Thursday, November 13, 2008

PLANNING AHEAD



The other day I was reminded of a need to assess where I am with my 2008 goals as well as considering what I would like to accomplish for 2009.

As I studied my extensive list of planned goals for 2008 I could not conceal my amusement as well as pride. The year I planned closely resembled what actually transpired. Despite some of the detours my process took, I am pleased to say that I accomplished much. I can also say that the remaining items are not causing me to hyperventilate.

I have often said to my siblings and close friends that a woman without a plan is a woman planning to fail. In order to remain on a steady course I have spent several days reassessing the last ten and a half months, and what I plan to accomplish in the next thirteen and a half. I thought it would nice to compile a list and share with some of my favorite people – YOU!

I invite you to comment, add suggestions of your own and ask any questions you may have.

PLANNING AHEAD

Before you can move ahead you need to assess the past. Take a look at what transpired over the past year in order to determine:
Which plans/processes were effective?
Which plans/processes need adjusting in order to be effective?
Which plans/processes should be eliminated?

What remains from the previous year?
Are items remaining on list vital for the progress/enhancement of your business?
Determine how to incorporate into new year

Assessing the future
Compile a list of what you want/need to accomplish for the coming year
Make is feasible
Plan your time wisely
Be flexible

Budget/Tracking
Consider your financial needs
Set a budget
Secure the services of an accountant
Set up a tracking system for expenditures
Set up a tracking system for inventory
Update all your necessary business licenses

Upgrading
Take inventory of your business instruments and upgrade where possible
Replace batteries in electronic items
Have at least one land line for home business purposes

Continuing Education
Seek writing and business courses that will keep you competitive
Consider attending at least one writing conference
Attend online seminars
Read, read, read

On The Web
Update website in order to have the latest and most pertinent information available for visitors
Set reminders for renewing domain name and/or ISP hosting contracts
If your site is not the first to pop up on search engines, update your meta tags
Set up a blog and commit to updating at least once a month (I’m trying to get there)
Set up Google Alerts to see who is checking you out
Google yourself at least once a month to see where you appear or who’s using your name without your permission

The list above is by no means exhaustive. I do believe it will help get you started or enhance what you are already doing.

10 comments:

Ty said...

Great post Linda! 2008 was pretty productive for me too, but I'm looking to go to the NEXT LEVEL in 2009. Blessings,
Ty

l. l. hargrove said...

This is super. Thanks, Linda.

Quick question: would you suggest charting things out with deadlines and 'measurables'?

I've seen someone use a really stringent business marketing and promotion plan. In all honesty, I was jealous (mine is so loose, maybe too loose). So I'm trying to get a feeling for how others plan out their year on paper.

Thanks in advance for feedback.

Jeanette Hill said...

This is great information. 2008 has been a defining year for us but we don't need to stop now. Like Ty, we need to move to the next level...effectively. Long range planning and goal-setting often is the part I don't spend as much time on as I should but it's one of the things on my list for 2009.

Linda Beed said...

Ty, thank you for stopping by.

Yes you were definitely productive. Your expertise and shared knowledge has been valuable to many of us in the industry.

Your determination to ascend to the next level attests to the fact that you are definitely a woman with a plan.

Linda!

Linda Beed said...

Hi Linda.

I do suggest some type of charting. Currently I am evaluating my 2008 calendar with my 2008 To Do list and family needs. I'm color coding what worked and what did not. I use that as a bench mark for 2009 goals. As I did in 2008 I adjust accordingly.

Setting attainable goals is vital for every business. Leaving room for adjustment and some R&R will keep you from becoming neurotic.

Stringent goals may work for some and I believe raising the bar keeps one from becomng complacent. You will know what works for you. The best thing to understand is that you can do well when you don't allow the business to 'own' you.

Linda!

Linda Beed said...

Jeanette your words are absolutely true.

One thing I would also suggest to those whose businesses are growing beyond what they can handle singularly is to consider the services of an assistant.

You may want to consider a trial period assigning the busy work that keeps you away from the creativity or other procssess you need to tend to.

Linda!

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda it's Kerrie.

My question is what to do about attending conferences when it's so expensive to get anywhere these days?

Linda Beed said...

Hi Kerrie!!!

To answer your question I would suggest that you honestly balace your need against what is being offered.

Conferrences can be a lot of fun, but if courses offered do not meet the need or enhance the skill level of the attending author, I suggest that you bypass.

As an author you are also a business owner. Your choices should be based on your budget and/or the long-term return on your investment.

If traveling is totally out of the question, seriously consider some of the online conferences and teleseminars being offered. Again, be aware that it is still an investment of your time and in some cases, your finances. Be sure that you are getting what you need from it.

Linda!

Valerie said...

Linda,

Thanks for this post! Although I do not have a business nor am I a published writer, I still found this information very valuable in achieving the goals to get there. Your sound advice and suggestions were realistic and obtainable.

Thanks again!

Linda Beed said...

Thanks Val.

Having a plan for every aspect of our lives is very valuable. Just be sure to be flexible. The goal will not change, but we must be willing to adjust where necessary in order to remain on course.

Linda!