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I have put together a great offer to help you this year - 90 minute work sessions to get this done together and ask me questions and get coaching. Learn more at https://www.foodbizsuccess.com/2024plan.
The end of the year is quickly approaching and I want to invite you to get the end of your checklist that I created for Fuel members and Master Your Business students. You can get this exact same checklist for free at foodbizsuccess.com/endofyear, all one word. And I am also offering a limited number of Deep Dive 90 minute or three hour sessions. If you're local in the Denver area, we can do it in person, or we do it on Zoom. Imagine walking away with decisions made clarity about your goal, what it's going to cost you as far as your time and your resources, making decisions and having an action plan. You are feeling confident heading into 2024. If you would like to get one of these Deep Dive sessions, go to foodbizsuccess.com/DeepDive.
Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. All right, today we're going to get right into it. And we're just going to face some hard truths here that most of us do not do the planning that our businesses require. Most of us run away and hide and we just really stay in the busyness of working in our business instead of taking a step back and working on our business. And there are a host, a whole lot of quotes about planning and why it is so important. I'm sure you have heard them over and over again, things like by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail, and always plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark, or every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution. This gives you 1,000% return on energy. Listen, there's no shortage of people asking you, begging you, including myself to plan and yet as humans, we really resist it. And it's totally natural. So first, I just want you to like, take a breath. And realize that it's not just you. I work with hundreds of people over the last few years and everybody struggles with this. It is hard. It takes energy. Our brains do not want to do this. It's like no, no, let me think about everything in your life. Right? If you just planned a little bit ahead, if you just got yourself ready to go for the gym, or whatever you're going to do the next morning. Like it would be so much easier. But instead we're like no, it's okay, I'll just do it tomorrow, no big deal, right? We're not hooking our future selves up very often. It's a skill, it takes practice. And when it comes to your business, you probably don't even know what you should be doing. When I say do a strategic annual plan. Your brain is like I have no idea what you're talking about. It sounds good. That sounds great, Sari, but I don't know what to do. So even if you actually made the time, you put time on your calendar, you're like, I'm going to sit down for an hour. I'm going to go work on my annual plan. And then you sit down and you're probably just going to stare at a blank piece of paper, even if you could actually force yourself to sit down, most likely what you'll do is procrastinate and avoid and put it off. And this is what happens for so many of us and it's exactly why I became a life coach in addition to a business coach because this is the mental piece. This is the overcoming obstacles, all the mental drama, and it is about you going and getting support. You don't know how to do it because you've never done it. And frankly, Googling can help. But it's something that you can read about in theory but having people to help you actually do it, at least the first few times, is so so helpful or watching it done for other people. And so I am going to make you an offer. I put together something really, well I think is really juicy. It is some planning sessions with me to force yourself to use strategic forced accountability to make sure you are going to sit down and do this work. But it's also all the support and the tools that you actually need to be able to do it. And you'll be able to ask me questions, but I'll also be worth time. So I will tell you more about that at the end. And I'll put the link in the show notes. If you go to foodbizsuccess.com/2024plan, you can get all the details. But I thought today, what I wanted to talk with you is one aspect of, and it's a big piece of what I want you to do when I say come up with your 2024 strategic plan is to do scenario planning. And with scenario planning, we're actually tying numbers around it, we're saying how much is this going to cost, in time and resources and money. Because here's what happens for so many of us and I am guilty of this as well, is that there is no shortage of great ideas out there. I know you all think that if you