I hear it from almost 90% of my clients… “ Ali, I’m working 10-to-12-hour days to run my business. My husband and kids hardly see me, and I’m starting to burn out. What am I doing wrong?”
When I dig a little further, I usually find that the sense of overwhelm is coming from the same source: These people haven’t identified their most profitable projects, and placed those tasks ABOVE everything else in their business priority list.
In other words, they haven’t created a profit calendar.
A profit calendar helps you establish what your most profitable projects are for the months ahead—so you can focus your time and energy into ONLY those tasks that will generate maximum income. By creating a profit calendar, you get clear on the tasks that are worth your time, and those that aren’t. It’s a powerful tool to help you stay focused and energized. And it WORKS.
In my Elevate online business training program, we show our members how to plan for profits in these 5 easy steps. Here’s a quick peek at what we recommend. Enjoy!:
STEP 1: Plan to re-launch past offerings, if any.
If you’re an established business owner, you’re likely already sitting on a hidden profit center—and that’s your existing inventory. Think of a service or product that sold well for you in the past that you can reintroduce to your market. If you offered VIP coaching days on the road, it might be something worth launching again. If there’s an old product that you want to get off your shelves, host a closeout sale. The idea is to put something out that will bring you income with minimal effort. It’s about leveraging what you’ve already done—not reinventing the wheel.
Now obviously, re-launching an offering is going to take a bit of prep. But all you want to do for now is simply PLUG this launch date into your calendar.
STEP 2: Plan to clear away the dead wood.
Here, you want to take a look at anything that’s not propelling your business forward and set a date to end it. This could be ANYTHING you feel is draining your energy, money, time, etc. Maybe it’s a problem client you dread working with, a team member who isn’t pulling their weight, or that office space you rent but never use. It could even be as simple as cancelling your extra phone line and fax if you’re mostly scanning and emailing docs to clients.
The point is to schedule in a day when you’ll take decisive action on these drains. Otherwise, it’s too easy to let them get lost in your daily shuffle.
STEP 3: Plan to improve on what you’ve already got.
Go down the list of what you currently offer with a fine comb. What small improvement could you make to this one offering to improve your profits by just 5%? I’m not talking about big, sweeping improvements here—just minor tweaks that take very little time to implement. Here are a few examples:
• Send an email to announce that you’re raising your rates, and why.
• Start running new ads on your website or e-newsletter.
• Add an upsell to your order page, or start bundling your products together.
• Call three of your top referral sources and reconnect with them.
• Add a Facebook share button to your sales pages
The above examples could be implemented within a week. Make a list of what you’ll take action on within the next 7 days and plug this into your calendar.
STEP 4: Plan to launch new offerings.
If your creative juices are flowing and you have a brilliant idea for a new product, video series, live workshop, coaching program, etc. set the ideal launch dates into your calendar.
Remember, you don’t have to look very far to launch something that is NEW to your list. You can always repackage something you already created to give it a fresh spin. If you hosted a live retreat (and recorded it), make it available as a home-study program. If you hosted a 4-part teleseminar, turn it into an e-book or a series of free reports.
STEP 5: Plan for regular business-building activities.
Don’t overlook the important recurring activities that you must do every week to keep your business growing. Your weekly e-newsletter, blog posts, networking events—these should all be plugged into your calendar.
Once you have a profit calendar in place, it will help you prioritize your daily and weekly tasks. You’ll see what MUST get done from week to week, and what can wait ‘til the next week or be delegated. You can plan launches around your vacations, kid’s activities—you can even plan for big expenditures. And that’s when you’ll hit that sweet spot as an entrepreneur: turning your time into money, and your off-time into fun!© Copyright 2013 Ali Brown