If you are starting a home business, it really helps to have a concrete plan. In the context of creating a plan, you will set goals that you plan to achieve at various junctures. It may seem a simple thing if you only have goals like ‘to be a millionaire’ or ‘to go to Europe on vacation’, with the plan being just as general, such as ‘earn money for trip’. These may be good ‘ideas’ and you may even achieve them both someday, but they are not really goals or plans in the sense of mapping out what you need to do to achieve them.
A real plan would list step-by-step what you need to do to achieve your goals. For example, if the plan is to ‘begin advertising campaigns’. What form(s) of advertising do you have in mind? Where will you place your advertisement(s)? What will you need to do to create your ads? How much does it cost if you use an advertising service? Where can you see ‘track records’ of the success rate of using these companies? There may be lots of little side trips here to get to your target of placing your first ad. So you want to list them out, and take one thing at a time, take action and then move to the next step. If you can’t complete a step, don’t use it as an excuse to wait. Make a note and try to move to the next step.
One way to do this is ‘backward planning’ which is to put the end result at the top and then detail all the steps you will need to take to get there. This can really get complicated with dependencies – for instance, in order to get to Point C you have to accomplish Point A and B first.
Example would be Point C is placing an ad with a paid advertising service, but before you can actually do this, you must accomplish Point A which is that you have to create the ad. In order to do this, you may have to do some research to get ideas about what to say and how best to say it. So accomplishing Point A may involve doing research online, reading a book about creative writing, or finding a list of ‘power words’ and then using them in different ways until you find the one that really sounds compelling to you.
You may even take this a step further and do some ‘split-testing’ which would be to create two ads that are different (for example different title and/or different text, length etc.), and run them both to see which one converts best. Then take the best one and submit it to the paid advertising service. Point A is accomplished as far as you can take it at this time, because now it is on to Point B, which is that you have to wait for payday so you have the money to pay for the ad service. That’s easy, however if you need to create a budget at this point, you better do it so you can meet all your obligations as well as afford to promote your business.
An important thing to remember is to keep your goals achievable. If you are an unrealistic ‘dreamer’ it is likely you will not only miss the mark to achieve your goals, but you will be disappointed and feel like a failure. For example with the goal of ‘becoming a millionaire’ – doesn’t it seem more logical to think in terms of earning $100 or $1000 first? If you can do that, then you can probably ‘wash, rinse and repeat’ to eventually figure out how to get $10,000 – then $100,000 and finally, $100,000,000!