Do You PLAN?...I Mean Really Plan..

29 replies
Do you have a Plan for your business? I'm not talking about making $10k in the next 6 months (that would be a goal or an ambition) but rather a strategic plan that will help you achieve these goals?

I must admit Planning is something I'm getting better at, but I still need to improve on big time. I hear everywhere nowadays that "you must have a plan, you must have a plan.." but how many of us actually take the time to sit down and put this down on paper?:rolleyes:

From what I know it's best to start-out by deciding on a clear goal or objective that you want to achieve. This objective has to be big enough to excite you but not completely unrealistic. It has to be Real.

When I sit down to plan out my time I don't like to look much further than 6 months into the future. After that I find the goal becomes less of a priority and the longer timescale provides me with an excuse to not get started... When the goal is 12 months from now I can always be lazy and put off taking action because of the large timescale involved.

So when I have my 6 month goal I then work backwards and break all the little tasks down and give myself some benchmarks that I've got to hit as I move towards the 6 month mark. These are usually monthly intervals, so each month I know I have a particular thing I have to get done.

This is great for focusing the mind. I know for a lot of us IM is a hobby to make some extra cash but I think the key is to have a business-like approach to it. To change from an "opportunity seeker" into a strategic marketer who knows what they want, and have a Plan on how to get it!

Once I have my monthly tasks in order the real fun starts as I try and allocate enough time week-by-week to get everything done. A helpful technique that I use is to make out a simple To Do List each day before I get started. I find it helps to keep me focused and not get distracted by everything else that's going on. Also, I only check my emails at certain times and always log out of FB, MSN and Skype - they really kill my productivity!

All of this combined is great for increasing Productivity because it's not the amount of hours you work which is important, but the number of "Productive Hours" you work. That's one of the main rules I try to adhere to when I working on my IM stuff.

I have a digital timer and I'll set it for 50 mins or so, and for those 50 mins I try to stay completely focused on the task at hand and not get distracted. Again, maybe this is a little overkill but hey, each to their own....

So back to my initial question - do any of you hold much value in Planning or do you think it's garbage? If you do Plan then I'd be interested in hearing about any techniques you use...and how useful you find them.

Cheers all - Noel.
#goals #objectives #plan #plani #planning
  • Profile picture of the author warriorkay
    Well said, Noel!

    I do hold much value in planning. Any month, week or day I follow
    my plan works out much better than without a plan.

    And yes - it's still true that "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,

    Kingsley
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    • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
      I don't do a very professional business plan but I do plan. When I first started I planned out what I wanted to do step by step and followed those steps. I changed some things along the way but it really helped me stay on track with what I was doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    i always write down every sunday my week ahead and what i want to achieve

    the last few months ive been writing down a lot more and writing out tasks and then marking them off when complete i find this helps me to keep on track a lot more

    im pretty much the same noel, i dont like to look further than 6 months

    yes i do have ultimate ambitions but i find you can really focus a lot more in 6 month chunks because its not so far way than say 12 months or 5 years etc

    in my opinion productive tasks are things that are actually pushing your business forward such as

    adding more follow ups to your funnel
    creating a new product
    adding content to your personal blog
    set up a new paid raffic campaign (build your list)
    sending your subs value

    paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Noel Cunningham
      Originally Posted by paul nicholls View Post

      i always write down every sunday my week ahead and what i want to achieve

      the last few months ive been writing down a lot more and writing out tasks and then marking them off when complete i find this helps me to keep on track a lot more

      im pretty much the same noel, i dont like to look further than 6 months

      yes i do have ultimate ambitions but i find you can really focus a lot more in 6 month chunks because its not so far way than say 12 months or 5 years etc

      in my opinion productive tasks are things that are actually pushing your business forward such as

      adding more follow ups to your funnel
      creating a new product
      adding content to your personal blog
      set up a new paid raffic campaign (build your list)
      sending your subs value

      paul
      Thanks everyone - some good planning tips you've given me

      @ Paul - Sitting down on a Sunday night and making a plan of attack for the week ahead is a great tip. Something that I haven't been doing as regularly as I should...

      I don't like to give myself more than 3 Productive Tasks per week to do. These are different to the little daily things, weekly things that always have to be done but rather 3 main things that when completed will really have moved you forward that week.

      I'm not saying I always get these 3 big tasks done but I always try to do as much as I can. This also helps to keep me focused and stop wasting time on little things that I should be outsourcing etc.

      And your Spot on with Productive Tasks - these have to be something that are moving your business forward or adding value to your business. If they are not doing that then you're only fooling yourself

      Cheers Guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author jeremysteam
    Every night before I go to bed I write a TODO list for the next day, And most of all my projects are Planned out well before hand! This is good advice thought thanks for this!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rick Britton
    I am multi tasking

    I do not yet have my products made (a lot of work required but I know what they are going to be).

