Entrepreneur

How to Gain Clarity and Purpose: Revisit Your Business Plan

How to Gain Clarity and Purpose: Revisit Your Business Plan | SheCanCoterie.com

As we head deeper down our journeys of becoming our own CEO, we occasionally encounter seasons where we just feel… off. Decisions feel misaligned. Work feels like task-mastering. And we lose sight of our vision.

We forget that we were the ones that paved this road, and we have the power and responsibility to look up, check in, and either course-correct or power on.

This is why I recommend revisiting your business plan on a yearly, if not quarterly, basis. Your business plan is your guide, your Google Maps, (remember MapQuest, anyone?). Revisiting your business plan on a regular basis is your responsibility if you want to maintain clarity, focus, and purpose.

Why a Business Plan?

You might be thinking, “Ugh, a business plan? I got out of that corporate nonsense so I didn’t have to do stuffy work like this! I’m a creative! DON’T PUT ME IN YOUR BOX!”

We are here to do things differently. With heart and passion, we make our own rules. We take traditional business planning and apply our mindset and heart to it.

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And trust me, I see you and hear you. We set out on this journey to do business differently, to forge our own paths, and to bust out of the 9-5, pantsuit-wearing, high-heel-clacking monotony. But, big business works and has worked for so long because they have proven ways of doing things.

If you’ve been on this journey with us up to this point (if not, you can catch up here), you know we are here to do things differently.

With heart and passion, we make our own rules. We take traditional business planning and apply our mindset and heart to it.

Whether you’ve written a business plan or not, this is going to get you on track for a successful business by getting everything down on paper in one place.

Why? For moments when you need to get back to center, when you need clarity and focus. When you bring on a team and you need documentation to teach them about the business. That’s the why behind why business plans work.

To make this process a little more smooth for you, we’ve created some worksheets to help you outline this process as you work through these questions. Sign up below and we’ll email it to you!


    Making a Business Plan

    Business Overview : Who you are, what you offer, who you serve

    This is a general overview of your business and your business model. You can talk about you, your company, your general offerings and expertise, and the type(s) of clients you serve.


    Mission Statement : What you’re here to do and why, what promise and impact you make in the world

    You might think that mission statements are cheesy, but we recently went through this exercise as a leadership team and it’s POWERFUL. This is a chance for you to check in with your heart and soul.

    WHY did you start this business? WHAT is your purpose here? WHO are you impacting with this work? HOW are you going to continue to show up and serve?


    Core Values : The values your company holds are what steer the ship, what you fall back on, and for what you can be counted on

    Core values can be another “woo-woo” exercise, but it’s a chance to check in to your heart and the heart of your business.

    What are the things that you hold dear? What are the promises that you make to your clients? These are the hills you are willing to die on. These can be things like Integrity, Fun, Authenticity, Courage, Generosity, Luxury, Presence, Candor.


    Clients or Customers :  Who do you work with?

    You’ve heard terms like “ideal client” and “client avatar” before, but really, when it gets down to it, who are your dreamiest clients?

    The best way I’ve found to write about them is to think back to two or three of your best working relationships. Ask yourself these questions:

    • Who were they as people?

    • What did they do for a living?

    • What services did they buy from you?

    • What was so ideal about the relationship?

    • Did they pay on time, have great feedback, were they fun to be around?

    • What was the thing that made them dreamy?


    Business Organization + Team Members : Who is on your team, who do you turn to, what is your organizational structure?

    This is important for those of us with a team as well as solopreneurs. You still need to know the roles in your business you are filling and where gaps exist.

    You can start by making a list of everyone working for you, every role being filled, and even the software you use that works for you.

    There are a couple of ways you can organize these lists into visual maps:

    • A hierarchy showing the way that these roles and team members relate to each other. The “chain of command,” if you will. But really, it just shows who each person works with and reports to. This is how we have our business organization set up.

    • Another way is to name the functions of your business: leadership, sales, content, finances, customer service, etc. From there you can list out which team members, roles, or software support those business functions. This is a way to show who is supporting each main function of your business and perhaps find the gaps.


