Ep. 104 Stupidly Simple Way To Strategically Plan 2022

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I want to talk to you a little bit about strategic planning, big picture planning for your business for 2022, which we will ignore the fact that 2022 is just on our doorstep, because holy heck, that was a fast year. However if you are like me, you’re probably sort of neck deep in planning mode for 2022. So I just kind of wanted to take you a little bit into my process. You may have heard me talk about this before, but this is really how I set intentions for the year.

First, I like to think in the context of 3 P’s, promotion, process, and production. So I always start with promotion first, because I know that there are going to be launches throughout the year or features, or things that I’m going to want to be promoting or getting out there. So I start with the promotion category, and I look at the 12 month calendar and think, “Okay, what am I going to promote in 2022? And where? And when?”.

So for most business owners anything more than four large promotions per year is probably going to be hella exhausting. Some people only do one big promotion, some do two, some do four. So at Funnel Gorgeous we have two launches of our signature program, Launch Gorgeous, a year. It happens in the spring and the fall. So the first thing I do is I pick the date of the launch, and I pick sort of the season of fulfillment, the season that we’ll actively be coaching. I can’t be in content creation mode if I’m actively coaching. So I pick those out. For us it’s April and September.

And then I look at the season I think, “Okay, well as a spring and a fall promotion, what about a winter and a summer promotion?” and this winter we have our Marketer’s Heart event in February, so that’s a pretty big promotion. Both selling the virtual tickets, as well as selling the offer at the event, which is going to have some fulfillment. And then in summer, I don’t usually do a big promotion. We do sometimes smaller promotions. So I think about, “What’s going on? What have we just launched? What have we just finished? What hasn’t gotten a lot of attention?” and we plan out a promotion there.

This doesn’t mean we’re not actively promoting our products other times of year, but it gives us a really good focus to start with.
Now here is the danger. If you are an entrepreneur who really likes to hustle and grind and set goals and do all that kind of stuff, you make go through this sort of exercise that I just took you through and feel like you’re not doing anything. It’s just very, you know, boring. “Just four promotions, what am I going to do? Sit on my hands, eat bon bons all year?” We need the other two P’s.

So the second P is process. And process is all the stuff that you have to continually do in your business. So if you’re an agency, you’re fulfilling for clients, if you’re a coach, you’re doing coaching calls. Customer service, social media marketing, your YouTube, your podcast, this is a process in my business.

So you look at all of those processes, and you go through the 12 months, and you sort of block out time. So let’s say for example, you are a solo-preneur and you really want to do YouTube. Okay, well that means that either once a quarter or once a week you’re going to have to create your videos. So you’ve got to build that process in. Maybe you also do a Q&A hour, maybe you have clients. So start to block some of that in, even if you don’t actually have the clients yet, or you don’t actually have the call, block the time. And again, I’m doing this all in my calendar. My calendar is really sort of my over-arching planning tool. Google calendar allows you to make a million different calendars, as many as you want, so I have one for Funnel Gorgeous and I just start blocking this stuff out, blocking all the Launch Gorgeous calls, blocking out the Q&A hour, blocking out when I’m going to work on presentations for the Marketer’s Heart event.

So it’s these process things that happen in the business day in and day out. So now, once you do that, now you’re getting a little bit more of a crystal clear picture, and if you are a content creator in your business you should block out 4 or 5 hours a week just to create content, to start to show your brain, “Hey, yes maybe I only have 4 promotions a year, but look at all this other stuff that I’m doing.” Do you want to block out time for admin stuff, for email correspondence, etc, etc.

Now I should mention before I keep going, that if you are sort of a boot strapping entrepreneur, you are a solo-preneur, you may want to actually start with your family calendar first, and block out when you’re going to be away, when you’re taking vacation, so that you don’t actually double book yourself, so you could do that first.

So we’ve done promotion, we’ve done process, and now we’re going to look at project. Project means it is a set period of time to create something. It’s not like an ongoing process. For example, Marketer’s Heart event, we’re going to have to create the content for the program we’re selling. So that’s a project. What I have to do is plan out where that project is going to go. AM I going to do it in February before the event, or am I going to start working on it in March and pre-sell and fulfill it later? So I have to start blocking out that project. And if I’m launching in April for Launch Gorgeous, now I really just have one month to get that project out the door, if I’m doing it in March. Or I have to do it in January.

So you start to see that all of these promotions actually have a pretty significant project timeline, both before the promotion and after the promotion, if you’re actually creating content. So by the time you get to the project P, you now see that your 4 promotions a year actually taking 8 months because you’re bookending the promotion with these projects, and you’re also trying to fit it around all the regular process stuff you do.

So I’m just going to add that fourth P, the personal, which is the first one, the personal vacations. What will happen is by the time you get to the end of this 30,000 ft view, you’re going to realize that possibly 4 promotions is a lot. And it will help keep you on the straight and narrow if you start to get some idea and it happens in let’s say, March of 2022 and you’ve got your whole year planned out. Well, you can totally do that new idea, but it has to displace something else. So that’s the theory of time replacement instead of time stacking. And most of us who get in over our heads and have too much to do, we time stack, we just keep smushing the same multiple activities, multiple things to do in one time slot, instead of saying, “Okay, well I want to do this cool thing, so I’m going to remove the time slot for meetings, and I’m going to put in the time slot.” Right, there’s the replacement.

So that is pretty much the basics of how I plan out an entire year. So I do it all on the calendar, let’s start with personal, then we move to promotion, then we move to process, because that’s the day to day stuff, and then we look at what project is going to, what projects are going to need to be built.

Now some projects have nothing to do with your promotion. Some projects are very systems based, like “I’m going to move to Google drive, or I’m going to create a new customer support, I’m going to migrate from my gmail inbox to Help Scout.” Those kind of operational projects, you’re going to look and say, “Maybe we don’t want to do this during the launch. Maybe we want to do this on a off month.”

So hopefully that helps, hopefully that gives you a nice simple framework to plan out 2022. Appreciate you, talk soon.