Melissa henault

Business planning is your best friend when it comes to entrepreneurial success.  Having a game plan is the key to reaching revenue goals and tackling challenges head-on.

Join Melissa as she highlights why planning is absolutely crucial for business growth.  She’ll lead you through her tried-and-true strategy to craft a solid strategy, anticipate roadblocks and seize opportunities for success, without sacrificing your joy.

Get set to have the wildest year ever!

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Melissa [00:00:00]:

Alright, guys. I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this session. It is a top request I get since scaling my business to multiple 7 figures in less than 5 years. And what it is, how do you business plan? How do you map out your financial goals? And how in the world are you layering over your personal financial goals to invest in other things and dreams while scaling this business, and how do you continue to hit your goal. I am taking a look under the hood with you today and walking you through step by step how I, every single year, plan my business down to a very granular level. This process is golden when done right. I've followed this method every single year for the past 4 years, and I have met and exceeded my revenue goals and my dreams. From investing in property, to investing in homes, to taking my family on trips, while exceeding revenue goals in my business with calculated profit margins.

Melissa [00:01:09]:

So with that, I hope you guys enjoy this special treat that I put together for all of my listeners. And know that if you find a lot of value in this, make sure you check the show notes. I will guide you to the actual template that I use every single year. I've got a little workbook that you can download that will help you in listening to this episode on replay. Need some effective tactical advice that actually helps you get results and makes a real difference in your life and business? You've come to the right place. If you're finding yourself here today, it means you're getting ready to gain serious traction in your business, rapidly multiply your income and impact, and you're ready to make it happen while living all out. Guys, I'm Melissa Hanault, your trustworthy corporate dropout turned 6 figure business burnout turned happy and healthy CEO of a multimillion dollar online business. And you're listening to the Burnout to All Out podcast.

Melissa [00:02:13]:

On this show, we're serving up innovative growth strategies, simple implementation methods to put them into practice, and action stimulating inspiration tailored specifically for the modern entrepreneur. Let's dive in. Alright. So let's just get started. I'm just gonna go ahead and start. So this workshop is really about how I have traditionally, this will be the 5th year that I go to the mountains and sit with a strategic business planning process, right? And what I'm gonna be reviewing with you guys here today are the 3 steps to strategically plan your business for the year, right? What I wanted to kinda say upfront is that it's super easy to get super stuck in the daily grind of task over task. Right? We can get so busy with such a filled calendar that we can't look up and look ahead. Right? And so taking pause to purposefully slow down and level set your goals is of the utmost importance.

Melissa [00:03:25]:

As a matter of fact, it is no coincidence that while I am training on this topic, know that I am packing up my car tomorrow after a launch, and I'm going into the mountains for a 3 day silence sabbatical myself after closing out, like, about a $650,000 launch so far. Right? It's been wild, and it can be really easy to jump right back into go mode. Right? Task after task after task and having so many tabs open. And so it's really important to practice the pause, right, and to, like, check-in on your business plan, check-in on where you are, recalibrate to move forward. Right? And so one of my favorite quotes of all time, and some of you guys have heard this before, and I used to feel this way when I first started in my business. It was like just one task after another after another after another. And the quote is, I've got good news and I've got bad news. The good news is we're making great time.

Melissa [00:04:27]:

And the bad news is I have no idea where we're going. Right? Has anybody ever heard that quote before? Right? And so I wanna make sure that in order for you to have a path that is taking you directly towards your vision, and hopefully, you have that vision, right, that you have a process to step back, gather your thoughts, and create a long term plan to fuel that long term vision and have a strategic plan that you can come back to to check-in on and feel really confident that you have a barometer that you very strategically mapped out for your business throughout the year. Because what happens is if we don't have a business plan, what do we have? Does anybody know? We have a really expensive hobby. That's what we have. Right? I have friends who have closed out 7 figures in their business and made $2,000 that year. So, like, revenue is just a vanity metric. She didn't pay herself anything. And if you don't know your numbers and you don't know your profit margins, and we'll talk a little bit about this, it can be a wildly expensive hobby.

