By Alexis Austin, CEO of Law Group Lawa Colorado Springs criminal defense firm that helps people find the right path to a better future.
Creating a successful business plan that supports your desired lifestyle requires a thoughtful and intentional approach, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or overly complicated. In less than five years, I grew a criminal defense law practice from nothing to generating more than seven figures. During this time, I’ve learned that the key to success lies in determining where you want your personal life to be and working backwards to identify what needs to be done in your business to get there.
1. Start with your personal vision.
The first step is to create a vision of what you want your personal life to look like in the short and long term. Write down your goals for one year, three years, five years, and 10 years. This includes determining what lifestyle you want to live and the financial resources needed to make it happen. Consider your personal goals and aspirations, such as owning a home, traveling or starting a family, and attach financial numbers to each of these goals.
This will give you a clear idea of what you need to earn to achieve your desired lifestyle. Allocate specific monetary amounts to each goal you have and break them down by required monthly payment amounts. Add up those payments for the month, and then you have your personal monthly income goal.
2. Work backwards to determine business goals.
Once you have a clear understanding of your personal financial goals, it’s time to work backwards to determine what your business needs to accomplish in order to support those goals. Look at the percentage of gross income that you personally currently get from the business. Use this number to extrapolate, using the same ownership percentage, what the business’s income would need to be in order to achieve the desired personal income annually and monthly. From there, break down your company’s annual financial goal into monthly, weekly, and even daily goals. Using tools like spreadsheets can help you track your progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.
3. Determine the value of your product or service and monthly requirements.
A critical aspect of building a successful business plan is determining the value of your product or service, and then determining how many you need to sell each month to meet your goals. This can be achieved by looking at the average value by product type in your business and how many of each product type you would need to sell to meet your monthly revenue requirement.
For example, to calculate my service costs in my criminal defense practice, I determined the billable hours required for each staff member to work on a DUI case, then multiplied that by five to get five times the return on investment, which covered the cost of producing the service, covered general and marketing expenses and made a healthy profit. I did this for each specific type of criminal case my firm handled. This helped me determine the price for each case. From there, I was able to calculate the number of cases needed to meet my monthly revenue goals and set a team goal for new cases needed each month.
4. Consider marketing and staffing needs.
Marketing and staffing are two important considerations when creating a successful business plan. Determine the most effective marketing strategies for your business and allocate a budget accordingly.
A good rule of thumb is to budget to use 5% to 10% of gross revenue for marketing. This can include investing in digital marketing, hiring a marketing specialist, or attending industry conferences. Staffing needs should also be carefully assessed to ensure you have the right equipment to meet your goals. Look at the products or services you calculated earlier to determine your marketing and staffing needs.
Determine how many people you will need to produce and maintain excellent customer service. Anticipate your salaries and add that number to your budget. Remember, adding these salaries can increase your costs, which can lower your net profit (meaning your landlord will take home). Be sure to recalculate as you go to ensure you have the right number of products/services provided as well as staff to generate the desired business income.
5. Be flexible and open to change.
Finally, it’s important to stay flexible and open to change as you implement your business plan. As seen above, making adjustments can affect your final target number. You can also project a gradual increase, as going from $500 per month to $50,000 per month is a substantial jump and will require proper systems and procedures to manage the workload, not to mention marketing efforts to bring in the necessary work.
Monitor your progress regularly and be willing to make necessary adjustments. This may include changing your marketing strategies, adjusting your prices, or hiring additional staff as you go along. A successful business plan is one that is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of your business and your personal life.
In conclusion, building a successful business plan that supports your desired lifestyle requires a clear vision, a thorough understanding of the value of your product or service, careful consideration of marketing and staffing needs , and the will to remain flexible and open to change. By taking a thoughtful and intentional approach, you can achieve your personal and professional goals and build a thriving business that supports the lifestyle you want without using any fancy tools or products. All you need is your imagination, a spreadsheet and time to map out the plan.
Writing a business plan that aligns with your personal goals is critical to the success of your business and can help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself and your company. Keeping your personal goals in mind when creating your plan can help you and your business reach the next level. So if you are looking for five steps to create a business plan that aligns with your personal goals, you have come to the right place.
The first step to creating a successful business plan is to decide on your goals. Defining your goals helps you stay focused and ensure your plan is written with these goals in mind. When determining your goals, consider what your company aims to achieve, what measures of success you have in place, and whether the goals you set are achievable in a reasonable amount of time.
The second step is to research relevant markets, competitors, and industry trends. Knowing the ins and outs of the industry you’re entering into is essential to success. By understanding your market and what your competitors are doing, you can ensure you create a business plan that set yourself apart from the competition and hit your goals.
The third step is to set out a timeline for achieving your goals. A timeline helps you stay on track and provides motivation to move forward with the plan. Breaking down goals into smaller, more achievable steps is important. Effective timelines include a timeline for the process from start to finish, and a timeline for each goal you set.
The fourth step is to write the actual plan. This involves outlining your company’s objectives, your market analysis and how you plan to achieve your goals. You should also include projections for sales, marketing, and financials. Writing out a draft will help you strategize and makes sure all aspects of your business plan align and support one another.
Finally, the fifth step is to review your plan and revise it. Having another person review it and provide constructive feedback is a great way to ensure your goals and objectives remain aligned with your ultimate goal. At this stage, scrutinize your goals, look for ways to make adjustments and ensure that everything is achievable according to the timeline you have set out.
Creating a successful business plan is an important step towards reaching your goals and Ikaroa can provide the necessary resources to help you build and launch a plan to succeed. With their expert guidance, support, and resources, you will be able to create a business plan that aligns perfectly with your personal goals.