    Main Offerings : What are your offerings? Who are they for? What do they include? How much are they?

    It's time to lay it all out there. Let's get down every single offering that we offer to our clients. This can be the ones that are on your website or even the secret ones that you only offer your dreamiest clients.

    Not only do I want you to list out what you offer but detail what's included. How long is the engagement? How much does it cost? What are the payment terms that you offer for each package?

    A fun exercise while you are listing these out is to check in with your gut and probably your profit and loss statements to see which of these offerings you don't want to offer anymore or if you need to change anything about them.

    There might be something that you feel like clients want to see you or want to have from you but you don't love doing the task or it's not profitable for you to complete the project the way that you have it laid out. It will be a great exercise for you to figure out if what you're offering is in yours or your client’s best interest.


    Your Signature Process : What set processes do you take your clients through?

    If these have been living in your head for this long, this is the perfect time to document them.  You might feel like you don't have a signature process. You might think everything is different for each client.

    If that's actually true, sister, it's time for you to create a signature process. This is what it's going to set you apart and your industry and bring true and perceived value check your packages.

    You also have a way that you onboard clients, a way that you meet with them and walk them through a process, PDFs or documents that you share with them, proven processes, and methods that work.

    This is a place where you can and should set out these signature processes. For a while, I thought that we didn't have signature processes because we have so many packages. But the way that we are onboarding clients, get their project set up, strategize with them — all of that is a signature process we have mapped out.


    Marketing Plan :  How do you find clients? How and where are you sharing what you do?

    We aren't going to get crazy here, but what I want to know is where do you find your clients? How do they find you? What is your strategy and plan for finding those clients? What are the platforms where you share about your work?

    If you don't know where your clients are coming from, you should make that a part of your onboarding process. Ask them where they found you and how they heard about you.

    Note: If their responses are primarily referrals, you need to set up a marketing plan for when those referrals dry up!


    Finances :  How are you making money? Where does the money come from? How much of it do you need to keep the ship afloat? And how much do you need to turn your ship into a yacht?

    I know, nobody wants to talk about finances, but we all want to make money. So this is where we need to get real about what's working and what's not in our business.

    How are you making money and where is it coming from? How much money do you need to be bringing home? How much money do you need to keep the business afloat? How much money do you need to be setting aside to pay your taxes? What is your dream amount and how many packages or clients do you need to work with to reach that goal?


    Support System : Who do you turn to when you need support? When you have specific problems?

    Running a business isn’t for the faint of heart. You know that! We can’t and shouldn’t do it alone. We are better together than we are apart, so you need to find your support system.

    I couldn't do it without the support of my husband and family. My mastermind of like-minded business owners on a similar journey. My biz bestie that I connect with monthly (at least) to talk through things that are coming up, ways we can encourage each other, ways we can support each other. My leadership team who are just a Vox away.

    It’s important to know who you can call and it’s important to know that you are not alone — list them here!


    Goals : Where are you headed? What are your future plans?

    And now that we have all of that practical stuff down. It's time to get a little dreamy. I don't want you to be thinking about 5 or 10 years down the road, although we could start there. I want you to think about the next 6 to 12 months up to the next 18 months at most.

    What do you want to see happen in your business? What are the key indicators of growth and success for you? This is going to be different for everyone. For some it's going to be money in the bank, for some it's going to be a lot of followers on Instagram, and for others it's going to be the impact they're making with their clients.


    Take action:

    Okay, so you’ve made it through this blog and are (hopefully!) fired up and inspired to get your business plan documented. Remember to sign up for your worksheets at the form below. Now hop to it, sister! And when you’ve completed it, I’d love to see it - simply send an email to team@shecancoterie.com with the headline “I rocked my business plan!” and I’ll send you some love and support (and possibly a little She Can Coterie goodie)!


      5 Things Keeping You Hustling in Manager Mode

      It’s one thing to know that you’re in manager mode, but another completely to begin the growth process. Becoming CEO is a mindset shift, absolutely, but it takes strategic and intentional action to get there. Let’s work through a few major things that could be holding you back, keeping you stuck working in manager mode while CEO-status remains worlds away.