Melissa [00:05:39]:

Wildly expensive. Right? Okay. So the other thing I just wanted to say is business planning isn't a luxury. Right? Like, I had to have a pretty direct conversation. I might luckily, my husband's very supportive yesterday of being like, or 2 days ago. I was like, I have been positioned in a place of making a lot of decisions lately, and I am having task fatigue, and I am exhausted. And in order for me to come out of this refreshed and have a clear state of mind, I have to disappear for a couple days. Right? And being a CEO and making that quiet time is not a luxury.

Melissa [00:06:12]:

On the outside, some people might be thinking, oh, that's such a luxury for her to just book some time in the mountains. It is not a luxury. It is necessary to create quiet time to be strategic in your business. And with the business plan I'm about to share, you don't have to go on a retreat. I'm just saying that I do because I have 3 kids and it's really difficult to work in my house and get in the zone very consistently, and have that radio silence. Even if you don't have kids or your kids are grown up, getting out of the routine and not being distracted can be really helpful. But what I'm about to share with you, you can literally start on today, and you don't have to do a dedicated week of it. You can map it out and work through this throughout the weeks, right, and some protected time in your calendar, right? So today, we're gonna talk about really the map that I use and the process I use every single year.

Melissa [00:07:04]:

And I'm gonna share with you how I name my goals, outline my budget, evaluate my offers, how I fill in my calendar and prioritize it and how I create my marketing plan. So that's what we're gonna do today. Okay. Yes. Okay. So it's a 3 step process. Okay? It's a 3 step process, and I want you to write down these keywords because this is what we're gonna go through. It's the why, it's the what, and it's the how.

Melissa [00:07:35]:

Okay. So it's the why, it's the what, and it's the how. And we're gonna start with the why. And this is the first segment in the little workbook that you have. And I always start with silent reflection. Hence, I'm packing up and leaving tomorrow, and the first thing I'm gonna do is not get straight to work. I actually love this word that one of my mentors have been working with lately called wafting. And he was like, you need to waft off some of this anxiousness and anxiety and stress.

Melissa [00:08:07]:

You need to waft it. Like, you need, like, a 16 hours to, like, decompress and waft it. I'm not saying you need a full 16 hours, but sometimes we do to just to create the space to be silent, to then choose and think through really what your theme is in your business. And this is strategically for those of you who go back and watch this and you're planning for the next year. Right? Or it doesn't matter if you're starting in the middle of the year, but what I do every year is I start in November for the next year. Right? So I start with silence and listening for a theme that I wanna hinge my whole business around for the year because it drives everything that I do. So getting silent, reflecting, and coming up with a theme, I chose the word impact this year. For me, the word impact created this multilayer effect in my business where I can impact my family more, where I can impact my team that work for me more, where I can impact my clients, and on a larger scale, humanity through what I do philanthropically.

Melissa [00:09:12]:

Right? That's my word this year. That was not my word last year. Right? So you get to choose. Right? That's the very first thing I do. The second thing I do before I get into business planning is remind myself through some journaling why I got into this in the first place. Because sometimes we get so caught up in the task to task, and we, like, traded our 9 to 5 for a 5 to 9, And there's no space in your calendar for no joy. And all of a sudden you're feeling really burned out and you're blaming it on your business. And really, it's not your business that's burnt you out.

Melissa [00:09:44]:

It's your lack of prioritization of the time freedom and the things that give you joy because you've forgotten that was your true north and why you got into business in the first place, and you've forgotten to prioritize it. And I'm gonna teach you today how to get ahead of that and prioritize it. Okay? Because joy injections, 365 days a year, are what fuel you when things get hard. And if you don't have those reprieves and those joy injections planned, that's when you get burnt out. Your business typically doesn't burn you out. 9 times out of 10, it's your lack of your ability to manage your time and your priorities that burns you out, not your business. So the very first thing I do after getting clear on my why is booking joy in my calendar for 365 days before I book anything in my business. So the November before, I look at my calendar, I've got kids.

