When Annual Planning Gets Real

I know leading into the new year, and all through December, we were talking about goal planning. We were getting ready for the new year, quarterly planning, setting those 13 week goals, 90 day plans. All that strategery. Now we have to turn big goals into baby steps. This is where the rubber hits the road. And you have to figure out how you can take these Big Hairy Audacious Goals, that you’ve put on your calendar, and turn them into reality.

I just want to let you know that the secret to going big is to start small. And so this post is all about how to use baby steps to start gaining momentum towards your goals.

Three Entrepreneur Types

Now, I know I have a lot of different people who check in with me. I have folks that work marketing companies, or people who are just starting out in their businesses. Some people are still working a full time job. I’m going to try and touch on all those different scenarios.

a baby step that everyone takes is better than a giant leap that no one takes.

The key thing is you’re taking that Big Hairy Audacious Goal, and then you’re chunking it down into smaller and smaller steps until it’s manageable. A goal that you aren’t able to actually able to make movement towards isn’t helpful. There’s an expression that a baby step that everyone takes is better than a giant leap that no one takes.

So with your Big Hairy Audacious Goal you’ve set, that’s a giant leap that you want to make in your life. It’s meant for a longer period of time. We talked about 90 day increments, and quarterly goals. We also did some annual planning for those of you who are in the She Runs It community, but now what we need to do is to chunk it down into itty bitty incremental steps so that you can take action daily towards your goals.

Network Marketers

I’m going to start by just giving you the example of a network marketing company. Those of you who know me know I am a Primerica representative. That is a network marketing company, and it’s focused around financial management. There are a whole bunch of insurance agents and financial advisors who are part of this network. When I was active in that company, I knew that in order to make my monthly goals there was a certain amount of daily activity that I needed to achieve. In that business, the goal is to sell insurance products, to sell financial products in order to generate revenue for the company and for yourself and for the client, of course, right, because it’s financial.

Start With What You Know

What that means is you have to meet with a certain number of people to close sales. They had this phrase. We used to say 8-5-3-1 (eight five three one). So you would set eight appointments so that you would actually go on five confirmed appointments. You would do three full financial needs analyses for people and then that would yield one sale. Okay? Now this is important because the goal for any aspiring Primerica representative is do eight five three one every week. That means if you need to set eight appointments every week, then that rolls back up into how many calls and how many contacts that you need to make in order to generate those eight appointments on your calendar.

that means is the baby step, your daily baby step there is to get on the phone for an hour

Marie Deveaux , business coach posts an image of a spehere connected at every angle by the image of a person to illustrate how success in a network marketing company can be defined in small baby stepsIf you know that it takes you 30 calls to get 10 confirmed appointments on your books, then what you might want to do is have time at the front end of your week, like on a Monday, to say I’m going to take time today to make 30 phone calls. And maybe 30 phone calls takes you an hour to do. We’ll say, two minutes a call, and they tend to be very quick conversations. Either someone’s on the phone or they’re not.

For the most part, if you get someone on the phone, you can turn that into an appointment so let’s just assume 30 calls. You get 10 people on the phone, and you set eight appointments. What that means is the baby step, your daily baby step there, is to get on the phone for an hour. And then on Monday if you didn’t get your eight set, then on Tuesday you need to get on the phone until you get the eight set. But that’s the first baby step: call people.

Work Backwards From Your BHAG

Now I’m going to take that even one step even further. If we’re walking this backwards from our goal, the Big Hairy Goal, walking it backwards all the way to setting the calls, we can go even one step beyond that to what if you don’t have anybody to call? And then your baby step needs to be going out there and prospecting, which means looking for leads and generating new contacts for you to reach out to.

how many people do you need to speak to on a daily basis in order to generate a certain number of appointments or invites to your business meeting

So that’s the first example is in a network marketing business, how many people do you need to speak to on a daily basis in order to generate a certain number of appointments or invites to your business meeting? Whatever it is in that company’s structure, do that and you can get to the end goal, the big goal, for your monthly commitment. If you can do that consistently then you should be able to hit your yearly commitment. Makes sense?

Side Hustlers

So I’m going to give you another example of this. The second example, let’s take the example of someone who’s side hustling. So let’s say you’re working in corporate still, and you’re running your business. Maybe you have a catering business or a baking business on the side that you’re doing part time. In Primerica we used to call folks who only worked the business on the weekend or were kind of sporadic with business activity “part time/sometime/anytime”. So whenever you have free time, you’re working on this business.

if I work that backwards, how many cupcake orders or how many catering events do I need to do to make $10,000?