    Knowing what I am going to be selling and who my customers are because I have a blog (health niche), I have a strategy laid out to:

    1) continue to grow the blog and get it ranking highly for my major KWs. It is currently 20 to 40 for about 7 important buyers words - the only real money is in the top 5 places really for this. On and off page optimisation continues

    2) create social media profile, automate everything, and video submission - all for traffic to the blog site

    3) build list and market my products and others to them. I will have a 100% commission product for affiliates to sell for list building purposes... and eventually all my products available for affiliates to sell on commission

    4) I have another 8 niches, in a similar vein, that I and my business partner have many years of experience and knowledge and we can create products for these too. Ultimately, the plan is to have a complete suite of products covering all these niches and being able to cross sell and up sell them all to all the subscribers which list they joined on in the first place.

    How's that for a plan?
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  • Profile picture of the author Cedevita
    i really do a lot of planning, i write down everything daily and make bigger plans with major fixes at least once per week. it helps me a lot to keep more focus
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  • Profile picture of the author Exel
    I'm not planning that much, but use a pen and paper for business, and software for
    more common tasks.

    My system is very simple but very effective nevertheless. I write down the goal, the
    write down every step needed to achieve that goal in the form of a single tasks and
    sort them out in the logical order. Then go to work, finish task by task and check it off.

    With daily, more common tasks, I write them down the day before in simple software
    called "To Do List", then the next day everything is ready and all that's left is to execute it.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    I think planning is good, but it's only half the battle.

    Planning is the easy part- taking action on that plan is the hard part.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    I think it is absolutely essential to have some kind of vision, and a plan on how you are going to get to that vision. While you should try to stick to the plan as much as possible, in my opinion, nothing can ever go perfectly to plan.

    That is why it is essential to have a certain level of flexibility in your planning, to accommodate factors that are out of your control. But overall yes, it help a lot to plan regularly, and your method of planning sounds very effective. Thanks for sharing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Noel Cunningham
      Originally Posted by YasirYar View Post

      I think it is absolutely essential to have some kind of vision, and a plan on how you are going to get to that vision. While you should try to stick to the plan as much as possible, in my opinion, nothing can ever go perfectly to plan.

      That is why it is essential to have a certain level of flexibility in your planning, to accommodate factors that are out of your control. But overall yes, it help a lot to plan regularly, and your method of planning sounds very effective. Thanks for sharing.
      Sure, nothing can ever be really "set in stone" because things change and perhaps your Plan will have to evolve to accommodate these changes..

      I think that's an important factor to take into account. As you move forward and start to see progress you might notice things about your Plan that you'll have to edit/transform to help you keep on top of things.

      @geotargeted The 60 60 30 rule sounds pretty useful. I know personally, unless I'm really diggin what I'm working on, I start to see a decrease in focus once I approach the hour mark.

      I always like to take 5, get up from the computer and walk around, do something - just to break up the work periods. Thanks for that tip mate
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  • I always write a To Do List every evening before I go to sleep.
    I try to keep it short 4-5 things so that I can focus on just them and not get left with things that are not complete.
    I also have my goals written on the wall for me to read daily. This helps to keep me on track. I also have an image board (as recommended in the secret) which I have images of what I want to achieve. I have this posted on the screensaver on my computer also.
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    • Profile picture of the author moneylab
      Noel, I've also begun using a 'countdown' timer on my desktop to give myself an allotted amount of time to complete a task, and I've found it REALLY helps me focus and avoid distractions during that time period.

      It's not something I want to do continually (I wouldn't want to micromanage every aspect of every day of my life), but for me, when I have a critical project going and I can't afford to waste time getting it done, I've found the timer makes a huge difference getting the individual sub-tasks done.

      Greg
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  • Profile picture of the author WorkOnline
    In my opinion, business planning would be very important. We should have plans in order to succeed. In this case we can manage the things that we have to do. It doesn't only helps you determine whether your perception is possible, it also establishes a map for your company's future.Or else your business is likely to drift along without direction or parameters for measuring progress.
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  • Profile picture of the author alexgold87
    Planing is what my every single day starting from I write on a piece of paper what I can handle today and not trying to do something else. I found this technique very helpful for myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobIMJones
    This is a great post and definitely something we should all do!

    I personally have everything laid out step by step and take it one thing at a time otherwise everything becomes a bit.. messy!

    It's really important to stick at one task until you've completed, I've found it highly increases my productivity, otherwise I can easily start writing a blog post, then carry on reading a book, then jumping on to edit my website and so on and spreading myself way too thin..

    I can end up with 3-4 tasks that are only half done, which can be a real confidence killer because you end up thinking.. "Where the hell do I start?"

    So my piece of advice would be, take things step by step and always complete one task before another to ensure you're doing everything.. but doing it properly and not just rushing it to get it done!