Melissa [00:10:40]:

So a main thing I have to look at is the kids calendar. How many of you as parents have been knee deep in your business and all of a sudden you realize like, oh my god. Kids have a half day tomorrow. I don't have time to manage them. What am I gonna do with them? Right? Like, they're like a problem because you didn't think about them in advance, and now you're almost like you're bitter, like, that the kids are around, and it's not even their fault. And if you had made it a priority in the beginning, because that's why we got into business was for the time freedom, You could have actually protected that time and had time with your kids instead of, like, being irritated that they're making noises behind you while you're trying to work. Right? So the first thing I do is I look at vacation for 365 days. I look at vacation with my friends, with my family, solo retreats, and I block them.

Melissa [00:11:23]:

I might not book them. I may not pay for them yet. We'll talk about that with revenue goals, but they are protected in the calendar and you can't touch them. Nothing can interfere with them. Right? I blocked my trip to Bali 8 months before I went. I paid for my flight 8 days before I left. Right? K. And we'll talk about that.

Melissa [00:11:43]:

It was a calculated decision. Now and some of you will talk about reward systems. Right? So one of my rewards, a lot of times well, I'll get into that in a minute. We'll talk about reward systems. Second thing, birthdays. Right? So I again, call me type a. I have my children's calendars blocked the year before because things get really hairy depending on people that you love when their birthdays are. Like, my son's birthday is the week after Thanksgiving.

Melissa [00:12:08]:

It's a nightmare trying to schedule birthday parties for kids, like, over the holidays. And I've learned over the years that doing it before Thanksgiving pans out a whole lot better for everyone, including me with all the end of year stuff. It actually makes his birthday so much more fun for everyone, including stressed out mom. Right? Same thing with the rest of my family. Other important things that you love to do. We love hosting a white elephant party every Christmas. We already have it scheduled this year. Nothing can get in the way of it.

Melissa [00:12:38]:

Right? We host a 4th July party every single year. We've already decided we're doing it on the 4th July on Thursday this year, because most people have Friday off. Like, I could get into the weeds. May sound a little bit crazy, but I plan my joy first. Plan my joy first. Okay? Those of you who have kids out of school like this year, I had Ali pull the entire school year's days out and she has my calendar blocked when they're on half day, when they're on vacation, Right? And I try my best to be done with work at the end of the half days. I try my best to go have breakfast with them and brunch with them on days that they don't have school. Right? You can plan for that if you plan for it in advance, and then you can be grateful for the business that you run that's allowed you to have that time freedom you've created instead of letting it take over your calendar.

Melissa [00:13:28]:

The last thing I'll say is soul filling and restorative activities. Own that in your calendar so that you don't get get bitter about it. A lot of you guys know about my hump day Wednesdays. So my calendar is blocked out from 3:30 to 5 every single Wednesday, right? And so a lot of times that's a deep tissue massage and an adjustment, right? Sometimes it's getting my nails done, right? But it's midweek and it's time away from work and it's not eating into time with my kids because they're in school. Right? And so it's really important how you prioritize what you're doing around everything else that's important to you. Right? You might love playing pickleball. You might love playing tennis. Like there's things that you may love to do that you need to get back into a cadence and frequency of doing by just protecting your calendar.

Melissa [00:14:17]:

Okay? So that is number 1, is finding your why, finding like, honing in on your calendar for joy injections. And then this brings me to my 2nd layer of why, which is your dream budget for the financial things that you're after beyond the time freedom with your friends and family. Right? So you're going to calculate a dream budget. Right? And so what you're gonna wanna think about is why like, I want you thinking about why do I wanna make this money this year beyond paying my end of the responsibility for the household bills. Right? What are your goals with this money? What is this money gonna do for you? It can be as big or small as you want it to be. Right? I'll give you some examples. And each of you needs to commit to 1 or 2 dream budget items this year. Okay? 2 years ago, my goal was $10,000 for a family trip to Disney.

