Let’s face it: 2020 has been…challenging. If a global pandemic wasn’t enough, a hotly-contested election, joblessness and a lack of sporting events made it nearly unbearable.
And don’t get me started on the lack of indoor seating at restaurants and bars!
But as we embark on a new year, let’s take a minute to prep and make this one the BIG ONE… The one we look back on and say, “that was my turning point!”.
Are you a new business owner? Maybe you’re a solopreneur looking to make the away from your 925 in the new year? If you’re rethinking your plan and wondering right now if it’s the right time, I’m here to help you get your head straight – so you can win at your business!
So let’s start with the basics of a successful new year.
- Are you ready to commit or recommit? This is the most important question
- What are your goals for next year? Establish what goals you can feasibly achieve, and then…
- Create a list of strategies to get there. Will you bring on two new customers per month in the first six months? If you want a new site, will you get your website copy completed by January 14th and images by the 31st? Think small.
- Get organized and consistent. This is not negotiable. Organization is where “best laid plans” become successful endeavors. What apps do you need? How are you bookkeeping? Consistency means people don’t unfollow you for skipping your social post, brands don’t drop you for missing an influencer deadline and you get paid by clients because you set realistic goals and billed appropriately.
- Find your squad. We all need cheerleaders. It can be your bff, significant other, or a TikTok community. Just find your people and help each other.
Let’s dig deeper. Note that some of these are affiliate links but I only support companies I truly love.
Ya, this is a rough one. I’m going to be real with you. Being a business owner is not easy. “Making your own hours” means working 70 hours a week instead of 40. Anyone who tells you otherwise, especially when they were starting out, is not being real.
You need to know that it’s going to be hard. You’re going to have to spend money. You will be hurt by friends and family who don’t “support” you. You will question your decision (probably daily!) for a while.
But there will be a day when it feels right – where you will think, “Wow. This is working!” On that day, you will feel much like a mom who just gave birth; the pain lessens and the joy is what remains.
You just need to know it’s work!
Let’s be real. Everyone wants to make six figures. The reality is that it takes time, but it’s achievable. Successful people come up with their goals – goals that are attainable and realistic. You are likely not making six figures your first month out there; what is realistic? Be honest with yourself, your budget and your time. Like working out, if you don’t go into it with the right ideas, you are setting yourself up for failure.
2021 is your year to ACHIEVE.
Strategies for Achievers
Maybe your goal is to make $20,000 next year. How can you do that?
Break it into palatable portions. There are 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days. Use this to your advantage.
My suggestion? Look at the quarters of the year. Assume that the first quarter of 2021 will be your least profitable, meaning the bulk needs to be elsewhere. However, if you sell swimwear, you need to focus on Q2 and Q3 – not Q4. Whereas, if you sell gift items, maybe you are focusing on Q2 and Q4.
This is particular to you and only you know what you need. Some ideas…
- Can you make $1k per month?
- Can you schedule 5 parties in February?
- Can you sign two new clients in Q1 and Q2, four in Q3 and Q4?
What’s realistic for you? Be honest with yourself – this is what makes or breaks you. When you establish this mindset, put a timeframe in place to help you structure your plan of attack.
Get Organized and Consistent.
This is the secret sauce, truthfully. You can hire 10 coaches and listen to every podcast, but what it comes down to is organization and consistency. I am taking a deeper dive here because I find that this is where so many get lost in the forest and give up.
Don’t give up!
Planning – I highly recommend a planner. If you haven’t used a paper planner before, this is the ultimate tool in my arsenal. While I love the online options available (here’s some great pointers for block scheduling on Google Calendar from KatydidPGH), a paper planner lets me combine my work and personal stuff, and it acts as a scrapbook of my year too! If you don’t need your day scheduled to the minute, I suggest Bloom. They offer some great options with personal coaching pages, for under $20!
Need more structure and guidance? Passion Planner is the ultimate option for the person who needs their time broken down more closely, and is looking for the mental guidance to be your best entrepreneur. For $35, you get the benefits of a coach without the four digit check, Passion Planners really help you hone your vision and stay the course towards your goals.
Website – Building your own site – especially when you’re starting out – is plausible and doable. While there are many platforms available, these are the important things to remember:
- Do I own it? (if your domain name is marysjewels.square.site, you do not) This is important because as a business owner, you should always own your brand. If you are working within a multi-level marketing company, you can secure MarysJewels.com, and then point it to your social media accounts, or even to your Paparazzi page! This gives you the appearance of brand control, even when you don’t yet have it.
- Is it scalable? You’re starting out and you don’t want to spend a lot, but in six months, you may need your site to be a major e-commerce hub. If you choose certain platforms, you will lack the ability to add significant shopping or search engine optimization. As a company, we find WordPress to be the best option for most companies since, by using a template, you can have a beautiful site – no matter your ability level. And when you want a pro to come in and make it prettier later, it’s like a phone case; all the content stays the same but they change out the appearance. It will save you significantly on costs down the road.
- Do you have an SSL certificate? This is not negotiable if you are selling ANYTHING through your site. Google will blacklist your site if you do not have it and make it invisible online – even putting the dreaded “this site isn’t safe!” warning. While some companies like GoDaddy charge annually for this, many hosting companies include it for free.
- Where did you host it? Your host is one of the most important decisions in this process. A good host has minimal downtime, great support, included emails and SSL certificates. We use and recommend Chemicloud for our clients and I urge you to check them out too.
Billing and Invoicing – As a company, we use different products, dependent on the needs of the client. Bonsai (try it for a month free with this link) is a great option for professional-looking proposals and client interactions. I personally also love Invoice Ninja, which incorporates proposals, task management, payments and even automatic reminders, plus a really slick client portal. The paid version is only $10 a month, but the free version is just as fabulous!
Phone Number – Get one. You don’t need to get a new line on your cell phone bill. You can get yourself a Google Voice number for free, or use a service like Sideline, which costs $70 a year and forwards directly to your phone. Protip: Get a number in an area code of a city you’d like to be “based” in.
There are many other areas we can cover here but this is a great starting point. Feel free to text me with more specific questions.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a support system. I started out by saying this was hard. I mean that. It’s rough. You need the right people in place to make it work. Roxie is the yin to my professional yang and we work through the difficult times like champs. But I also have a great husband and kids, and some really amazing friends. I have also found some fabulous Facebook groups that keep me sane. Find a tribe and then support them. Make sure they have your back too. They will matter most on the days you want to give up, and they won’t let you.
I realize this is a lot – but let’s face it: so is being a businessperson. Right now, I own and manage four companies. I could not do that without structure, planning and the help of some very useful tricks. I have tried to give you some of my favorites here. Now, GO WIN 2021!
Wanna download this as a guide? Here you go!