    All the best,

    Rob Jones
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  • Profile picture of the author geotargeted
    I have been using the 60 60 30 rule. Spend 60 minutes on one task, then 60 on another. Then take a 30 minute break. I get more done by doing this.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuperDJ
    I don't have an exorbitant professional way of planning (not even sure what I'm talking about here.) but I do allocate time to do certain activities. It's like being in school again, all your classes are allocated into 50 minute time slots. That's the approach I take for my business. I work from 05:00 - 19:00 - but I'm actually working seriously (no breaks, extras etc) for about 8-10 hours. Each activity is split up into 2 hr time slots...
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  • Profile picture of the author Tenzho
    I couldn't focus on only one project. It's too late, I have jumped in too many lanes at one time. So when I start writing down my to-do list, I will write a new report for my website tomorow morning, then the next day, you have 2 new orders on Fiverr. Awrr Dam, Have to waste 6 hours to earn $8. After finishing the gig, my mood for writing a report is now gone. So I'll do it the next day.

    The next day, woke up and check my gmail, my JV partner is calling me "Where is the new article? Its been 3 days and you haven't write any yet." So I sat down and write article.

    Juggling between projects are really frustrating, that's what most newbies do most of the time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Noel Cunningham
      Originally Posted by Tenzho View Post

      I couldn't focus on only one project. It's too late, I have jumped in too many lanes at one time. So when I start writing down my to-do list, I will write a new report for my website tomorow morning, then the next day, you have 2 new orders on Fiverr. Awrr Dam, Have to waste 6 hours to earn $8. After finishing the gig, my mood for writing a report is now gone. So I'll do it the next day.

      The next day, woke up and check my gmail, my JV partner is calling me "Where is the new article? Its been 3 days and you haven't write any yet." So I sat down and write article.

      Juggling between projects are really frustrating, that's what most newbies do most of the time.
      Ya, it can be very frustrating having to work like that. What I would do in that situation (and have done in the past) is sit down, write down every activity that I have to do in my business and then assess how important they are...

      If they aren't giving me any great benefit or bring in some cash then Boom! I get rid of them It can be hard to do this at times but I think it needs to be done, especially if you are doing a lot of the work by yourself.

      Time is our greatest resource but we only have 24hrs per day to get Everything done, so if it ain't essential cross it off the list and move onto the next Productive Task:rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author elexmedia
    Yes of course....
    Business without a plan and goal, is not a business. It's just a hobby

    For my business, I usually made a goal and a plan for 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year. I write it down on a small notebook and state it loudly every morning.

    This's also what Sir Richard Branson do for his business...
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  • Profile picture of the author pk69
    Plan is essential, but it's not that hard to make a plan. Execution is a matter of a discipline.

    Real art is in tracking the progress and adjusting day-to-day plan, because it's very rarely that plan everything right from the beginning
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  • Profile picture of the author NicholasX
    I do plan, but most of the time I didn't follow the plan exactly. Because its hard to finish a plan if step 5 out of 10 doesn't even work. I believe that's what really happened with most people.
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  • Profile picture of the author tayuyaa
    Yes I plan because if I dont I go in 100 different directions lol, so yes I plan even thought its no as professional as it should be I just grap a notepad and write down what I want to achieve within the week or the day it depends, then i work from there

    Like they say:

    'Plan your work, and work your plan"
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Mak
    if you are losing focus every time you work online, you can try the pomodoro technique, the software is free

    I have a plan of making USD30,000 a month, and i have spend almost 3 year to study and finding the solution, and now i am ready to go!
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel Cunningham
    @ Andrew and Dean - cheers for those tips. I use a mind mapping site called Mindmeister... I like to be able to see things visually and once I braindump everything onto a mind map I can then begin organize and prioritize the tasks.

    Amazing how much clearer and achievable things become when you take the time to organize them properly. Don't think I'd work half as well as I do without things like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Guru_Marketing
    Hi Noel,

    Yes, planning can be helpful, but when it comes to expectancy - it can backfire.

    Let me explain.

    When you build a plan, but you do not see the results right away, you feel bad, because things do not came as you have planned them previously. So, if you always expect "the better" future, you are trapped in your head. This is allow you to miss all given opportunities that are under your nose and take action.

    When a person is trapped into their head, they miss a very important point. Planning is about doing, not thinking or developing strategies. When we are trapped into our thoughts, we can't take action - because of paralysis.

    We can either do things or thinking of doing them. Both can't take place at the same time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rick Britton
    Start with the End in Mind

    and then plan to get the business built correctly from the get go

    if you can do this then you can just put all the tasks in a logical order and plan their completion

    I am using this evergreen business formula (mind map) kindly given to me by James Scholes

    http://vistaspeedsecrets.co.uk/image...-Blueprint.jpg

    Some of the elements are not required for my business and I am steadily ticking them off
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