Today we wanted to share with you the first step we take with all our marketing clients.
What we do is take them through a process model we call ‘The Next Decade.’ It is a really simple way not only to plan out your future ambitions and goals, but to also use the future to work out what you should be doing today. We’ve attached a download for you print and have a go at this yourself, so download it and take a look.
This is how it works…
STEP 1: Put at the top of the document what your business and your life looks like in 10 years time. Include things like how much money you are making, what your business looks like, where you live, how many people you employ, how well known you are, how many followers do you have, how do you feel, what is your influence in your industry etc. This is different for everyone, there isn’t a right or wrong answer, and you can be ambitious as you like. ‘Retired by 30 is fine’, ‘Turning over £100,000’ is fine too. Whatever you wish. Make it realistic yes, but make it daring, exciting, if it doesn’t scare you then it’s probably not big enough.
STEP 2: Now write at the bottom of the document what your business and life is like today.
STEP 3: Fill in years 9-2. Starting at year 9 work backwards on the document to work out what steps you need to achieve each and every year in order to reach your 10 year goal. Have key milestones in place that are important to you, and also any rewards you may give yourself when you achieve this goal. You’ll probably find year 6-9 aren’t 100% clear yet, but the closer you get towards today the more detail you should be able to write, and you should be very detailed as to what you need to achieve in 1 years time.
STEP 4: Once you know what you need to achieve in 1 years time, break this down even further into a 6 month goal, a three month goal AND even a goal for next month!
Once you have completed all of this, don’t just forget about it. Use it! It is hard sometimes to make good marketing decisions, however this should be your blueprint. If a piece of marketing doesn’t fit with your immediate goals – don’t do it. Only do marketing that is going to take you towards your next goal. We are often working towards a ‘big plan’ but it is much easier to work towards a smaller plan that is part of a bigger picture.
Of course, things change each and every year, so your 10 year goal will most probably deviate a little too. The world won’t be the same in 10 years time, and we need to keep up, so it is important to complete this task every year, and with it being January it great time to do it now! But nevertheless we should always have in our mind the purpose of what we are doing, and where we are going.
Final tip: Make sure all your goals are ‘SMART’ goals, i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time specific. This will help you to keep things realistic and do-able so that you don’t become demotivated.
ACTION: Download the model above, print it off and fill it in.