Let’s make a 2024 business plan together!
Do you know where your business is headed in 2024?
Are you excited about it?
When I think back to first starting my business, sitting at my kitchen table with a tiny laptop, I had no idea what the heck I was doing. And more importantly, I had very little idea where I was going.
If you had asked me at the time what my goal for the year was, I probably would have said something like, “Get more clients.”
Did I have a plan for how to do that? No.
Did I know what direction my business was heading in? Also no.
Was I excited about it? Mostly I was stressed and scared.
My progress in my business at that time was based on sheer luck and not giving up. But now I start each year with a plan of exactly where I want to go with my business and the steps it’s going to take to get there.
Check out this video for the exact process I use!
Listen to the audio:
Let’s get started!
Now is the time to plan for 2024 so that you can hit the ground running, you know what you're doing, and you can also make sure that you get to the point that you want to get to by the end of the year.
Let's plan out our 2024 goals together!
This is going to be a working session. I invite you to grab a notebook and a pen or your computer, or wherever you would like to write this down.
We are going to be doing a fair bit of writing and organizing information, so make sure that you have the tools for that and you're in a space where you can devote some attention to that.
I encourage you to work through each step of these exercises as we go along, because this means that by the end of this post you're going to have a basic plan for how to tackle 2024 in your business.
So, ready to go?
Create a 2024 vision
The first thing that I invite you to do is to think about where you would like to be by the end of 2024. Really allow yourself to bring this vision to life.
Where would you like to be in your business?
This could be things like:
The amount of income you're making
The number of clients you have
The sorts of services and products that you are offering
What kind of schedule you want to have on a daily or weekly basis
How you want to be feeling and showing up in your business
How your business is going to fit into your personal life and vice versa
Really think about what's going to make you excited about your business and excited to get up every day and work in your business and on your business.
I encourage you to write out whatever comes to you as you picture where you want to be at the end of 2024. If this is stream of consciousness or bullet points, it doesn’t matter. Really dig deep into how you want to feel, what you want to be doing, and what's going to make you excited.
And no judgment. No sense of what might be realistic or what isn't. Just start off with this vision and we'll go from there.
I really hope that you feel excited about this vision. If you don’t feel excited about it, that’s going to make it so much harder to follow through on putting your goals into action.
Your vision might change over the year and maybe you won't exactly get to this point by the end of 2024. That's not really the point. The point is to find the things that are going to motivate you and excite you and give you a direction for your business so that you can set goals that match that.
Define your goals
What I would like you to do next is take this vision that you have created and go through and pick out things that are goals.
Like I mentioned above, this could include so many things:
An amount of income you want to be making by the end of the year
The number of clients that you want to have
Your ideal schedule
A new service that you want to launch by the end of the year
Ways that you want to give back to your community
Scholarship positions in your program that you want to be able to offer
There are all sorts of different things that could be goals, so start picking out all of those high-level things.
At this point you may want to create some sort of chart or spreadsheet to categorize and keep track of these things.
For example, you might want to have different categories, such as income, clients, or business operations - whatever organization system makes sense to you.
At this point, focus on writing down and categorizing all the goals. We will be refining and fleshing them out later.
Map out your 2024 plan
Next, I invite you to take those high level goals and break them down a little bit.
Think about where you are now and where you want to be by the end of 2024. For each goal, I want you to write out the steps that it would take to get from where you are now to where you want to be.
This doesn't have to be crazy detailed, but the basic steps that it would take.
Next I invite you to create an overview of the year and slot these goals and steps into it.
This is where you might want to assign things based on the quarter or the month that you want to finish them. And this is where you want to think about a realistic distribution, because you don't want to be working on all of your goals in the same month. That's probably going to be too much - I pretty much guarantee it!
You may also already have certain things planned out in your business or in your personal life - vacations, stuff with your kids, programs or services that you're already planning to do at a specific time - so, again, think about what makes sense in the different phases of the year that you're going to go through and really try to distribute things as much as possible in a way that makes sense for you and seems manageable.
You might feel like you are stretching yourself a little bit, and that is totally fine. But if you find that you have so many goals and tasks that it's becoming unrealistic at this point, it is entirely fair to push some things to 2025 if needed.
We want to have a big vision for 2024, but if there realistically are not enough days in the year, you don't have to push yourself to the breaking point or to burnout trying to get all these things done. This is just a vision of the direction that we want to go in and there is no set deadline for when you have to have this accomplished. Make sure that you are distributing things in a way that is actually attainable.
Narrow down your tasks
Now, at this point, this is where we really start narrowing down on specific tasks that we're working on. It's probably too much work to do the point by point tasks for the entire year right now, especially because things are going to change. But I encourage you to at least plan out the tasks that you're going to need to do in January or maybe the first quarter.
These are recurring tasks that you're going to need to do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and also one-off things to reach the goals you have assigned to January and the first quarter..
Loosely plan when those are going to happen and in what order, because for your higher level planning and then for this more specific task planning, there are things that are going to have to happen first before other things can happen. So make sure you're keeping that in mind as you are distributing things and planning things out in a schedule.
With this more detailed task planning, you may want to consider moving this into some sort of project management software, like Asana or ClickUp, or putting it in whatever system you currently use that makes sense to you. You could create a to-do list or a checklist document. You could add things as to-do items in your Google calendar. Whatever system you use to keep track of the things that you're working on and remind yourself of what you need to do.
Okay, so at this point if you have been following along and doing this with me, then you should have a pretty solid plan for 2024. And I hope that this is a plan that you are excited about! I hope this is a plan that you are actually going to work on come January and start making a reality.
If you have questions about your 2024 planning or about when to do things, in what order, what goals are realistic, etc., let me know down in the comments or feel free to reach out.