Melissa [00:15:12]:

Right? That was like my dream budget. Right? Last year, it was $20,000 to take the whole extended family to Saint John for a week. Right? But create some dream budget numbers. It could be investing in real estate. It could be a kitchen renovation. It could be anything, but it needs to be beyond bills. It needs to be something that gets you excited. It needs to be something that's a positive reinforcement.

Melissa [00:15:40]:

Maybe it's tuition for your kids to go off to college. It could be anything. Okay? So and then what you're gonna do is identify 2 dream budget items. Okay? And then you're going to assess your current household financial budget and what you are expected to contribute to that household budget. Are you the sole person paying all the bills? Is it a split household? What are you held financially responsible for to keep the lights on, keep everybody nourished, and stay where you are and be happy and healthy. Right? That's number 1. That is what we call the household budget. Right? Then the second thing you need to do when you're getting prepared for this business planning is you need to know your damn numbers.

Melissa [00:16:25]:

Like, before you go any further, you need to pull your p and l. Like, what was your final p and l last year? What were the total numbers? What were your profit margins? And then broken down what how much money did you make for each individual offer? How much money did you make for each individual offer? Right? These are things that are really important to know. The second piece that's really important to know, and there's 2 ways to get there, is your revenue goal for this year, this coming year or this year, depending on when you're listening to this. Right? Your what I call your business numbers, your goals for your business for the year, right? And what I want you thinking about is looking at that one of those 2 dream budget items. As you're listening, I want you thinking about this. What is one dream budget item? Pick 1. I'm gonna do some simple math. Let's say a dream budget item is a kitchen renovation for $30,000.

Melissa [00:17:23]:

Okay? Then on a monthly basis for the next year, that's 2 and a half $1,000 per month for 12 months. And this is how I got started. This is how I bought my first piece of property in the mountains, was I drafted 10% of my revenue out of my business account every single month until I had enough in the bank to invest it in a piece of real estate. Right? It just takes discipline. So know what it's gonna take to hit that revenue goal for that dream budget item. Like what does it mean monthly for you above the line on top of your household income. Right? So if you have your household contribution, now I want you to compare that to the gap on the monthly contribution it would take to meet that dream budget. Maybe it's a trip to Disney.

Melissa [00:18:10]:

Maybe it's a kitchen renovation. What is that monthly additional that needs to be pulled in Comparatively to what you made last year or comparatively to what your goals are for this coming year or the year that you're in. And I'm gonna walk you through this. Okay? So before I can walk you through this, you do need to know your margins. This is really important, and this is why your historical data is really important. If you know you operate at about 30% margin profit margin from last year, then you know if you made simple math $1,000,000 in revenue last year, then you brought home 300 ks, and then you paid taxes on that. So you gotta be smart with your numbers to understand the amount of cash you're bringing in at the bottom line in your household. Okay.

Melissa [00:18:55]:

So, how do you get to a place where your revenue funds your dream goal and you have it mapped out? So this is what we do. Use your dream budget. There's 2 ways you can do this. You can take your dream budget for the thing you wanna buy, and add it monthly to your operating expenses of your household, right? And have a new revenue goal monthly to meet it. Or if you're planning your next year or this year because you haven't had you haven't set your revenue goal yet, you can actually go ahead and work it into your revenue goal for the year. Right? So if you already have planned, when you look at your revenue goal, so for instance, 2024 right now in April, if you look at your revenue goal plans for the end of this year and you know your profit margins because you've got your data from last year or you've got goals on your profit margins. Right? You have your projected planned revenue for the year and now you compare that to your dream budget for that thing. Where's the gap? Or is there a gap? Some of you might look at it and be like, I'm doing good.