just had a plan, if you just had the strategy, if someone just gave you the strategy, you could go execute it. But the reality is there is plans out there, there's no shortage of great ideas that will help you. First of all, you got to get launched. But then the next level, if you are working on scaling and growing your business, there's an endless amount of things to do. And that's kind of the problem is that we have too much choice. And so many of us are afflicted by squirrel syndrome, right? Shiny Object Syndrome, where we're like, squirrel, squirrel, shiny object, and we cannot stay focused on one thing. And we have trouble making decisions because we have so many options. Decision fatigue is real, my friends. And for those of you with a million products, you know who you are. This is why I'm always encouraging you to like, how do we simplify? How do we make this easier? Because when we have too many options, we oftentimes just shut down. And I usually use the metaphor of like you have 10 soccer balls lined up on the field, and you only get 10 kicks a day, maybe some of you are working full time jobs or have other things going on, you might only get two kicks a day, right? Or one kick if you're lucky. And so we want to kick one ball all the way down and actually get something into the goal. And what often happens is you kick one idea down the field a couple of times, and then you get distracted by something else, and then something else. And a month later or quarter later, you're like huh, I'm nowhere even close to what I said my goal was back in January. And it's because there's a lack of constraint and focus. And really understanding what is getting that one idea, that one initiative down the field, what is that going to cost me? And I'm all in, I'm all invested. I'm saying yes to that. And I'm saying no to other things. So scenario planning really just starts with all the ideas, right? When you think about a goal, and I work with people in Master Your Business and my one on one clients, we set a 10x goal. We say, okay, here's what I think I could do. But what if I 10x that and I made it really big and really juicy. And this is all based on the book 10x Is Easier Than 2x. And I'll put the link in the show notes for it but it's an excellent book, I have found it to be life changing for me, and I use it in Master Your Business and with my clients. Because I want to set bigger goals for ourselves, I want us to be more exciting, more compelling. And when we set a bigger goal, it's going to constrain the amount of options. So in case, you need to have a goal. What is it you're working towards? What is your goal for 2024? And yes, these oftentimes are quite arbitrary. Like who knows if you're actually going to be able to hit it, but let's hit, let's set something that's even bigger than what we think is possible. Because goals are not there to make us feel better. Goals are not there to like finally help us feel worthy. We don't use a goal to feel like oh, we achieved the gold stars, now we're good enough. We use a goal to stretch ourselves to see what's possible. And just because it's freakin fun to go do it, to see what we're made of, and and see our potential. So you have a goal and then you're going to brainstorm all the activities, what are all the ways that you could potentially achieve that goal? And I love Dr. Allen Bernard's quote that says, it's impossible unless. So if you make the goal bigger, it feels impossible. And then ask yourself, it's impossible unless dot dot dot. Unless what, right? What would make it possible for you to be able to achieve that big goal? So brainstorm. Now, here's the first part where you might get stuck. Because you have probably never done this before. You've never been in this industry, most of the people I work with have never been an entrepreneur, have never been in the CPG, which is the business you are in, consumer packaged goods, they've never been in CPG. They've never been in the food industry. Like it's all new. So even just the like, sit down and brainstorm, you literally might write down three things. And then you're like, I'm stuck. And so that's the first place where you might want to get some help. Imagine that, that there are people like myself who have lots and lots of ideas, it is one of my favorite things to get on calls with my clients. And they're like, I don't know, I got like two things I could do. And I'm like, well, you can do this, you can do this. And next thing, you know, we're like coming up with these crazy wild ideas. And that doesn't mean we're going to execute all of them. Because the next step is really choosing, we're going to constrain, we're going to narrow it down and say what feels more fun for me, what feels more aligned with my skill set?
