I can’t believe I actually got my 2013 laminated wall calendar and 2013 monthly desktop planner today – in November – instead of procrastinating and waiting until January. Woot!

Do you have the planning tools you need to map out your business year?

I was not always this organized! (In fact it’s kind of shocking that I’ve achieved the level of success I have despite doing so many things wrong!) But finally after a lot of headache and struggle I now realize the importance and value of planning out my business activities and I’m finally doing it.

Start by identifying your business goals for the year.

What’s your financial goal?
How many clients would you like to coach throughout the year?
What types of and how many business events do you want to attend?
Do you want to launch a group program or information product?
Is this the year you write a book?
What marketing strategies and activities are you going to focus on?
If you do speaking, how many speaking engagements would you like to have?

Next, determine your strategies.

For example, if one of your marketing strategies is to offer a free monthly webinar, choose the day and time and put it on the calendar. If you want to write a book, determine your writing strategy and block out the time in your calendar.

Finally, begin scheduling your strategies to create a visual plan of what you want to accomplish.

The Laminated Yearly Wall Calendar

Get some dry eraser markers and use different colors to plan and schedule launches or promotions, speaking engagements, marketing initiatives, business events, travel, vacation time, etc. Use sticky notes if you want to put something on the calendar but the exact dates aren’t set yet.

It’s so helpful to see your business activities for the year visually. It also encourages planning ahead and taking action if you see too much whitespace.


The Desktop Monthly Planner

Use this to plan out and schedule your e-mail calendar for the year. Map out your editorial calendar for your email newsletter, identifying the different topics you’ll cover. Schedule periodic promotions about your own services. Create space for promoting other people’s resources, products and programs that would be valuable to your community.

I also have a google calendar version of my e-mail calendar that can be easily shared with  my team, however I’m old school and find that having the physical desktop calendar helps keep me more on track.

How do you plan out your business year? What tools and resources do you use? I’d love to know. Post a comment below and share your best tips!