December is the month for wrapping things up, reflecting on the past year, planning for the new year, spending quality time with the people we love the most, and doing what makes us happiest. This is as true in your personal life as it is in your professional life when you’re an entrepreneur!
As a COO, I help my CEOs prioritize these things and protect their time, so they can enjoy a successful and thriving business as much as they can enjoy the time they are able to take off over the holidays!
So, if you’re an entrepreneur and want to round out 2020 and head into 2021 ready to hit the ground running and start crushing your business goals, here’s what I’d have you focusing on this month if I were your COO.
Ok, so this one is obvious! But it’s also easy to skip or glaze over as we try and wrap up client work and start planning our offers for the new year. Somehow “set goals” tends to get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list when we’re busy in all the “doing” that happens when running a successful business.
It can be tempting to just sit down for 5 minutes with a pen and paper and scribble down a list of goals as they pop in our head. And while that can definitely be a part of setting goals, simply doing it this way isn’t going to help you take your business to the next level.
So, to set goals that will actually move the needle in your business, here’s my approach:
Start with a review of 2020.
Now that you know where you are and where you’ve been, you can get a better idea of where you want to go!
Use the insights for your 2020 review to set your goals for 2021! I like to think of goals in a few different ways.
This is simply taking those goals and figuring out the exact steps you need to take to make them happen. Each step should be clear, actionable, and have a deadline to keep you moving forward. They should also be broken down small enough that you can get them done in a reasonable amount of time and check them off, not big and vague. So if instead of saying you “Grow my email list” you’ll want to break it down further and maybe start with “create a new lead magnet,” and then “promote lead magnet in 5 Facebook groups”…etc.
Your approach will look different for each one of your goals, but this planning is what makes them actionable and what helps you to actually achieve them! This is also where sometimes outside help in the form of a coach, consultant, or your trusted team can really come in handy. Different perspectives and accountability make all the difference when it comes to both planning realistically (but ambitiously) and executing!
So, if for example, you have a big goal to double your sales in 2021, you’ll need a plan to get twice the results you saw this year! That may mean spending more time in lead gen, putting more money towards marketing, launching more often, or even outsourcing some tasks.
There are so many different ways you can grow your business. The idea of this planning session is to get crystal clear on your goals and direction for the new year. That way you know exactly where you are going and can decide exactly how you’re going to get there. This will give you a clear roadmap and make it easy to see if you are on track to reach your goals (or not!) at any given time.
(PRO TIP: If any of your goals are tied to your time or production, doing a capacity calculation can make sure your goals are all in line, right sized and attainable! I have all my clients do capacity calculations each quarter or whenever they are adding services or changing pricing. It’s a great way to see exactly where you stand and what will need to go into hitting your numbers! I even created a tool to make this super quick and easy for my clients!)
I have each of my clients do an audit of both their systems and their important evergreen content once per quarter, but it’s always most important at the end of the year as you reset your vision and goals! So each December we schedule some time to go through all of it!
I do this for a two reasons:
We need to be flexible and grow and adapt as our ideal clients do, as the systems we’re working within do, and as we ourselves do.
To make sure you’re business is current and running smoothly and working towards your goals and vision efficiently I suggest you review all your internal AND client facing systems and content:
Are they all current and up to date? Do they speak effectively to your ideal clients? Are they still relevant? Or are there better options out there?
Looking at each of these areas objectively will help streamline your business and make your messaging crystal clear! So you’ll not only land qualified leads quicker, you’ll convert them and be able to get to work much quicker too!
Let’s be honest, we all need some time off. Even if you love working and your business is your baby, burnout is REAL and as business owners, we are our most important asset. If we don’t take care of ourselves no one will. And if we don’t take care of ourselves, not only will we suffer, but our business will too.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you probably already know that I’m a huge proponent for setting boundaries and protecting your time and energy. It is SO important. Especially this time of year. And especially after the challenges that we’ve faced in 2020.
I mean the unplugged, checked out, relaxing and recharging, quality time with loved ones type of time off. There will be OOO auto-responders and all the Voxer, Click-up, and Slack channels will go quiet for a little while. And I encourage you to do the same.
We spend so much of our time online. We can be tied to our laptops and phones. And while I LOVE technology and I love the flexibility it gives us and the way it empowers us to work whenever and wherever, it can also drain us and feel like an anchor. We feel like we always need to be reachable, we always need to respond quickly, and we better not be quiet for too long because we don’t want the algorithm to penalize us for it (that’s a whole post for another day!).
But we need time away. We need time to spend, face-to-face (when possible) with the ones we love. We need time without the distraction of that constant notifications dinging or buzzing and grabbing our attention away from the people right in front of us.
I help my CEOs take this time off, with peace-of-mind knowing that their clients and their business will still be there and going strong when they get back, by setting up their business in a way that it can work for them even when they aren’t working.
Stepping away and taking time for yourself does not mean your business needs to grind to a halt. With technology these days, we can step away and still have our business working for us even when we’re not. With the right systems in place leads can still be captured and nurtured, things can still be scheduled, content can still be published, and progress can still be made.
And what systems and automations can’t do, teams can. And when the two come together, that’s when the magic really happens!
And if as you read this, you thought…”wow, I could really use a COO!” I have some good news on that front – I am now offering done-for-you COO services for overwhelmed creative entrepreneurs, just like you!
I only have 2 spots available going into 2021 though, so if you’re interested and would like more information, apply today so we can chat and you can snag your spot!