Where do I have energy around this? We don't always have to do and in fact, I don't think you ever should do the shoulds. You really have to evaluate, is this the right thing for me, for my experience, for my energy, for my level of engagement? Because we could have the best "strategy", let's say somebody's like, oh, you have to do it on Amazon. And you're like, I don't have any desire, I don't have any excitement around that. It's not in my skill set, I want to go do it this way. I want to go do it at markets, or I want to do it through social media, or I want to do it in stores. Okay. Like, I would rather you choose something that you feel more excited about. Because imagine if you do it the way that you should, "everybody says you should do it", but you have no energy around it. It's not going to get done, you're going to keep sabotaging yourself, you're going to keep procrastinating. So let's choose the thing that you actually feel more pulled to, that you're like, yeah, that actually feels like something I want to do. So let's choose a couple of those. And then we start playing around with our forecast. We start evaluating like, what do I think if this worked, right? If I did this strategy, and this actually worked, what do I think I would see as far as sales go? So first, we can look at income, right? What's the revenue that I think would happen because of the strategy? So we'll take influencers, that's a really good one to talk about. I'm going to have Yash, on from Sorong, he should be on I think next week, and we're going to talk about influencers. So let's talk about that as a strategy. Let's say you're like, I look at all the things I could do to grow my online business. And there's so many things, right? You could do online advertising, you can do influencers, you could do, you know, social media. There's just so many ways. I promise you, that's only three, I get me going. And I will like, we will come up with a huge list. In any case, lots of ways to do it, right? And let's just say we're going to play around with what if I for Q1, January through March, I'm going to go all in on this whole influencer thing. And so first, we can look at what do I think this is going to bring in in terms of revenue? There'll be a little ramp up time, some learning curve time. And then based on, you know, some research and looking at case studies and things, this is what I think I could do, and it is important that and in my forecasting tool, we kind of get things the base of it set up and then you can make copies of it. And you could have a best case scenario, sort of realistic, you know, kind of middle of the road scenario and you can have a worst case scenario. So that's the first part is really looking at the income and then if you are actually going to implement it, you're going to do it right. And you're going to be really focused on that. What are all the expenses that are going to be required to pull that off? And it might be like working with a company like Soraa, which Yosh will talk about next week. It could be working with other agencies, it could be you just doing it on your own and trying to figure it out. There's lots of ways that you could implement it. There's going to be the cost of the product, there's going to be, are you going to have somebody do the outreach for you, or are you going to do it. And, yes, there's a actual cost of dollars of if you're going to pay some other people or pay services and subscriptions to help you with that. But don't forget, remember my podcast a few couple of weeks ago, your time is not free. And I don't care if you're actually going to pay yourself for this time. But I want you to consider that as part of the costs. You're going to need to dedicate a certain amount of time to this. And most of us always underestimate how much time these things will actually take. We have several biases that are at play here. But we often only look at the best case scenario, we say, oh, this is what other people have done. And this is what I think I could do. And you're so positive. And we underestimate the amount of time and money it will take, and we overestimate how much income will come in. So that's fine. Put that in the best case scenario. But let's also do the worst case scenario, and maybe the realistic middle of the road scenario. So you need to really take into account what are all the potential hidden and not so hidden costs and expenses that will be a part of this initiative. And so in my forecast tool, we also have that place for all of those expenses. Now, what you can do is look ahead and say, okay, if sales ramp up to x, then you also can think, well, I can't actually make that much product. Right? Great, I have a new problem that I have sold beyond the capacity of my production in a commercial kitchen. Or if you're in cottage food, sold beyond that, I need to be able to sell outside of my state, I need to be able to make more. I want XYZ, right. So that's going to trigger some other things. Like now I got to trigger a co packer or now I need to trigger these additional licenses or this additional equipment or this next level of packaging. And so a lot of things, you know, it's a domino effect. You get your sales up to a certain point and now you're going to want to go invest in maybe some additional help, or the copacker or equipment or additional marketing or branding. I mean, the list goes on and on, right? So that's where you're probably listening this. I'm not trying to overwhelm you. But I am in a way to say, this is the work that needs to be done. And most of us are so terrified of doing it. Because we don't even know what we don't know. And it is overwhelming. But we're not going to be able to make real progress on our big 10x goals without doing some of this scenario planning. It's tedious. It hurts your brain, I totally get it. And there are ways to make it much more enjoyable and much more productive. It really helps to have another person's brain to work with when you are brainstorming. Think back to your school days, and how you can just kind of sit there on your own. But the second you get somebody else's voice in there. It's like ping pong and oh, right? Things start happening. I do offer the one on one Deep Dive sessions right now. But I know that those are not accessible for every one, they are a little bit more expensive, or we spent three hours together. And I just did one of these with a Master Your Business student. And it was so cool. I mean, we basically we wrote down every option, we could think of how we could get to her 10x goal. And then we categorize them and we made decisions. So now she has a plan. We made some constraint decisions that said, we're going to table this stuff. This is not what we're going to work on. I know there's so many fun things we could do, but you can't do it all all at the same time. And so we made decisions and now she feels so much clearer on her next steps and all of our expenses and all of our time is focused now. So we're actually going to get something over the finish line and start getting momentum and impact in the business. Just so cool. So I was thinking about what could I put together? What kind of offer could I invite you to that would be less of an investment, but still get you the general effect, and give you the accountability, the strategic accountability to actually sit down and get this done. And so I decided that I am going to host 4 planning sessions, they're going to be 90 minutes each. And you can choose to come to 1, 2, 3, or all 4 of them. And they'll be starting at the end of November on Wednesdays, the schedule is on the website page, it's at foodbizsuccess.com/2024plan. And if you already have access to Food Business Success, then you are going to get a full library of videos and my planning tools so that you have all of the things you have the strategy, you have the tools, and then we're going to create the space for you to actually do it and get your questions answered.