Melissa [00:20:07]:

Like, this is awesome. The where where I'm headed, I can fund my dream budget. Right? I know Louise has had a great 1st couple months. She's probably looking at it being like, hell yeah. I'm good. Some of you are looking at your numbers and you're like, well, shit. If I really want if I really want this dream thing based on my current projected numbers, I need to make some changes in my business with my offers, either how often I'm price how often I'm selling them, what I'm pricing them at, or what I'm selling at all. And that's what we're gonna get into in a minute.

Melissa [00:20:40]:

Right? So you can actually reverse engineer your financial goals in your business by cross referencing your contribution to your family household and your projected revenue in your company and the profit margins, you've got to be the business owner to do the math on that and identify where's the gap or is there a gap. Right? But it can wildly motivate you. Okay? Can wildly motivate you. So what we're gonna do moving forward is you're gonna include one of your dream budget items into your business goal. Right? You're gonna include one of your dream budget items into your business goal. And if it's not meeting your current revenue goals, this is where we're gonna go next is you're actually gonna change your revenue goals. You're gonna change your revenue goals so that you can fit in that dream budget item, and then it's just a puzzle. Then you just have to go back and look at your offers and make the numbers work.

Melissa [00:21:36]:

It is just a puzzle. Okay? Okay. So what we're gonna do next is that's the why. So we've gotten into the why. We've gotten into the why. Right? You've got a theme. You've got a dream budget. You've got a thing you wanna fold in.

Melissa [00:21:53]:

You're looking at the gap in your budget to make the dream happen. And now we're gonna get into the what. If you're here, it's because you're an entrepreneur who has levers to pull that make you money. Right? The what is which levers to pull when at what price to actually hit my revenue goals. It's just a game. That's all it is. It's just a game. That's fun, right? That's what we tell ourselves.

Melissa [00:22:18]:

So here's the thing. You're gonna wanna analyze your offers to be your levers to meet your financial and life style goals. So you have a ranking system. And our clients who've been through the mastermind did this in Arizona a couple of weeks ago, where we sit down and you look at all of the offers and line item by line item, you're ranking them based on time, energy, joy, and income. Okay? Time, energy, joy, and income. And the key here is to step back without rosy glasses and bias and assess your offers in ranking. You're looking for outliers, something that maybe requires a lot of time but not a lot of revenue. Or maybe something that requires a lot that may give you a good bit of income, but it's sucking the life out of you.

Melissa [00:23:17]:

Okay? This is important. And I'm gonna give you an example. The year we did a 1,000,000 in revenue, okay? And And there's something really critical between the year we did a1000000 in revenue and the following year doing 3,800,000 in sales. Right? I did this exercise when we had just hit a million of revenue and I stood back and the one offer that was sucking the life out of me was our agency. Now, it made us $200,000 that year, which one would argue was a sizable chunk of the revenue in the company, was 20%. But when I thought about continuing it, it was nauseating. Do any of you have products or services that you literally like, you physically kind of reject it when you sit down and have to do it? Right? Are there certain aspects of your business that you're just not energetically aligned to? With faith, I decided to pull that offer, because it was taking up a lot of energy and a lot of time from me and my team. We pulled it off and it created a mass expansion capacity and energy to focus on the other things we were good at and our business grew by 380%.

Melissa [00:24:34]:

Right? That is why this exercise is so wildly important to not only look at the revenue number, but look at the energy joy factor because it can be toxic toxic to the rest of your business. If you're forcing something that you don't enjoy. Right? Okay. So there's that. So next, the cool thing about this is once you step back, and you look at all your offers, so for me that year I was like, okay, I know I need to make 3,800,000. Actually, last year, the goal was 3.23.4. I can't even remember now. It's like a blur.

