It's almost September and that means a lot of different things. Fall is in the air at night; children start back to school; and for entrepreneurs, it means that many are starting to ramp up their businesses after the summer. Many of my clients tell me that they have lost momentum over the summer so it seems as though they are having to start all over again to fill their sales funnel in the fall.
Why is that? Well, the truth is that for many business owners, there was a lack of planning and that leads to little or no action being taken during the summer months. It's true we all deserve a holiday and that many of you have children to care for but when you don't have a specific plan for your business with automation or delegation in place -- you lose momentum and you lose SALES!
I've heard it time and time again that many of you don't have a 6 or 12 month plan. And without this plan you will continue to struggle. You'll always be working last minute to move your business forward. So why don't you have a plan? Perhaps you are afraid to take the time to create a plan and to stick to it. Here are some of the most common reasons why entrepreneurs don't create a plan. Perhaps one of these is what's holding you back and here are 4 ways to move forward:
1. Creating a plan requires you to make DECISIONS (and that feels scary and restrictive). Making a plan does force you to say 'yes' to one project and 'no' to some others. You feel as though you don't want to be forced down one particular alley or route; you want to be open and flexible. Some of you might feel that you could be saying 'yes' to the wrong project. But remember, it is better to say yes to one project and get into action; than get nothing done at all. A plan is not tattooed -- you can change course.
2. Creating a plan seems time-consuming and difficult. I get it -- not everyone is a linear thinker and organizer like I am. Planning drives you crazy and it might not be your strength or within your skill set so you get frustrated. However, working with a friend, mentor, coach who you could work with would be a HUGE benefit. It's wonderful to sit down with someone, brainstorm your ideas, and then plot them out on a calendar (btw- I'm going to be doing that with my coach this coming week!!) Working with someone on the planning process is so much easier. Don't give up - just ask for help.
3. You don't like thinking too far in the future because you don't know what you will be doing in a month, let alone in 6 months. Most of the time, this feeling comes from fear of commitment. Ask yourself what might be driving this fear? Are you afraid something bad will happen; did something unfortunate happen once to you or your family? Talk to someone about it and then it will be easier to let go.
4. When you create a plan & set goals, it never works out, so you've stopped planning. (I've heard this several times from clients.) A plan is only a guideline and it needs to be constantly reviewed, revised and updated. A plan is only as good as the strategies (actions) that you use to execute your plan. So if planning hasn't worked for you previously, take some time to look at why it didn't work before. Pay attention to what worked and what didn't work.
Were you able to identify some of your own reasons that you don't have a 6 or 12-month plan in place? I hope this has given you some incentive to create your own plan. Set aside an evening with a good cup of coffee (or wine) and create a plan. If you would like some help creating your plan and staying on track with your plan, you might want to listen to Tuesday's webinar (register here) or investigate my group coaching program, Goal Achievers (check it out here).
If you have a plan or recently created one, I'd love to know how your planning for next year is coming along or how well you followed this year's plan. Leave a comment below.