These are going to be somewhat similar to our Power Hours in Fuel, where as a group, we come together, and there's the energy of the group, there's the focus, there's the accountability, we set a goal for ourselves, and then we get to work. And we're also going to have a Q&A coaching room, and then a work room. And so you can move between the two. And we'll have some dedicated, just everybody's working. And then we'll have some time where you could keep working, or you can come and ask me questions, or get coached or watch other people. And sometimes that's all you need is to see it in action. No more excuses. No more, I didn't know what to do, or it was just overwhelming, no more tripping over your feet through 2024. It's like, I've been trying to think of metaphors to explain this to clients. It's like, you haven't put anything in the GPS, you're on a trail, you just start somewhere and there's no like, cut out, you know, you're just in like the woods. Not even on a trail, you don't actually put in the GPS, like where you want to go. So that's the first problem, we don't put in the big goal. And we don't put it far enough out, right, it's not big enough. And then we just start walking around, and we're barely we're like looking at our feet, instead of looking at the horizon. And we end up going around in circles, we're tripping over things, we're stumbling, or we have to like circle back because we hit a dead end like it just goes on and on. And it's the worst use of our time to not to be taking action on our business without having done some planning ahead of time. I love Dwight D. Eisenhower's quote where he says, plans are nothing, planning is everything. Meaning we're going to get to January and some of that plan is going to be thrown out the windowbecause who the heck knows what's going to happen, right? But the act of planning gets you so much further ahead, you're so much more prepared and able to pivot if needed so much faster. And if you don't, if things are humming along well, you actually have a plan you are starting out the year, right out of the gate ready to go. You're going to have next steps and that's what I want for you. This is exactly why I'm offering these sessions is that I want a place where you can come, you can play around, you can ask questions, you can get serious about this. And by the end of it, you're going to come out with like, here's what I'm doing next. And that gives you so much more confidence. And you're just going to start taking action, and then you're going to make decisions faster and you're going to solve problems faster, and momentum starts catching on. So make this commitment. Come join me, go to foodbizsuccess.com/2024plan. You can do it all. You just can't do it all at once. Let's sit down. Let's make decisions. Let's get focused and let's make a plan for 2024. I'd love for you to come join me. Until next time, have an amazing week!
Just a reminder that you can come work with me inside Fuel for just $57 a month. You get to ask me questions on our group calls and we have our community feed that you can get support from me and the community. Stop sitting around in confusion and doubt, and slowing yourself down. Fuel is the fastest way to light things up and get some momentum in your business. It's the best way if you aren't sure if this is for you to come and ask me your questions, to get the answers and stop spinning out in overwhelm and anxiety to get those questions answered by me and then once you are launching or have your product, then you have community, then you have additional support. The learning never ends. It's not like you launch your business and then you have no other questions. You just have new questions, you have new problems to go solve. So come join me in Fuel $57 bucks a month. What are you waiting for? Foodbizsuccess.com/Fuel