We are so super excited that we have an expert in Money management and Planning that will be sharing her blogs with us regularly! Aly Michaels comes from a wealth of experience without the fluff! I hope you enjoy and feel you have extra benefit and value gained! Thank you Aly for this invaluable information! xx
‘If you Fail to Plan You Plan to Fail!’ said Benjamin Franklin and he was right. Whether you are in a business or just cruising on the highway of life a plan will always get you to where you need to be faster and more efficiently than just waiting to be blown amongst all the traffic lanes by the wind.
Whether you are a business owner trading for some time, a start up business or personally in your everyday life you need to have a plan to be able to grow and succeed. How do we do this? I am a firm believer that the easiest and best way to do this is to start now. We have all put off things, decided to do them tomorrow, on the weekend, on Monday or just someday. Well, the reality is that Someday is not a day in the working calendar week. Do you ever wonder why some people seem to be achieving more whilst others seem to be ‘busy’ but not accomplishing much? Why and how does this happen when we all have 24 hours in a day and there are 7 days to the working week accessible to all.
When you think about it, it is difficult to accomplish anything really without a sequence, without a plan. Even basic things need a sequence in order for us to achieve them. Some things that we automatically do without much thought are so on auto pilot and deep into your subconscious that you might not even realize you are doing it, like tying your shoelaces for example but there is a sequence you do in order for you to tie your shoes. Next time, pay attention and see how many moves it takes you.
When you look at the difference between successful people and the rest of the world, there is one big distinction: - Planning. Obviously, there is more than planning to be successful however it all starts there. I have been fortunate to interview and spend time with people that have 8 figure + businesses and let me tell you, success does leave clues. You can apply this to where you are now in life, your business or to the new person you wish to become and the new business you want to build. The secret is that four letter word: Plan.
You can plan for yourself personally or for your business. The mechanics are the same: knowing your vision for the future, understanding your starting point and pinning where you are today – your current reality, what your goals are to be able to get you to where you want to be so that change can occur from who you are right now to the new person you want to be or the new business you wish to have.
When you plan, the most important thing you must remember is that your plan needs to contain goals that are SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, results focused and time bound). Below are 5 other tips which will help your business and yourself personally relating to planning.
1) KNOW THE STARTING POINT - Become aware as to where it is that you or your company are and where you are wanting to go. Be realistic. Look at things as they are, not better than they are and not worse than they are. Be authentic. Be real. If you have 30kgs to lose, don’t say you are a little overweight! Let’s face it, you are fat! You are not big boned, and you don’t just retain water. If you as a business are bleeding money and have been doing this for more than a month or you are spending more than you are earning you are in serious financial problem and you did not just ‘had a bad month’. This is serious and needs your immediate attention, now! Knowing where you are is the bases for your planning. An overlook that happens in business and also personally, is most of them are not good at financial keeping and don’t know their numbers. Sure, they have a rough idea of what the rent costs, what profit margins they may have, but they are not looking and understanding their finances (profit & loss statements) daily, weekly or monthly. Do you? If you did, you probably may not have opted in for this report J Understanding where you are financially is vital to your next move both on a personal level and in business. If you know that you are spending more, you can look at what you are spending the money on. In most cases you can always get rid of things that happen to suck money out of your cashflow like subscriptions to things you may no longer need, simplifying your business or consolidating. Identically, in your personal life, you can opt for cheaper credit card rates or 0% if you transfer your debt, bundle internet and phone together to save more, buy in bulk or split groceries with a friend and so on. At the end of the day, every bit counts. Warren Buffett once said, ‘it is not how much money you make, but how much money you save’, and he is right. I have had clients on $300,000 a year that showed a bank balance of literally less than a thousand dollars and I have had clients whose both incomes are $45,000 combined with ten, twenty thousand dollars in savings.
2) KNOW WHERE YOU WANT TO BE - Here is where the magic happens. This is where sitting down and writing a plan is vital. Once you know where you are and where you want to be, the ‘how to’ becomes easy, literally right before your eyes. It does help if you are asking better questions and looking on the abundant side of life than coming from a scarcity mindset. In the examples used above, you would look at what has caused the 30kg increase / the expenses that you are paying and then look at reducing your costs and increasing your sales. Again, be realistic. It’s no use to ‘visualize’ you making $1,000,000 in 3 months if you haven’t made $100,000 and too, realistic to say you can lose 30kgs in 2 months….
