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You don’t have to look far to know the world seems to go planning mad in December. Every other facebook post is of amazing looking planners promising you the world or worst still certain doom if you don’t have your plan nailed ready for 2019. But how far do you have to plan and in what depth to ensure a successful year in your balloon and venue décor business?

FIRST THINGS FIRST

You are NOT a failure if you don’t yet have your plan nailed for 2019!  Christmas and New Year is such a busy time of year in our industry there is little time for stepping back and taking stock.  There is no law that says you have to have it ready for the 1st January!  In fact as January is usually a quieter month it makes perfect sense to get it ready after the new year and the family are back at work/kids are back to school!

Planning should be for LIFE and not just for CHRISTMAS!

I love this phrase from Emma Holme’s recent podcast about panic planning because its absolutely true!  It shouldn’t be a once a year thing where you micro plan the entire 365 days of 2019! It should be something you do daily in your business and at varying levels…

 

I will let you in to a secret!  When I was in the corporate world I used to take a whole week to come up with a VERY detailed sales plan for the year coming forward. A whole week!!!! Sat at my laptop typing! Analysing data and crunching numbers to come up with the ultimate business plan!  I never said it at the time but hand on heart it used to bore me to tears coming up with it…. How many times do you think I actually used it??  You got it!  I would dust it off for my quarterly reviews and that was it!  I wasn’t invested in the plan it was just something I had to do for my managers above me to feed into their business plans!  I can tell you that spending ages coming up with a very detailed plan that you don’t then use is actually the BIGGEST waste of your time FULL STOP!

     

    SO DO YOU EVEN NEED A PLAN?

    Well the answer to this is YES you do need direction and strategy in your business to ensure the actions you are taking will take you where you want to go.  Otherwise your business can do one of three things

    • Stay exactly as it is (so you hope and pray that’s enough to keep up with an ever changing world we live in right now)
    • Power ahead without control like a charging rhino not necessarily going in the right direction. (This was my business for the first 18 months I was exhausted and definitely NOT  rich at the end of it!)
    • It slides backwards into a downward spiral and you wonder whether you can make enough profit for it to be a full time gig or whether you need to go and get a “proper” job!

    WHAT SORT OF PLAN SHOULD YOU BE COMING UP WITH?

    The answer to this is absolutely one that works for you! For me gone are the days sitting planning every minute element!I come up with very visual plans in my business where I start with the end point – what I want my business and my life to look like and by when. From there I work out the numbers and resources I need to achieve this and then I brainstorm all the ways I can make this happen. From here I can choose the easiest and simplest path to where I want to go. Do I use this plan? You bet ya! I have the visual overview in all my notebooks and planners and I refer back to it all of the time. 

    HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I PLAN AHEAD?

    For me it’s not too far but far enough!! Not much of an answer is it?! The absolute truth is there is NO POINT planning the next 365 days in every tiny detail. Who knows what will change in the next 6 months let alone 1 year! Look how much social media has changed in the last year – could you have planned all the different algorithms and functionality in minute detail 12 months ago? The great thing about being a small business is we have the ability to flex and change and spin on a sixpence as my old nan used to stay and being fluid in your business is a real strength. So for me I have an over arching vision for the next 12 months and beyond with a clear idea of how I intend to achieve it. I also have a rough plan in the diary for all of the key times of the year and when I need to start working ahead on them.

    Where my plan starts to get more specific is I always break this down into more detail for the next 90 days to come up with a strong sales and marketing plan and then I really plan my time carefully weekly and daily to ensure I get the most out of every day! 

     

    Over the next few weeks on the blog I will give you a glimpse into my visual planning – which is so perfect for creatives but let’s get the mad festive season out of the way first!

     

    Until next time – stay Amazing!

    Sonia x

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    By entering your details you will be automatically added to the mailing for  our amazing and FREE Balloons Biz eMagazine delivered straight to your inbox – packed full of great ways to grow your Balloons and Venue decor business it really isn’t to be missed!. You can unsubscribe at any point if you find its not for you and I pinky promise not to spam you with stuff that won’t help your business grow and of course I will absolutely keep your details safe!

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