Melissa [00:25:14]:

But it was very calculated based off the goals I wanted to finance a mountain home that I'm building right now. Right? But when I looked at all of my offers in my original business plan, some of that revenue was gonna come from the agency. So when I made the decision to pull it, then the question becomes not, am I just gonna not make more money? No. The question becomes, where am I gonna make up that revenue with the other offers? Right? You see what I'm saying? Now all of a sudden, I just need to sell more of this thing, more of that thing, or I need to raise the price of this thing. What do we do that here? We pull the agency and we raise the price of the academy by $1,000. We pull the agency, which made us 200,000 in revenue, and then I raised the price to a $1,000 about to 5,000 versus 4,000 for the academy. And then we sold over 500 seats in the academy last year. You do the math on the $1,000 differential on 500 people coming in.

Melissa [00:26:16]:

It is just a lever. Right? You have to take a step back from your business and look at the puzzle pieces. Where there's a will, there's a way to make the revenue happen. Right? Okay. So the next thing that we are then gonna ask, once you're clear and you're like, these are my offers, I feel aligned to them, I'm looking forward to, like, offering them, Then it becomes the how. How will you take your offers and execute them in a way that meets your revenue goals? So some of you have offers that you're selling every single day. We call that evergreen. You've got offers that are on the table all year long.

Melissa [00:26:55]:

Some of you do a more, like, launch conversion style. It might be a 90 minute webinar. It could be a 5 day webinar. You could be as crazy as me and go 9 days. Right? But you each have different strategies to convert sales. And so now becomes the math of being a business owner and reverse engineering how you're gonna meet those revenue goals. And this is where most entrepreneurs fall short. They don't actually have the mathematical calculation of how they're gonna get to their goal.

Melissa [00:27:28]:

And when you don't have the map, you get lost. When you don't have the map, you don't know where you're going. When you don't have the map, you don't have milestones to check-in on to know how you're progressing towards that dream budget, by the way, for that thing that you are funding. So for instance, when you're able to map out your milestones and you have a financial map, this is how I was able to go to Bali. I had financial stones that I needed to meet before I was willing to invest a first class ticket and 10 days in Bali, but I had it blocked the entire year. But it wasn't until we hit our revenue goals with our largest launch ever in July. And we closed cart in early August that I said to Allie, I'm going to Bali. It had been in the calendar all year, but I wasn't willing to make that financial risk till it made financial sense.

Melissa [00:28:21]:

But I protected the time, and here's the cool thing about that. All year long, I saw it in the calendar waiting for me, But I hadn't funded it yet. But when you have a business plan where you can check-in with your milestones when it's time that you can, because you have the map and you're checking in on your milestones. So let's get into the how with the offers, right? So when we get into our offers, we have to assess our pricing, and this is where we can play with a lot of levers. And I've already given you guys one example of how I pulled one offer off, raised the price of the other, and then met my financial goals. This is what you can do with assessing your pricing and assessing logistically how you're gonna get there, right? So if you're going evergreen style, then you simply need to know how many clients do I need to close on a monthly basis for each offer. Right? What are the price points and how many do I need to close each month to get to that revenue goal? And then you check-in at the end of every month. How many clients did I close? How am I tracking with each of my offers towards my revenue goal? And you may find I have I create the greatest business plans every year and without shadow of a doubt, we make the money, but it never comes in the way I originally planned.

Melissa [00:29:42]:

So be okay with pivoting with what the universe gives you feedback on. It's like you have this plan, but then you're getting a lot of leads and interest in this thing like be okay with potentially pivoting and still meeting those revenue goals. But that's why checking in monthly is so important. It's so important, right? So, for instance, if you're going launch style, then first of all, you need to decide energetically how many launches are you willing to do this year? How many times are you willing to go through this live webinar, energetic exchange? Right? And then you need to ask yourself with that offer, if I'm only committed and willing to do 4 launches per year and you have, I'm just making the math simple, you have a $1,000,000 goal with that offer, then you need to make what? 250 ks per launch to get to that revenue goal. Right? So it's very simple to do the math on the number of launches you need to do if you know your revenue goal for that offer, and then you reverse engineer what you need within each of those launches. So what gets really important and missed by a lot of people is you also need to know how many people need to buy during that launch in order to hit that revenue goal. Right? So I'm gonna do a little bit of math with you guys on our own launches. Right? So if we wanna hit 750,000 in a launch at a 5 k buy in, I know that I need to sell a 150 clients into my program in a single launch to meet that 750,000 revenue goal.

