When you think about the future of your business, what comes to mind? I’m not just talking about those fundamental goals, like increasing your revenue or becoming a go-to name in your industry.
What specific things do you want to accomplish? Are you thinking about rebranding? Will you be launching new offers or hiring more team members sometime soon? Do you have a specific revenue threshold you want to hit next year?
Looking ahead isn’t just about setting goals — it’s just as important to create a comprehensive plan to achieve those objectives. Both short-term (monthly, quarterly) plans and long-term (yearly) plans can be valuable. However, you might also want to consider making a 6-month plan.
Half a year, two quarters — however you want to think about it, this length of time is a good middle ground between those short- and long-term goals.
Unsure how to create a 6-month business plan that doesn’t overwhelm you? I like to break it into five steps.
6-Month Planning Step #1: Take some time to reflect
First, take some time to think about what’s been happening in your business over the last few months:
- What good things are happening?
- What wins do you want to celebrate?
- What are some of the challenges you’re dealing with?
- What lessons have you learned recently?
It’s good to take some time to reflect on these questions on a regular basis. But it’s especially important to think through them before you start making plans for the next several months.
6-Month Planning Step #2: Listen to what your customers are saying
Reflecting on your business is like giving feedback to yourself. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to see what your customers are thinking and saying about your business. When was the last time you gathered feedback from your customers?
There are several ways to do this:
- Send out well-designed surveys
- Read comments on your blogs and social media posts
- Analyze your website metrics to see which pages people spend the most time on
- Look at your opt-in numbers to determine which lead magnets are most popular
- Review your social media stats to see where your audience is interacting with you and your content most often
In short, you want to answer the question, “What are your people telling you?” That’s crucial information you need before you decide to spend the next six months designing new offers, changing your marketing, or adjusting your product ascension model.
6-Month Planning Step #3: Evaluate your overall business
Next, it’s time to take a big-picture look at your business. The reflection exercise you did earlier focused on smaller aspects of your business: things that have been going well (or not) recently. This step is about zooming out to evaluate the overarching elements of your business. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does your business’s mission still reflect your values and goals?
- Has the vision for your business changed?
- How is your business positioned in your market/industry?
Completing a SWOT assessment can also be valuable. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Take a minute to evaluate your business in each of these categories and make note of what you discover. Those details will be crucial when you’re identifying what you want to focus on in the next step. (Lucky for you, you’re already halfway done with this one if you spent time answering the questions in Step #1!)
6-Month Planning Step #4: Choose a focus
Now, it’s time to take all the information you’ve gathered in the previous steps and decide what you want to focus on for the next six months. What do you want to put your time and energy into over the next two quarters? What goals align with your business’s mission and feel feasible to achieve? What do you feel excited about concentrating on?
When you’re focused on the things that are exciting and aligned with your business goals, it’s harder to get distracted by every new thing that pops onto your radar. You can’t do everything at once — and trying to leads to burnout and frustration. So choose what you want to focus on, and ignore those distractions when they come along.
If you want more help clarifying your priorities and learning how to focus on them, get my free workbook on overcoming shiny object syndrome. It will help you gain clarity and overcome overwhelm. Get your free copy here.
6-Month Planning Step #5: Identify clear milestones and start project management
All right — you’ve evaluated your business and customers and identified your focus for the next six months. Now it’s time to actually get started building out those projects. Define some clear goals that you want to achieve in the next six months. Then work backward to identify clear milestones — and choose realistic dates for them.
With goals and milestones in place, you can start working toward those objectives. A well-designed project or task management system helps you oversee all the moving pieces and keep your business on track to meet those six-month goals. And if you need help knowing exactly how to do that effectively, join my Your Best Business Mastermind.
Inside, you’ll get the support, advice, leadership, and accountability you need to follow your six-month plan and reach your goals… and right now it’s just $27 for your first month.
Even if you don’t have your six-month plan in place yet, now is the perfect time to join Your Best Business. Right now, I’m offering the first month of membership for just $27 with the promo code STARTNOW. If you join right now, there’s still enough time to get guidance and support for your Black Friday sale! Don’t wait — this offer ends November 7, 2023.