In 2018, Laura Posey received the worst news you could imagine.
Her partner was diagnosed with cancer.
She could no longer run her company, Simple Success Plans, because her new full-time position was taking care of her partner.
But Laura had something that many consultants don’t — a clear, strategic plan.
Before taking time off to take care of her partner, she gave that plan to her team, and told them to “go make it happen.”
They did just that.
This plan allowed Laura to step out of the business for an entire year.
Everything still got done.
And with her 1-page business plan, she got to do a far more important job.
If you’re feeling “all over the place” in your consulting business and lack a clear plan on how to get to where you want, you need to write that plan.
But not just any plan.
You need a plan that fits on 1-page, forcing you to prioritize what’s truly important to your business and your life.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a 1-page business plan for your consulting business which you will use to achieve your revenue goals — and build the consulting business that supports your desired lifestyle.
Declare Your 5 Core Values
First things first — you must declare the core values of your business.
You’ll write 5 of them. One core value for each finger on one hand, making them easy to remember.
A core value is something that shapes the way you see and behave — similar to a mindset.
Core values often come from the heart. You don’t just think about them — you feel them at your core.
Core values are decision-making criteria. They are a primary filter that makes sure what you do is in alignment with the business that you want to build.
If a new opportunity comes your way, it must be congruent with your core values. If not, you will happily say no to it.
Examples of core values:
- “We will have each other’s back.” This core value is about teamwork. In Laura’s business, if someone needs help or support, they know they can trust in the team to provide that.
- “We will try and figure it out ourselves.” This core value is about delegation. Laura knows she doesn’t have all of the answers. So she trusts her team to solve problems autonomously, without micromanagement. This core value also ensures that they hire problem solvers who want to solve problems on their own.
- “We will support out-of-the-box thinking.” This core value is about creativity, taking chances, and trying new things. If you deeply value-creating new things, even if they might be inefficient, then this would be a good core value for your business.
With your 5 core values in place, you’ll get clear on your business vision.
Get Clear On Your Vision
Where do you want to take your business?
This is your vision.
Imagine how you want your business to look. Imagine how it helps support your desired lifestyle.
Dream big. This is where you picture yourself living the lifestyle that prompted you to start your consulting business in the first place. It’s your source of motivation — your desired future state.
Your vision should include a mix of your business and your personal life.
Here are some examples of vision:
- “I want to be the go-to expert in my industry who is so successful that key industry players come to me first when they are seeking advice.”
- “I want to change the way healthcare is run and convince insurance companies that they should cover preventative and alternative medicine practices.”
- “I want to buy a home for my parents and pay for live-in care so they can grow old comfortably in their own home.”
And one final example from Laura’s business — and a story about how she made it happen.
“I want to build a business where I can work from anywhere and don’t have to travel for work.”
Laura values location independence — the ability to work from anywhere.
Years ago, her business partner was making her miserable. She wanted out.
She called her landlord and asked him “what would it cost to get out of this lease?”
It wasn’t cheap.
To get out of the lease, she had to cut her expenses way, way down.
She wanted a business where she could work from anywhere — so she never felt “trapped” in a single location ever again.
So, she told her clients she was cutting down on travel. Much to her surprise, many of them were delighted.
It would save them a lot of money.
It took her a full year to transition…but she took action to make her vision a reality.
You must state your vision before you can make them real.
Once you’ve done that, you will get more tangible: starting with your long-term targets.
Aim At Your Long Term Targets
Your long-term targets are where you want to be in 3-5 years.
They are medium-resolution — specific enough to give you something to aim at, but vague enough to give you some wiggle room.
Ultimately, these targets are the building blocks of turning your vision into reality.
Examples of long-term targets (3-5 years):
- Hit a revenue of $2M+ (your number may be higher or lower)
- Invest in a second office
- Take 4 weeks of vacation
Once you’ve written down your long-term targets, you can set your short-term goals.
Set Your Short Term Goals
Your short-term goals are goals you want to hit within one year.
Unlike long-term targets, they are very detailed and specific.
When writing them, visualize what they look like once they’re complete.
Like your long-term targets, they should help you fulfill your vision.
Examples of short-term goals (1 year)
- Hire a full-time administrative assistant who handles all of my low-hour tasks
- Create a new productized service with a value of $2500
- Cut my hours to 35/week
After setting your short-term goals, you can narrow down to your daily tasks with a checklist.
Breaking It Down: The Daily Success Checklist
What are you doing today to hit your goals?
To create your vision?
To align with your core values?
The Daily Success Checklist keeps you accountable. It’s something you can follow every day to ensure you hit your goals and create your dream business.
Here’s what it looks like:
The Daily Success Checklist is broken down into these areas:
- Success Habits: The daily habits you must achieve to hit your goals. A good one here is making sure you reach out to a certain amount of ideal clients — what we call your “Magic Number.”
- Goals: You can insert your short-term goals here to keep them in focus.
- Key Three: Your three important areas of focus for today — where you want to improve.
- Other Tasks: Miscellaneous tasks that you must complete to finish the day.
- Reflection: After your day is done, answer these reflection questions. They’ll help you analyze what you did well and how you can improve — and be grateful for another day getting one step closer to your desired life and business.
Just like the strategic plan, this checklist also fits on one page. As you go through your day, check off the tasks you complete.
Do this every day, and you’ll be working towards making your vision a reality.
Action Step: Complete Your 1 Page Business Plan
Your action step for this article is to write your 1 page business plan.
Using the guidelines in this article, write down your…
- 5 core values
- Business vision
- Long-term targets
- Short-term goals
…and then print it out. Put it on your desk, where you can’t miss it.
Finally, download Laura’s Daily Success Checklist, and build a habit of using it every day.
You can find Laura’s strategic plan system here if you’d like to do this with her help.
Until you make your core values, vision, and goals explicit, you’ll never have 100% clarity on what you should be doing in your business — and why.
By getting focused, you’ll put yourself on the path to build the highly profitable business of your dreams.
- What are some examples of your core values?
- What is your vision for your dream business and lifestyle?
- What are you doing daily to make it all a reality?
Leave a comment below — and join the discussion!
If you’d like to join a like-minded community of consultants who are all helping each other achieve the business of their dreams, check out our Clarity Coaching Program.
“Michael and Sam run a great program. It’s not cookie-cutter. They meet you where you are, listen well, and provide relevant solutions. They plug you into a community of peers, which is so important if you’re just starting out. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own!”