December is officially here! Even though the year has flown by, and the holidays make for a busy finish, it’s time to start thinking about plans for January and beyond so that you can get your new year off to the right start. Listen in to learn about our favorite planning tools, our best tips for setting successful goals, and how to celebrate your achievements so that you can move into 2023 with confidence.
Time based notes:
- 2:39 Start thinking about 2023
- 5:23 Planning tools
- 7:57 Annual planning
- 9:15 90-day planning
- 11:27 Your bank account goal
- 13:09 Your team goal
- 13:47 Personal/professional goal
- 14:28 Monthly marketing
- 16:21 Looking back on the month
- 17:26 The one-page game plan
- 18:16 Celebrating goals
How to Create Your 2023 Business Plan
Since December is officially here, we jumped on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast to discuss all of the ways you can get your new year off to the right start. Listen to the episode here, or read on to learn about our favorite planning tools, our best tips for setting successful goals, and how to celebrate your achievements so that you can move into 2023 ready to conquer your business.
For me, it’s around this time of year—maybe even a little bit earlier—that I start thinking about next year. I think about those things that I want to do differently, the things that I loved doing this year, and I start scribbling down a lot of notes and brainstorms around, “Okay, next year, I want to do this,” and “Oh, I’ve got to tweak that.” So, I think that this is the perfect time of year to take a quick step back and dedicate some time to actually planning for your business. Identify what’s working for you, what’s not working for you, the things that you may love doing, and maybe some things that aren’t serving you anymore that you’re ready to let go of.
We have some amazing planning sessions coming up over the next couple of weeks that will give you the space to plan, the space to think, the space to really think big and identify those big dreams and goals that you have for your business over the next 12 months—or maybe even just the next three months, or the next couple of weeks. So, if you’re not already signed up, you can do so over at ModernDirectSeller.com/2023Plan. Even if you aren’t able to make those, or you know that you’re not going to have the time and space and focus for this planning process until later on in the month, I want to give you some actionable tools and ideas and framework, so you can go about that planning process with confidence.
To start, we have a couple of tools that can help you, because we know that sometimes, when you’re starting with a blank slate, you’re like, “Where do I go with that? What do you mean ‘planning’? What do you mean ‘goal setting’?” So, we have a workbook that goes along with those 2023 planning sessions. We also just released what we’re calling our Best Year Ever Workbook, which is over 140 pages of content that takes you through the planning process on an annual level, a quarterly level, and a monthly level, so you can take your big goals and really break them down into smaller pieces—which makes them a lot more attainable. We also added in some habit trackers and finance trackers at the back of the notebook. So, you really have one central place to play in for your business.
If you work for a big corporation, you know that there are some high-level strategic plans being created. But, in a direct sales business—or a “solopreneur” business—we don’t often have somebody sitting down, figuring it all out for us, and setting those objectives. So, it’s your job as a direct seller to step up, be the boss of your own business, and set your own goals and intentions. And having the time and space to map that out is absolutely critical. If you’re missing this step every month, your “goals” might just be, “I’m going to sell some things this month.” Okay, well, what are you going to sell? How much are you going to sell? How are you going to market it? How are you going to measure success? Once you know that, then you can make even better plans for the next month, and the months after that.
So, at the highest level, when you’re thinking about annual planning, it can feel pretty daunting. Trust me, I feel that way myself. I’ve seen how our business has zigged and zagged this year, and it’s been great, but it’s also looked a little bit different than what I’d expected it to look like 12 months ago. So, when you’re thinking about your annual plan, I really want you to have a high-level of vision. Think, “Where do I want to be in the next year? What are the activities that I love doing, that I want to keep doing? What are the activities that I’m okay letting go of?” Of course, I’d love for you to put some numbers to that and say, “Next year, I’m going to sell $100,000 of product.” Or, “Next year, I want to make sure that I have $20,000 in my bank account at the end of the year, and that’s going to pay for X, Y, and Z.” So, as you’re doing that high-level thinking, you might want to consider creating a vision board, or a doing brain dump that includes what you want to be doing by December 2023.
Now, we don’t want to get too far into the weeds here, because annual planning is very big picture. And honestly, I love quarterly planning much more than I like annual planning. I feel like I have a much better grasp of where I want to go in the next 90 days versus over the next 12 months. That feels much more attainable. So, if you were hanging out over at my office, you would see that I have a whiteboard in my office that maps out my 90-day plan. I have my financial metrics on there, but I also have the big projects, the big activities, the marketing efforts, and the launches that we’re doing in our business, all laid out over the next 90 days. And, at the start of every month, I have a little bit of a ritual where I grab my rag, and I erase that whiteboard, and I shift everything over one month. I look at what I accomplished for that month, what’s rolling over into the next month, and I have it up on this whiteboard that sits directly across from my desk. If I’m ever in that moment of “Oh my gosh, what should I be working on? Where am I going? Where are we headed? What do I have to do next?” That whiteboard is my guiding light. It lets me know, “This is where we’re at. Here are where the priorities are.” Because, it’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day shuffle and never focus on those bigger picture priorities.