3) PLAN – The easy way to plan is to start with the end in mind. The ‘easiest’ way is to start! Today, now! This generally defines your time line. What specifically are you looking to achieve with your company? Sell it in 10 years? Put it on the stock exchange in 5? Get bought out? Make $1,000,000 net turn over? Have 50,000 customers? Lose the 30kgs? Whatever it is, you then work backwords. So, if I wanted to lose 30kgs, I might assume that losing 500g-1kg a week would be healthy there fore I know that I would get to my goal in 30-60 weeks. That is my time frame. I would look at my diet, check my caloric intake and add regular exercise. I would take continuous action and analyse my result weekly and monthly to see that I am on par with my plan. If I am not, I would look and identify what is not working, I would modify, change and try it out again to get to my desired outcome. In business, most people don’t know their numbers. I am not talking about their financials or profit and loss, I am talking about their sales numbers. So, If I am selling a product that costs $1000 and my goal is to make $1,000,000 in the next twelve months that is 1000 products I would only need to sell to make that turn over. A reminder is to know what really matters:- turn over or profit. For me, It’s profit everyday. Now that would be 83.33 products per month, per week 20.83 products and per day 2.97 in a 7 day week if you are running an online business and 4.16 if you are not. Now if you are doing this yourself, if you have a sales team or if you are doing facebook ads etc, NOW you know our numbers! A lot of people are in awe when I show them this as most of them think it is difficult to crack the $1,000,000M + range. It is not. It is super easy! The difficulty lies in your mindset. That is why I am dedicated to change the world and how we think starting from children in primary school! I urge you to re read this point and go over the numbers yourself. You may want $10 million, or may be content with $300,000. Once you know your numbers, you will be in a better planning position also.
4) FOCUS – CONSTANT ACTION – RETUNE – REPEAT: Focus is something that most of us have in small bursts – Some may say the issue is ‘lack’ of focus. It is so easily today to get trapped by social media, gadgets, shiny objects and all things that waste time whilst they provide you with nothing in return. How do I stay focused? A good free tool I use is Evernote. This will help you deal with the shiny objects. Daily, I have no more than 3-5 things that I MUST do to help toward achieving my weekly goal. My weekly goal is a task which supports my monthly goal, which reflects one of my 3 month plan, 6 month plan & 1 year plan. Constant action is necessary for the machine to run smoothly. It is the petrol of your car if you like. You do need to evaluate regularly – I do this monthly and if you need to, retune the car (plan) then just repeat!
5) CULTURE AND MINDSET :- It has been said, tested and I most certainly agree that most people do more for others than they would do for themselves. Zappo’s raised the bar and made millions of dollars in the process by focusing on customer service and also on internal culture within the company. As Richard Branson says, ‘you need to build the people first’, as they are the ones that build your company. Too many times, we have hired the wrong employees not aligned with our values and our company values. Every company should have their values clearly displayed and as a daily reminder. When a company or a person is aligned with their values, magic happens. In business, it is difficult to find the gems amongst the pile of rubble which is why you should always hire slow and fire fast when it comes to your employees. Generally speaking, the 3 month so called ‘honeymoon’ period is a great practice to start them off on a trial. From experience, people tend to follow this pattern: In the first month, they are over achievers, high energy and you think you have struck gold with them. By the second month, they begin to show some of their values and real personalities such as coming late, leaving early, not doing as much as expected, whinging and just by looking at their body language you can see if they truly fit into your culture or not. Finally, by third month one cannot mask or stay true to the high energy of month one if they are living in their non authentic self. By this time, they are in their comfort zone and no longer play full out. It will be easy to see who has the initiative, who is doing what is meant to be done, who is stepping up, who is focusing on excuses, who belongs on your team and who does not. On an individual level it is generally the same pattern. You set goals and do your planning however it is easy to get distracted by the everyday life, and soon you are not following the plan 100%, something happens to your health, your family, another bump in the road and before you know it, your great laid plan has been collecting dust on your desk whilst you have allowed the little voice in your head to overcome your positive mindset with non empowering thoughts. Mastering the little voice, is mastering the self.
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