Generating consistent income is a common goal for online business owners. It doesn’t just mean a constant stream of money (though that IS nice); it also means confidence in knowing what your monthly paycheque could be and feeling secure in your business.
In the world of entrepreneurship, we are often bombarded with phrases like:
“10x your income”
“double your revenue”
“increase your passive income”
“make 6-figure launches”
and, whilst monetary success is amazing, it can be really tough to be surrounded by talk like this when you’re a) just starting out or b) having a slow month with your business.
I’m here to tell you that it’s healthy to have some kind of income goal for your business but you don’t NEED to be making 6 or 7 figures a year or quadrupling your revenue as long as you have a strategic profit plan in place 💰
It can be difficult to know where to start with planning for profit, but I’m here to help you out! It’s about striking the balance between big hairy income goals and not selling yourself short with unrealistically low goals. How far into the year do you plan? And how do you make those plans actionable so that you can work towards your income goal week after week?
I’ve put this guide together to help you create your annual profit plan that is built on what’s currently working for your business to help you achieve those income goals!
This blog post talks you through:
📈 how to analyse your current income
🙌 how to set goals for your business to make sure you stay on track (and why they’re so important)
🖥my favourite resources for drawing up a profit plan
I’m so excited to delve deep into this topic with you - and to give you access to my free Goal Getter Goodies bundle!
Step 1: ANALYSE YOUR CURRENT REVENUE STREAMS
Before we dive into creating our annual profit plans, it’s important to look back.
It’s easy to see the end of the year as a chance to draw a line under everything that’s happened over the last 12 months and move forwards. However, as a business owner, it’s important to take time to reflect too!
When it comes to profit planning, you want to reflect on your income over the past year or two, paying particular attention to any patterns you see. Here are some questions that will help you get started with analysing your revenue:
How many different income streams do you have and, most importantly, which are most effective?
What different services do you offer?
Which ones are most booked?
How long does each service typically take you?
How much do you typically receive per hour for each service?
Are there any projects that are more profitable for you?
Also, which services excite you the most?
What different products do you offer?
How long do they take you to create?
How many of each product do you sell per month?
How much time do you spend maintaining each product?
Also, which products excite you the most?
Take a look at patterns in the last year of your business:
Are there any months or seasons that are much busier than others?
Are they any times of the year where you sell more of your most profitable offering?
Are there any spikes in your income that correlate with a new strategy (e.g. when you paid for FB ads or you started your own affiliate program?)
Did you notice any months that were particularly slow? Can you pinpoint why that was?
Look at income streams and profit margins
If you’re an online entrepreneur, the chances are you have more than one income stream. Whether it’s selling digital downloads alongside your services or marketing other products as an affiliate alongside your online course - most business owners will have at least two (if not more) income streams.
Take a look at the list of all your income streams that you made when answering the questions above. Then, you want to look at the profit margins for each of those income streams - how much money do these actually cost you to run?
For example, affiliate marketing doesn’t cost much aside from time and even then that could be minimal if you find yourself placing affiliate links within the content you’re creating anyway. On the other hand, there are costs associated with selling online courses, such as hosting on Podia or Teachable.
Consider how much money you made from each income stream AFTER any expenses associated with it. Do you notice any particular income source has a higher profit margin? Don’t forget to think about how excited you feel when you work on each income stream and how passionate you feel about each one.
Review this year’s numbers vs last year’s numbers
If you’ve been in business for longer than a year, compare this year’s numbers to last year’s! Make a note of what has changed in terms of a) your income and b) where you have been focusing your time and efforts.
You might have noticed that you’ve made more affiliate sales this year because you implemented strategies from an affiliate marketing course. Or, maybe you have booked more projects this year because you started a referral program and your past clients have more of an incentive to share your name with their peers!
It’s also worth thinking about how much time you’ve put into your business too. If your income was higher last year, that may look like you’re more successful, but you could have worked crazy hours and had a terrible work:life balance. Working so full on could leave you with a minimal hourly pay (when you break it all down), let alone the feelings of burnout and overwhelm!
You could have made less money on your business this year but had more time for yourself and you felt more at peace, then you know you need to continue to build on that.
What worked for you and what do you think you can improve on?
Identify seasonal patterns
Did you have particularly busy seasons last year? This will vary depending upon your business but most people will find that there’s always a certain time of year is much busier (or quieter) for them.
Some businesses - especially those selling physical products - get busy around holiday seasons, such as Christmas. Whilst others are quieter over the summer months when their core clients are taking time away for vacations with their family.
