Tuesday, 2 August 2016
How to | Make an Action Plan for Your Business
It's been over two years since I set up my photography business, Photography by Gwen. The time has flown by, it's been wonderful, and sometimes I take a step back and look at what I have achieved and think about where I am going. The more business-minded sole traders out there have probably been working on their Action Plan since the beginning. But having zero experience in running a business before now, I spent quite a while just winging it (and Googling everything). It's time to put together an Action Plan for Photography by Gwen's future, whilst keeping it simple and achievable.
So if you run a small business and want to set a path to follow, you might find this helpful...
I typed my Action Plan so I have a digital copy and can alter it if needed or add things as I go. Printing a hard copy is very sensible though, it will give you something physical to flip through.
Ways to Grow
Establish the ways in which you can improve your business. How can you grow bigger and better? What steps need to be taken? Find what works for you and keep going with that! Look back at all those ideas that didn't really work and don't waste time on them anymore. You'll know what is best for your business over time, I'm still learning every day. I listed all my ideas and now they are there in black and white for me to look back over.
Daily Tasks, Weekly Tasks, Monthly Tasks & Yearly Tasks
I like to be organised so having checklists of everything that needs to be done helps me keep on track. It can be things as small as updating your social media platforms or stock checking. But every small thing adds up to the bigger picture and makes a real difference in the growth of your business. I update my accounts once a week and it really helps at the end of the year when it's time to do my taxes. If you want to get into the habit of doing something more regularly, now is the time to put it into your Action Plan.
Print a Checklist
I have a printed copy of my Daily Task Checklist which I keep pinned up next to my desk. I am reminded of all the things I need to do, and before switching my laptop off at the end of the day I can double check everything has been done.
Income Targets & How to Reach Them
It's important to keep on top of the financial side of your business, as boring and stressful as it can be. We all have targets we'd like to reach (or need to reach) which can be very private but these should go into your personal Action Plan. Work out what needs to be done to reach those income goals. This will vary for everyone but will most likely be based on your pricing.
Predictions & Goals to Work Towards
Where will your business be in a year? How about 5 years? Honestly, I'm not one to plan ahead too far. I can't realistically work on a five year plan, that's insane. I like to be organised but no one has a crystal ball and I prefer to take life as it comes. I guess that's just me and perhaps not the best way to be as a business owner - but I'm trying! I can set myself goals for the short term and aspirations for the long term. If you know what you want to achieve you can then work out how to get there. That's what this Action Plan is all about! 'Success' is defined by only yourself and achieved by working hard continuously.
Good luck with creating your own Business Action Plan. I'd be interested to know how you set goals for your small business and if putting together an Action Plan has helped you reach them.
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