2018: Updated Business Planning Blog Here (This one is still useful though!)
January and February are perfect months for planning the year ahead for your cake business.
Generally things are a little quieter which makes it the perfect time to work on your business and plan what you would like to achieve for the forthcoming year.
In this blog I share my method for creating a plan that is easy to follow and brings in results.
First things first let’s talk about business plans and why they are an extremely important part in crafting your year ahead.
Why Create a Business Plan?
I know a lot of people have issues with business plans. I often hear statements such as “we have never used a business plan and we are doing ok”, “our business is far too small, we don’t need one” or my personal favourite “my business plan is up here” (tapping to their head).
While I can’t force anyone to create or even use a business plan, from my own personal experience they’re a must. But the key is they have to be easy and simple to use.
If you have never created a business plan before or don’t see how you could benefit from using one. Think of it has a road map. When you are planning to travel to a certain destination you plan a route. Normally favouring the fastest route over the alternatives.
Now, you could get there without a map but you may get stuck, lost, or worse never at all. With a map you know where you are heading. You know you can choose to take a break or go the scenic route. As you have a plan and you know exactly where you are heading.
It is the same with a business plan. The business plan is your map to help you reach your goals faster, more efficiently, and in a time frame you choose.
The Make Money With Cakes Business Planning Method
To help you and your business plan for success I have broken the process into 8 straightforward steps.
- Step 1: Think about a goal that you would love to achieve by 31st December 2017. This could be a financial goal, a personal goal, a goal to help you meet your overall 3-5 year goal, it could be anything there is no right or wrong, this is your business. Though, it should be something that is achievable in your mind. Set yourself up to win.
- Step 2: Create your business plan. You can either do this yourself or purchase the Make Money With Cakes Easy Business Plan course which makes creating a business plan even easier. The course is spread over 8 modules with loads of downloadable content and will take a maximum of 3 hours to complete. You will finish the course with a fantastic business plan that is easy to use and fits in with this planning method perfectly.
Add your plan to a calendar
- Step 3: To bring your business plan to life and to make sure you use I recommend getting a 2017 hard copy calendar. Either a shop bought one or one of these fab printable ones from Oh So Lovely Blog. This year I downloaded and printed the blue and gold one. http://www.ohsolovelyblog.com/free-2017-printable-calendars/).
- Step 4: Next group the calendar into quarters (Jan – March, April -June, July – Sept, Oct – Dec).
- Step 5: Now this might take a bit of time but go through the entire year and block off your ‘me’ time, family time and holidays. Under no circumstances shall you book cake orders in for these times! This is for your own sanity! Plus it is so important you step away from the business at times.
- Step 6: Next take the quarter 1 months (Jan-March). Using your easy business plan allocate one task/goal per month over the next quarter. Don’t worry about quarter 2, 3 & 4. One step at a time. I write the task/goal I would like to achieve on the top of the calendar.
Schedule the activities
- Step 7: Block off times, days or both for you to do the activities you need to do that will help you meet your monthly business task/goal. Do this for every month in quarter 1.
- Step 8: Your rewards. Running a business is a fantastic achievement but sometimes it can be hard to see that. To help keep you on a winning streak, I recommend rewarding yourself. You can record yourself for each activity you complete, or for every week you complete your to do list, or for every month you meet you task/goal. The type of rewards you give yourself and when you choose to give them is your choice. Again I recommend writing your reward/s on the top of the calendar too.
Now it is over to you and for you to take action.
I would love to hear what you have planned for the year and the results you have got from using this planning method in the comments box below.
P.S. In the beginning of January I hosted a free Business Planning masterclass exclusively for Make Money With Cakes subscribers. In the class I shared the steps in this blog post plus at the end answered some of your burning cake business questions. Click here if you fancy watching.