healthy business is important for this balance and attracting you ideal client is ideal.
  • Speaking internationally: at least in 4 different countries or states
  • Start the foundation to support the self employed in developing countries
  • Get on the AdAge Power150 list

To do this, I love to use the whiteboard. Of course you can also do it on a piece of paper or in Google Docs.
planning on my whiteboard

2. Outline

Write down the cost and investments that you are expecting and planning for the coming year that aline with your goals.

  1. What is your management fee? What do you need to support your family? EUR
  2. What do you want to learn and improve the coming year. Is it in line with your goals?
    What training or coaching do you need to accomplish this and what are the cost? EUR
  3. What other investments or cost do you need to reach your goals? EUR
  4. What are your other business expenses? EUR

Now let’s look at the products and services that you have or are planning to introduce the coming year.
Add the numbers (€ or $ or your currency) that you can do for these points:

  1. Products that you have that aline with your goals
  2. Services that you have that aline with your goals
  3. What products or services are you launching
  4. Affiliate sales

In total you want enough revenues to cover your projected cost and investments.
Are you clear on this? You really need these revenues to accomplish your goals!

3. Detail

Now let’s break down the number of products you need to sell to get the above revenues.

  1. How many products do you sell each month
  2. What services do you sell in what month
  3. When do you launch the new products and services, which month?

Are the numbers above doable? If not, what actions do you need to take to make these doable. Add promotion, launches or products where necessary.

Further detail
You want to break it down even further.
What do you need to do to get these revenues and when are you investing or expecting the costs.

In what week do you need to promote your launch?
In what week do you need to promote product x and product y?
In what week do you have an event scheduled?
When are your trips?
When is your holiday?

Blog posts
Since you are on a roll here it, let’s start making a rough blogging schedule.

Schedule topics for each week in relation to the tasks you planned above. Topics that relate to the launches you want to do.
Schedule a blogging series, 4 posts in a serie, 10 days or 30 days series.

This blogging schedule will help you to grow the number of visitors and traffic to your blog and website. Resulting in a growing number of subscribers to your newsletter.


An important reason you want to do this planning on this detailed level is that you are less distracted from all kind of ‘interesting’ activities that pop up every day. When you have a plan it is easier to say NO.

Looking at the big picture now, it is easy to exclude taks that do not contribute to your goals.

John Jantsch in his post Effective Planning Is About What to Leave Out

I recently hired my own business coach and one of the first things we’re focused on is getting me to stop doing things that don’t make sense and start spending more concentrated time on my highest payoff activities.

My coach would do the same, my guess is that when you have a coach he/she would do the same with you. 🙂

Go back to your detailed planning list and erase the tasks that do not contribute to your goals.

Interesting read:
Effective Planning Is About What to Leave Out by John Jantsch
Objectives, goals, strategies and tactics by Ben McConnell

By Erno Hannink

Sparring and accountability partner for entrepreneurs who create sustainable positive impact. Explores decision-making. Shares his insights on this in, articles, books (Dutch), podcast, newsletters, and tools. Has a life mission to reduce social and ecological inequality. Father of two children, husband of M., runs, referee for the national soccer league, and uses stoicism for calm. Lives in the Netherlands. Speaks Dutch, English, and German.

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