September is not too early to start planning for 2018

Now is the best time to plan for the upcoming year.

Webinar for 2018 Plan with Society for Creative Founders
Webinar for 2018 Plan with Society for Creative Founders

It’s that time of year again. School is underway, the weather is probably getting cooler (depending on where you live), and the holidays are fast approaching (I know, I know—sorry to bring it up—but we all know it’s true!).

Think about how you felt last year if you waiting too late to plan for the upcoming year.

In the past, you may have waited until later in the year to do your annual planning, and I’m guessing you probably ended up feeling pressed for time with the holiday rush—parties are happening, last-minute gifts are being bought and wrapped, the kids are running around on a permanent sugar high during school break, and if you’re cranking out orders it may be your busiest season—and as a result, you only give planning a fraction of the attention it deserves.

You end up slapping something down quickly, and lose sight of it by mid-February…if not earlier. Or if you do pull something together that’s a bit more tightly woven, you're not exactly sure how to pull it off, so you end up reverting back to your old ways pretty quickly.

If you start a little earlier, and give yourself time to really sink into the process, you can map out a strong, doable plan that will help you enter the new year feeling confident, excited, and capable rather than dazed and a little bit nervous. You’ll lose that feeling of flying by the seat of your pants, and instead you’ll feel realistic about your timelines and what needs to be done!

I don’t know about you, but when I started my business, I wanted freedom.

What I found when I didn’t plan is that I was always in reaction mode and felt more tied down than I did when I worked 8 hour days for someone else.

I wanted to be able to take time off and have a sense of purpose in my business, rather than feeling tied to the computer in fear of losing a sale or getting caught up on orders.

One of the big things that got me to that place—and kept me there—was setting aside enough time to reflect on the past, imagine what I wanted my life and business to look like, and then set goals and making a plan to get there. It didn’t happen by accident, and it doesn’t stay that way by chance. You have to work hard to have the business and life you want, and I believe that this annual planning process can help you do the same for your own business and life!

Now is the time to get started.

Trying to do too much in one day does not work. I am famous for underestimating how long a task takes, so this is something I've really focused on so that I can set achievable daily goals. My biggest takeaway: I have lots more meaningful tasks that can be delegated, mainly to my VA.
- Jodi Cheung, Jodi Brandon Editorial

We’re hosting our 2018 Business Planning session very soon. You can sign up here.

And it will be game changing for you this year.

There were so many “aha” moments when we did this last year with over 200 creative founders joining me. In the webinar, together we’ll:

  • review the current year to see what worked and what didn’t. We’ll get specific about your personal growth, your business wins, the tasks you did and how you want those to change, and your successes.
  • look at the big picture to short term milestones and talk about how to make those milestones feel a bit more tangible by looking at what life and business will look like in three, five, and ten years.
  • map out the areas or projects you want to focus on for the upcoming year, create a schedule for you using goals and tasks and working on a 60 Day Plan, and then I’ll show you how to plan each quarter, month, and week to reach those goals.
  • begin to create your 2018 Business Plan with worksheets that go along with the recording of the webinar so you can continue finalizing your plan for next year. You should have a very clear vision of what 2018 will look like for you with a schedule.

Planning like this helps you project revenue, plan your marketing, and give you your freedom back. No more “squirrel moments”.

Work hard to create your best life quote - Society for Creative Founders
Work hard to create your best life quote - Society for Creative Founders

Whether you’ve been through the 60 Day Plan, Yearly Plan, or Squirrel Challenge with me before or not, you still need to do this every year.

If you consider yourself someone who prefers to wing it, fly by the seat of your pants, and planning seem overly controlling in your life, you can adapt this 2018 Business Plan to your easy-going style.

Either way, now’s the time to get started so you have time to strategize, plan, review, and shift before you get into the rush of the new year.

I've been planning my weeks for the first quarter and working on all my worksheets. The best feeling so far is the realization that I'm giving myself permission to not even think about those things until I get to them, instead of always having them on my to-do list and bumping them until I have time. This way, I KNOW I'll get to them.

I've been so bad about putting off major planning like this since the conference because it takes so much time (and I always feel like I have no time). Thanks for hosting this to remind me it's worth the time to put in the work now. I really could just feel the weight lifted off when I thought about it like this. - Paula McCoy, Polka Dot Paper Company

Register for the 2018 Business Planning webinar, and the other webinars in the fall Creative Founders series, here.