      The True Cost of Staying Stuck in Manager Mode

      Okay, let’s be honest. It’s much more comfortable to work in manager mode, isn’t it? It’s far more comfortable to work, work, work in your business instead of casting a scary vision, asking for help, and doing the mindset work required to become CEO of your business. Right?

      When you stay in manager mode, you don’t have to be vulnerable. You don’t have to put your big goals and dreams on paper and into practice. You don’t have to hold yourself accountable or push yourself to tackle things you’ve never done before.

      But, here’s what I’ve learned. Your business will never grow sustainably if you stay there.

      You Can’t Be Both Manager AND CEO

      While every business needs both a CEO and a manager, it can’t afford to have one person executing both roles for very long. The two roles conflict with each other and steal from the other’s effectiveness (keeping you running in circles, chasing to-do’s endlessly).

      Sound familiar?

      Business owners who are both CEO and manager often find themselves distracted, stressed, and disconnected from what matters most. This causes them to come home at night exhausted, unable to give their family their best.

      Business owners who are both CEO and manager tend to function within a scarcity mindset:

      • They are forced to think small because they have a limited, “in the weeds” view of the business

      • They don’t take risks because their view is too limited and they can’t afford to fail right now

      • They think there is never enough money, clients, or time

      • They focus on what isn’t working and how things are going wrong

      • They are reactive to situations and problems that arise, not proactive

      Every business needs a manager — they handle important work to tactically move the business forward. But it is not the CEO's job to be the manager.

      Managers function best when paired with a CEO — this is the dream team. CEOs, as we are about to learn, have the big vision for the company and the manager brings it to life.

      CEOs draw the map, and managers lead the crew and steer the ship. Without the map, the manager doesn’t know where the ship is going or how to direct the crew. Without the manager, the CEO can’t always effectively and efficiently get from point A to point B.

      Are you a meant-to-be-CEO working as a manager? The answer is yes if you believe — you know — down in your bones that the work you are doing is important and NEEDED, but you are so in the weeds that you are distracted from the greater picture and mission of what you started. If you are ready to work ON your business and not IN your business, it’s time to become CEO.

      What are the consequences of staying rooted in manager mode?

      To put it bluntly, you’ll likely go nowhere. You’ll stay stagnant. Sure, you can get new clients and money may be coming in, but at some point, you’ll plateau. You’ll feel like you’re on a treadmill, like you can never get above water.

      And it won’t just be your business — it’ll affect your life. You probably didn’t start this thing to be chained to your desk and to have it on your mind 100% of the time.

      When you make the shift, you’ll be able to step away from the work and breathe. You’ll know you have systems and processes in place, and you’ll trust them. You’ll have a marketing engine running without your foot constantly on the gas pedal.

      And maybe you’ll even have key team members running parts of your business while you jet set to Cabo. Or, actually, maybe now you’ll simply be able to make it to your kid’s school performance and — for the first time ever — leave your phone in the car.

      Moving from manager to CEO affords you the lifestyle you crave. And no, I don’t mean the high-rolling kind of life. I mean a life overflowing with connection to the people you love. A life of freedom to be completely present for those who matter most to you.

      Moving from manager to CEO affords you the lifestyle you crave. It gets you off the treadmill and on the trail.

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      And, please, don’t get me wrong. The CEO still hustles. This isn’t about getting out of the work, the strategy, the planning.

      This is about getting off the treadmill and on the trail. You have places to go, movements to create, a message to get out into the world. Your energy needs to be spent on the work that takes your heart and soul to create, not the work that drains your heart and soul.

      So, can we agree that manager is not where we want to be all the time and CEO has a much better ring to it?

      It’s time to figure out what’s holding you back.


      Take a step as CEO:

      Take a minute to reflect and journal about what staying in “manager mode” is potentially costing you and your business. What are all the things you’re doing that could be handled — and handled just as well — by someone else, and what opportunities for growth is all this task management stifling?


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