So, a 90-day plan is my happy space. As you’re considering your own 90-day plan, I would think about what those revenue goals are, what those team goals are, and then what those bigger projects are. Maybe you’re launching an onboarding system for your new teammates, or you’re launching a customer loyalty program for your VIPs. Maybe you’re launching into text automation and need to learn a new system to be able to do that. Those are the bigger type of projects that are great to look at over a quarterly period of time.
Then, when we get into monthly planning, this is where the action happens. This is where we make sure that our active selling strategies are backing up those goals that we’ve set, which again are going to roll up to the quarter and to your annual goal. Monthly, I love looking at a couple of different types of goals. The first, I call your “bank account goal.” This is how much you want to put in your bank account by the end of that month. While I love back offices and dashboards provided by your company, your bank account goal is not always reflected on that dashboard. More often than not, what is reflected on that dashboard are your sales. For example, say you want to put $1,000 in your bank account this month; you need to back that out to identify what your sales goal is. So, in order to make $1,000 this month at a 25% commission, you need to sell $4,000 worth of product. Of course, you can track your progress towards the $4,000 in your back office to make sure that you’re hitting that sales goal.
Starting with that bank account goal is absolutely critical, because it’s easy to get caught up in sales goals and incentives when ultimately, if you’re in this business to make money, that bank account goal is a higher priority than those sales numbers.
As you’re setting your monthly goal, I also want you to look at your team goal. If you’re a part of a multi-level company and you have a team, or if you’re just getting started and thinking about growing your team, you may have a team goal of adding one person to your team. Or, you may have a team goal that you have 100 active team members. Or, maybe you’re approaching your team from a monetary perspective: “My team is going to generate $25,000 this month.” So, bank account goal, sales goal, and team goal are the three numbers that we really want to track every single month.
However, I also want to challenge you to think about a personal or professional goal, which is going to focus more around a skill that you’re looking to develop. Maybe it’s a leadership skill. Maybe it’s a technical skill. Maybe it’s listening to a podcast or reading a book. It’s something that’s going to better yourself.
Finally, I want to talk about a monthly marketing focus as well. I get a lot of questions about this one, because so often we’re piggybacking off of what our company is offering and what marketing efforts they have going on. But, as a go-getter direct seller, you also want to think about your marketing plan to your customers, which might be doing something extra, or something separate, or having some type of theme to go along with that month. For example, I think we’ve all seen a ton of 12 Days of Christmas-types of promotions as a marketing theme. Or, my marketing theme in December is all around 2023 planning. So, you’re going see a lot of content on social, in your inbox, via email from us, here on the podcast, all about planning for the new year. For you, the theme might be sharing your Top 10 Favorite Gift-Giving products. Or, maybe it’s a customer appreciation theme. Or, thinking forward to January: New Year, New You. Any of those will give you a little bit of structure as you’re creating your content strategy at the start of the month.
Now, here’s the part of planning that I don’t think we talk enough about: We set our goals, we have our goals, we go out there, and we’re ready to conquer the world. And then, the next month rolls around, and we do it all over again. But, we’re missing a piece there, which is looking back on the previous month. I know that it’s not always super fun to look backwards; it’s more fun to look forward. But, if we’re looking backward, we want to see, “Did we hit those goals? Did we hit those marketing metrics? Did that work for us? Did that go as planned? Did something surprise us this month? Did something not get finished that we were hoping to finish for the month?” Carving out a little bit of time for reflection is so important, so it can inform your plan for the following month. And, once you’ve done that reflection, it’s going to get you into the headspace to brainstorm, to plan, to mastermind for the month.
I love solidifying that plan using what I call the “one-page game plan.” The one-page game plan is basically what I have up on my whiteboard, right? It’s those high-level numbers you’re hitting for the month, the marketing theme, the professional goals, the bank account goal, the sales goal, the team goal—all in one place. It’s what is going to carry you through the month. So, it’s something that I would keep very visible by putting it up on a bulletin board, printing it out, or using it as a screensaver on my phone—whatever you need to do to keep that plan front-and-center for you to help you track those goals and make sure that you’re hitting them.
The last thing that I have to say is that celebrating goals is pretty fun. Make sure that, at the end of the month, you have a little something planned for yourself as a reward. Just as I think we rush through reflection and goal setting and planning every month, we also tend to skip over celebrating. Let’s celebrate what we’ve accomplished, and be proud of how far we’ve come.
I could not be more excited to kick off 2023 with all of you. I’ve been in the 2023 mindset for a couple of weeks now, and we have so much goodness coming up for you. We have our Academy open. We have our planning sessions happening. We will have our Direct Sales Insight survey launching in January, as well as an amazing promotion around Oh My, Hi! On our podcast, we have some incredible guests coming to you. And, if you feel like you need a little bit more, the Best Year Ever Workbook is going to be a great tool for you to make planning a priority in 2023.
So, I’m ready for the new year. Let’s bring it on. Let’s make it the best year yet!
Take Action: What’s one positive change that you can make for your biz in January?