Melissa [00:31:27]:

Does this make sense? Right? So then we also need to know, well, if I know I wanna make 750 k in this launch, and I know I need a 150 people to say yes at this price point to make that number, now becomes the fun guessing game of conversion rates. Right? Well, how many eyeballs need to get in front of this to actually convert a 150 of them? I can guarantee you it's not a 150. You need a hell of a lot more eyeballs to get that conversion. For us historically, it's anywhere between 2.21.8 percent of registrants convert. So this is just like real, just straight talk. Like, if I wanna make $750,501,000, I need 7,000 people to sign up for my workshop. This is where I'm being an informed business owner, and I'm not just going in blind and closing my eyes and hoping the cart closes at a certain number. Right? I know based off the number of registrants where I'm headed.

Melissa [00:32:37]:

Right? So, like, right now, this is just really warm because we just closed out our launch, and we'll have overflow. We usually have about a 100,000 to a 115,000 in overflow sales. We closed our cart yesterday. We've done about 610, 615,000 in sales, which is like right on par because we'll probably close about another 100 and to 115 in the next week and a half, which kicks us over that 700 k mark, and we had over 7,000 registrants. See, I wasn't guessing. I had a number I was going for in that registrant number. Right? And this is at every level. When I was first starting, I knew I needed 300 registrants or I needed a 150 registrants to make that $20,000 goal.

Melissa [00:33:16]:

Right? You have to start somewhere. Right? Okay. So this is really important and this is a really good exercise because I have stepped back before and been like, there was 1 year I stepped back and I was like, I, this is an audacious revenue goal and I have to choose whether I wanna do more launches, raise my price, or find a different way to make money because I have to decide if I physically want to do that many. Right? So this is just a practical, real exercise that needs to be done. Were your goals too audacious for what you're energetically willing to expend. Right? Or is there a different way to meet that revenue number that doesn't require so much of my time? Okay. Now, couple of pro tips. I shouldn't say when I get done.

Melissa [00:34:04]:

The whole time I'm going through my business planning, I have this big post it note where as things manifest in my mind of like, man, that's a gap there. I really need this. I don't have that. I have what I call the parking lot, and it's where I'm seeing gaps in my business. And if I wanna grow, I'm gonna need support. So, like, Ali and I can laugh about this now. 2 years ago, I had no one leading my sales team. I had, like, 5 or 6 concierge who were selling on my team that were directly reporting into me in the middle of launches on top of everything else that I was doing.

Melissa [00:34:36]:

And I had no one leading it, being in charge or responsible for sales other than me as the CEO. Right? And I recognized that was a gap in my business. And I was like, Ali, would you like to help out and lead the sales team until I can find someone else that can come in? I now have a sales manager. Right? Another place that I found the gap this year in my business planning that was, like, wildly obvious was you were too big of a company not to have, like, a c suite marketing executive overseeing big picture where you're headed with your goals. You need a dedicated chief marketing officer. And so I found these holes as I was going through my goals. Right? Should coin that. Find holes while you're going through your goals, and then work through your revenue goals for the year as you get to the end of your projected revenue goals and look at your budget and ask yourself, do I need to hire some key talent? How much of that's gonna impact my profit margin? Or am I gonna get my ROI and my profit margin by bringing that person in? Because I'm the bottleneck right now, and I can't create any more profit because I'm doing too many things that are bottlenecking me for making the income.

