Are you ready for the start of a new decade?
It’s right around the corner, which means this is the time to work on your business and making sure it’s successful next year.
Now is the best time to work on that, create your goals, establish your expectations and have a foolproof plan which you will implement. Remember, you might have a million-dollar plan and idea, but if you don’t implement it, it’s useless.
The steps that I listed below are steps that I am also taking or will do so soon. Remember, keep your goals and expectations realistic. If you’re only earning $100/month now, and you make it your goal to earn $10000/month in only 4 months from now, well, that’s unrealistic.
Some people might be able to make it happen, but those are outliers, not the norm. Therefore, be mindful of your goals and expectations so you don’t get disappointed with goas that are unattainable.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products and services. This means that if you click on my link to make a purchase, then I will get a small commission at no extra expense to you. Read my Disclaimer for full disclosures.
Create realistic goals for next year
Any good plan for success should have goals in there.
Goals should be realistic, attainable, and actionable. If you have goals, and they just stay as goals, they’re useless. These goals should be your short and long-term steps and not just mere ideas.
Your goals can be connected to your finances, to specific events and activities, to product creation and launches, growth, email marketing, legal, etc.
Anything specific that you can pinpoint you want to achieve in a certain amount of time can be considered a goal.
Be cautious, however. As mentioned earlier, keep your goals to a realistic level. You can definitely be ambitious if you want to challenge yourself. However, if you haven’t even earned 1k/month from your blog or business this year, it’s unrealistic to set a goal to earn 10K/month.
You don’t have to take baby steps, but you shouldn’t just leap.
Why do I say this? For one simple reason. If your goals are not relatively attainable for you and are not actionable, you’ll give up on them. Your goals should challenge you for sure, but in a way that you know and are sure if you put in the required work and effort, you can make it happen, or at least get close to it.
For example, one of my goals is to create and launch an online course next year. In fact, I am got very specific, and decided that I am going to launch that same course 2 times for 2020. I intend to make approximately $7-10K from the first launch and $10-15K from the second launch.
You don’t have to get this specific with your goals, but the more specific you can get, the better you’ll be able to establish the steps you need to take, the time-frame you’ll require and so on.
Now, creating goals is one thing, but creating too many goals is completely another. If you have too many things going on, then you’re also more likely not to implement any of those, and therefore, not achieve your goals. Don’t create 10-20 goals for yourself. This is too many. Instead, optin to have up to 5 at most, so that you don’t end up in a paralysis state and not do anything at all.
Establish your expectations
Expectations are similar to goals, but these are more like real and attainable goals. For example, my goal is to make 10K/month by the end of 2020, but my expectation is to make close to $8K by that time. I will be happy with 8K or above.
Set your expectations as to time, money, products, launches, etc. You can set your goals in terms of what you would like to achieve in the next year, but your expectations are what you think you will actually achieve.
Furthermore, when figuring out your expectations, clearly state how much you’ll work, for how many hours a week, on which projects, what comes first, and so on.
Make sure your website & business are legally protected
There are different aspects to making sure your website and business are legally protected. There are certain legal policies that a website must have if they are operating as a business. Operating as a business simply means that the website earns money, even if just one cent.
The Disclaimer policy, if you’re making any money, and/or have any affiliate relationships, is also necessary.
Create your separate bank account for your business
If you’re making any money from your website or blog, then it’s considered a real business. Regardless of the fact whether you’re incorporated, have an LLC or are a sole proprietor, you should always think about your finances and how to secure them.
One of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of making sure your business and finances are protected, is to have a separate bank account.
The most important part of securing your business is to never mix your personal finances with those of your business.
Whenever possible, always have all the business information separate. Whether it’s a bank account, money, meeting notes, and so on.
In certain situations, when your business is incorporated or formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’re obligated by law to keep all the records, including finances separate.
However, when you’re a sole proprietor, those same legal obligations are not there. Remember this though, your life will be 100 times easier if you do follow the same rules and guidelines as in the case of a corporation or LLC business structure. Your tax situation will be a lot simpler and easier to figure out. You’ll know exactly how much you made from your business. When your personal and business finances are mixed, it’s really hard to keep track of it all.
There are several banks that are business-friendly, regardless of the size of the business. This means they have favorable conditions for creating your bank account. In the past I found Wells Fargo and Bank of America to be great to work with. Find something you like and are comfortable with.
Determine your monetization source(s)
As a blogger and online entrepreneur, you’re already aware that there are several different monetization options that are available for you.
You can use as many or as few of these monetization sources as you want. You can read all about the different ways you can earn money from your website or blog.
To be able to prepare for the next year and be successful, you must have a monetization strategy in place. If you want to monetize with ads, you need to work on your traffic, search engine optimization (SEO), have a social media presence, and so on.
If you’re selling digital or physical products, and that’s your monetization source, then you can concentrate on creating more products, or planning more launched and marketing strategies for your existing products.
Regardless of the method of monetization you choose, you have to put some work toward it to scale it up for the next year so that you can rip its rewards even more than before.
If you’re planning on earning most of your money through affiliate marketing, then you have to determine the networks that work best for you and are closely related to your niche and your audience’s wants and needs.
Furthermore, for affiliate marketing, you need to work on content creation and growing your email list.
The point is that no matter what monetization source you choose or how many, you’re going to have certain steps to take for the next year to prepare to have a successful year.
Create your plan & start implementing
One of the most important tips to prepare for a successful year is to have a concrete plan you can start implementing. Your plan should include details such as specific actions you’re going to take, your chosen monetization sources, some detail about content creation, etc.
I have a detailed post on creating your own content marketing strategy. Doing this is an important step toward creating content that will serve your audience.
If you’re just starting out and want to have a blog in the next year to monetize it, here is a detailed post by Elna Cain of Twins Mommy.
Your plan should be built with some flexibility to allow you to make last-minute changes or additions to it. Sometimes when a plan is too strict and unbending, due to certain problems implementing becomes an issue.
All the best-laid plans are worth nothing if you don’t implement them.
My favorite ways make plans, put down my goals and follow-through are two-fold. First, I love writing it down in an actual paper planner/journal. When I write it down on a paper, it somehow seems more tangible and real to me.
One of my favorite planners to use for planning out my year, putting down my goals, and making sure that I hit my milestones is an Erin Condren life planner (affiliate link).
I believe that I can do it, and I am more likely to do it.
However, let’s be honest, we do live in a digital world. Aside from using an actual pen and paper, I also use my trusty online task management systems such as Trello and ClickUp.
Don’t lose focus of your goals and plans. Come back to your physical or digital planner often, and reevaluate your goals and expectations.
Make changes as necessary to continue implementing and achieving your dreams.
With the new year and decade right around the corner, this is the perfect time for you to start planning out your next year. Planning does not mean you should sit down and daydream all the things you would want. Let’s get real…I would love a million dollars next year, but I first got to earn my 10k/month before I can even think about a million dollars.
Make realistic and achievable goals. Plan for it, and execute it to the best of your abilities. Don’t shy away from writing down your thoughts, expectations, and goals. In fact, it’s been proven time and again that when you do write something down, you’re more likely to follow through.
Let’s make this new year your best one yet. Go out and succeed!
Also, get my thorough checklist and information on how to grow and expand your business legally by clicking the graphic below.
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