But if you have a goal, say for the year you just want to make an extra $10,000 in your side hustle, then you need to think about, well, if I work that backwards, how many cupcake orders or how many catering events do I need to do to make $10,000? You might say, okay I need to do, I don’t know, 25 events or 25 orders to make that $10,000. So if you work that back, okay great, so 25 orders, how many can I do in quarter? We break that out, real easy, that’s about eight, almost nine orders in a quarter, so that’s three orders every month which means every 10 days you should be getting an order. Just working it back all the way back so we can get to our baby steps.

Be Your Own Sales Coach

If you need an order every 10 days, then maybe you need to be thinking about where these orders are coming from:

Are they coming from your church base community?

From people at work?

From your existing friends and family?

Are you advertising on social media to generate orders?

Maximize Seasonal Sales Patterns

Of course, for catering events or for pastries/baked goods, it’s an easy grab to think about what are the holidays or big special occasions each quarter that I can maximize to generate those sales? So what you might want to do for your baby step is to start thinking about “what events can I capitalize on in the month?” So we’re in January, start thinking of what are three events that people would want to cater for in the month. Of course, we’ve got MLK, so what MLK events can I reach out to? Or, there’s some president’s days in here this month, and then expand out beyond that quarter. Of course, February we have Valentine’s Day. And in March there’s St Patrick’s Day. We’ve got Black History Month. So there’s all of these events.

my baby step is reaching out to a certain number of people who will generate interest and sales which will lead to my monthly, my quarterly and then my annual goals.

If we look at that for the whole quarter, and we know that for this quarter we want nine events on the calendar, then I know maybe my baby step for this Black woman in a pink apron mixes baking batter at a kitchen aid as Marie Deveaux, business coach describes how small business owners who are still working it as a side hustle can still make baby steps towards big goals.Monday is to reach out to five African American organizations about their Martin Luther King Day celebrations. Those are coming up in the next couple of weeks. Or I can start asking them about their plans for Black History Month. If they have any events coming up, I send them information about my catering business or my cupcake business. Better yet, send them samples so they can taste and see the value that I can bring to them.

So I think my baby step is reaching out to a certain number of people who will generate interest and sales which will lead to my monthly, my quarterly and then my annual goals. Baby steps, right? Maybe today you’re just going to research what are some of the Black owned organizations in your community so you can get things going around your event planning or bakery business.

Micro Business Owners

So now let’s go to example three. This is for people who are already in business, some of the micro businesses out there. Actually I was, over the break, talking to my sister who is a business owner, she’s a vocal coach, and we were talking about the difference between a small business and a micro business. And I think small business revenue starts off at … I can’t remember if she said 400,000 or four million a year. I think it was four million so most of us are still a little bit away from hitting that revenue number for annual revenue, (yowza) so we’re going to be micro businesses, like super small; it’s just you and your gang of contractors or your 2 dozen employees. (Forbes says micro is up to $7million annual revenue and 500 employees btw).

think about your baby steps in terms of what you want growth to look like for the year.

What Does Growth Mean To You?

If you’re in that case, in that bucket of business, where you’ve been operating for maybe one, two, three, five years but you’re still very small, then you can think about your baby steps in terms of what you want growth to look like for the year. So again, we’re walking it back from your Big Hairy Audacious Goal for 2019. What does that mean quarterly, what does that mean monthly, and then taking that into weekly plans. How can I start to target some of those things? You should be able to get it all the way down to “what can I do today to make progress for my goals?”.

Picture of the BestSelf Planner opened to a daily planning page as Marie Deveaux small business coach instructs on how to set small baby step goals towards your annual plan objectives.So of course, I would be remiss if I had a post and didn’t talk to you about the BestSelf Planner, but right now in BestSelf I’m starting a new one, this is my eleventh planner with them. Today I went ahead, I filled in my Big Hairy Audacious Goals. I did do three this time because it’s the beginning of the year, you tend to get more ambitious. I set three Big Hairy Audacious Goals for the next 90 days. Then I went through, I set my weekly goals which right now are to work on a landing page, some email copy; I have a meeting with the DOE -that’s for my personal life for my son; and planning my date night and play dates for my kids so their social life’s up in there.

So today, Monday, on my calendar, first thing that I’m doing, I set my two targets today: Those were my blog, which, “Hello,” getting the goods right now, and then the second one was to get my landing page over to my marketing consultant for review. So those are the two baby steps I’m taking today, a draft of my landing page and putting up a blog post. Super easy.

Chunk it all the way down. What can you do today that’s going to help you get towards your goals? Because it’s the baby steps that really help you get towards the Big Hairy things.

BHAGs revisited

Also, sidebar, my husband didn’t know what we were talking about over the break. Me and my sister were talking about BHAGs, and he said, “Oh, BHAG, that’s what, Big Hairy Ass Goal?” Hahaha. So if you’re having trouble remembering the goal, it’s a Big Hairy Ass Goal. It’s just enormous. I hope that helps you guys. Set something small and achievable today that will help you go big tomorrow and for the days to come.

That’s it for now. Talk to you soon.

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