Do you know what your business will look like in 12 months' time? A lot of people will say forecasting isn’t worth bothering with. After all, why would you forecast and look back at the last couple of years and what happened in that time? I firmly believe that you should always be looking to know where you’re going. Because if you don’t know where your business is headed, you’re just going to keep drifting around and missing potential opportunities and growth.
When you have a plan for the next 12 months, you have a good direction of travel. You know what you want to do, where you make your money and how you want to make money in the future. Now you might want to carry on the way you are, or you may wish to change what you’re doing every three months, and that’s ok. But do you want to create lots of done-for-you products? Do you want just to have five clients and spend a day each week delivering for them? And if you do, that is fine.
But do you have a plan in case one of those clients disappears? Because clients can disappear for all sorts of reasons - so it’s really important to plan what you’re going to do if you lose one. I always say you shouldn’t have a client worth more than 20% of your business. Make sure you have a plan to replace that 20% if you don’t have very many clients. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a big hole.
Make sure you’re doing your business development. Where do you plan to do that, and when? For example, I had a plan to launch a podcast. And I’ll be honest; it wouldn't have happened if I didn’t have a proper plan.
It’s also an excellent time to look at taxes and what money you need to put aside for tax. Also, are you likely to hit the VAT threshold? If you grow a lot in the next 12 months, you will quickly hit that VAT threshold. I recommend looking at the VAT threshold six months out, so you can put your prices up a bit now and a bit later, rather than slamming everybody with a 20% price hike, particularly if most of your clients aren’t VAT registered themselves.
And stop thinking small because you’re not yet VAT registered, and your clients may not be, so you don’t want the bother. Honestly, don’t think like that. You must think about growing your business and not using taxes to limit your growth. Do you want to be able to invest in a mastermind? Do you want to be able to grow your business and take on more freelancers or even an employee? All of these things are important to look at.
It's also an opportunity to look at how profitable your different offerings are. Do you make lots of money on masterclasses, or are they just a total drain on your business, time, and energy? What do you love doing?
Take the opportunity to take stock and see what you like doing, what you’re good at, what brings you joy and what you can sell. If you like teaching, do more teaching. If you don’t like teaching, create done-for-you solutions for your clients. It allows you to decide, review, and understand what you’re planning to do and what you’re doing and what you might want to do in the future. It’s a kind of reset.
I always recommend you do this every 12 months. You can then do three month (90 day) sprints. 90 days doesn’t seem that much, but it enables you to focus on three things over the course of 3 months. You don’t want to be trying to do a million different things - you just want to be focusing on three key things. For example, you might want to be able to increase your income, so want to launch a new offering. Your focus for that whole quarter could be on launching that new offering.
Having a planning session once a quarter, where you set goals for the quarter, is a good way to go. And yes, things do change all the time, but it’s also really important to know where you want your business to go. Otherwise, you can still be in the same position that you are now, in 1 year, 2 years or even 5 years, because you’re not pushing yourself to get things done.
If you’d like to chat about how I can help you with this, do reach out. I offer one-to-one coaching to help you get clear on your plans, so book a call with me at thepricingqueen.com/chat.