Identifying these patterns will come in handy when it comes to making your profit plan because you’ll be able to give yourself plenty of time to gear up for those busy periods and plan ‘back-end’ business work to take place during the quieter times.
Step 2: set goals
Once you’ve taken time to reflect on your previous year(s), it’s time to start working on your profit plan.
The first step is to set yourself some business and profit goals so that you always know what you’re working towards.
why it’s important to set goals
When I first started out, I thought that setting goals was a waste of time and that I was doing fine without them. But the truth is, if you want to run a successful business and make a profit, then you need to have some goals in place.
There are a number of reasons that you NEED goals to be part of your profit plan, including:
Accountability. By setting goals and writing them down, you hold yourself accountable. Those goals are there in black and white in front of you and you need to get them done.
Gratification. Once you’ve completed those goals, you get the satisfaction of being able to cross them off your list. And there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to physically tick something off - whether it’s drawing a line through it in a notebook or hitting that little “Complete” checkbox on an Asana task - it feels great!
Motivation. Your goals will keep you motivated and ensure that you stay on the right track to get where you want to be. The gratification of achieving your goals is a huge motivating factor to get stuff done. Plus, the more things you tick off on your goals list, the more you’ll want to get done.
Progress. Goals help you to measure your progress. It can be tough when you don’t feel like your business is growing and progressing much (or at all). But when you have something solid to work towards, you’ll soon see that you’re actually making great progress. Having goals can help you understand and appreciate how your business is growing but can also act as a warning sign too, flagging up areas that perhaps aren’t working as you’d like them too.
Focus. Your goals will help you stay focused. As creative minds, we often allow ourselves to wander and start on new projects before we’ve completed our current ones (trust me on this one, I know!) With business goals in place as part of your profit plan, you’ll know what you’re working on at any given point and you’ll know for sure that it’s going to help your business and profit grow!
How to set your goals
When it comes to actually setting profitable business goals, there are a couple of steps to follow to ensure that you’re doing things the right way - and that you’re setting goals that you can stick to and achieve.
Be prepared. Make sure that you have time to sit down and work on your goals and give them your undivided attention. Set aside some time in your schedule, find a comfy, quiet space to work and get planning!
Start with the big picture. Your big picture goals are what you want to have achieved by the end of the year. Start with these first so you know the main things you are working towards.
Break your big picture goals down. Simply working towards your big picture goals can be overwhelming and you might start to feel like you’re not making any progress. By breaking those big picture goals down into quarterly, monthly and even weekly goals, you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making regularly and ensure that you’re on track.
Use a project management tool
Once you have all of your goals set out and broken down into manageable chunks, add them to a project management tool like Asana as daily and weekly tasks to help you make progress each and every day.
Create a project within Asana (or your chosen project management tool) for your profit plan and add all of the details into it so that you can refer back to it whenever you need to.
I have a Profit Plan project in my Asana with different cards for each month of the year - within those cards I have subtasks with due dates so I can keep track of my goals, launches, and collaborations!
step 3: join the profit planner lounge
So, how do you turn all of these findings and goals into a profitable plan for your business next year?
At the moment, you could be:
Spending hours working on low-priority tasks
Feeling overwhelmed constantly
Emotionally drained from seemingly “important” tasks
Don’t worry, I used to be in the exact same boat as you. My solution? I joined Haley’s Profit Planner Lounge.
This means you can:
Find out which tasks bring you the most money
Eliminate all the emotionally draining tasks
Automate what’s driving profit - so you can get more of your life back!
Map out your income goals into a daily, actionable, colour-coded to-do list!
Haley is an energetic force of nature - not only does she teach you how to create a profit plan in her membership, she’ll also give you personal support and advice in the Profit Planner Lounge community.
I’ve been in memberships before where I’m just another number on the subscriber count so I was honestly SO surprised by how much time Haley spends with her community and how she remembers everyone individually.
Once you’re inside the Profit Planner Lounge, you’ll:
Take a quiz to determine exactly which stage of business you are at so you can get a personalised business blueprint for how to scale from where you are at right now
Create an entire profit plan that cuts your time in HALF and allows you to make more money
Learn how to create recurring routines of high-priority, money making tasks in your business
Get access to mini courses including how to automate client lead acquisition, scale webinars using Facebook ads, launching, creating multiple income streams, how to structure our businesses in a way that requires less work, and so many more!
When you sign up for the Profit Planner Lounge, your monthly membership gives you the EXACT framework you need to take the guesswork out of scaling your online business.
So, what are you waiting for?