Melissa [00:35:51]:

These are calculated decisions we have to make as CEOs, and I do them every year all the time, Right? To this day. Right? So definitely look for the gaps, the new hires, and also people within your own organization that may be open to evolving. Like, actually, Allie is a really great example who started out as one of our part time social sellers and evolved into being my full time executive assistant. Right? So if you're seeing gaps and you've got great key talent with people who have really great DNA, they're like motivated and they're like team, whatever your business is, and they're really accountable, have continual conversations with them about opportunities to evolve in your business before you go hiring out, unless you're ready to take your business to a totally different level. And this is where I wanna underscore. You're never gonna get to the next level by thinking the way you've thought that's gotten you here. Right? One of the biggest reasons I nearly barfed when I went and hired a really high level CMO was because I knew with the audacious goals we had, no one in my team had ever been there before. So how was I gonna expect us at our lid to get there without guidance from someone who'd been there.

Melissa [00:37:06]:

So assess your goals. And if they're audacious and you've never been there before, and you may need to hire some key talent to get you there, you may have to reconsider your budget and what you're investing. Right? So just some things to think about, right? Okay. So the other thing I wanna say is then you're going to map out your conversion events. Like once you figured out when your conversion events are happening, here's the beauty. You started with prioritizing your life, your joy, your family, the things that were important to you. My calendar is color coded in green is family and kids. It is dotted throughout the calendar for the year, then I can go back to my launch planning and map my launches around my family 2 week trip out west, my girlfriend's trip to Mexico in January to the spring break trip I I took with my family.

Melissa [00:38:01]:

There is a reason my launches land where they do. Right? And it's because they work for me And allow me to enjoy the spring break the week before launch, right? They allow me the mastermind event that I've invested in before a launch. So these are the things that you own if you plan in advance. But if you don't carve out the joy in advance, your business will gobble up your entire calendar. And you will feel guilty because you're not making time for what is important to you, your loved ones, and you'll start to feel burnt out. Right? Okay. So you have that. The last two things I wanna hit on here is it is also really important when I'm done with planning my business plan, especially when I'm on a retreat by myself, is a couple of things.

Melissa [00:38:52]:

1st, I've brainstormed a lot on white paper. I take pictures of all of it, and I actually also transfer all of it into digital form, especially if I'm running numbers, revenue goals. I put them into Excel spreadsheets. If you've got a bookkeeper or a CFO that you're working with, I share that with her to hold me accountable. And then what I do is I'm gonna bring that back to the team and we'll talk about that in a minute. But the other things I wrap up before the end of my business planning is I go ahead and plan my next business solo retreat. So if you look at my calendar, my next solo retreat was booked 365 days in advance. It's already in the calendar, nothing can get in the way of it.

Melissa [00:39:31]:

Right? I also book my team retreat the year ahead, right? So if you have a team retreat that you're doing. I also book any mastermind dates that I'm invested in. So I don't feel like I've I'm compromised with my investment. I do the same thing with any personal, I mean, any business relevant development events. But what I wanna underscore here is I lay them over what was important to me first before business. And then what I do is I book a call with my team when I'm done with my retreat, and I share with them the theme that I've landed on and how they are interwoven into that theme, how they're a part of that theme, bring them on the journey with you. Right? I also share with them my revenue goals and how they play a critical part in us achieving those revenue goals. I overview the offers with my team and individual dates for revenue goals and visibility.

Melissa [00:40:28]:

And the last thing that I do is I map, I share with them and I didn't hit on this and I wanna hit on this as well, is I share with them my marketing map for the year. It's one thing I wanna talk about that I didn't hit on is that once you've mapped out your conversion events for the year, right, then it's wildly important that you actually strategically plan for the marketing of each event. Right? The marketing of each event. So, for instance, if you're doing like a traditional launch, you need to be going at least 3 weeks ahead in promoting it. Right? So we actually have a build, grow, scale launch in mid May. We're already buttoned up for all our social media assets to start promoting that in 2 or 3 weeks. Right? So it's really important that you have mapped out in your calendar the start date of your launches and your conversion of dates. And then you need to build what we call an editorial calendar of reverse engineering your marketing dates up to that.

Melissa [00:41:41]:

How many of you have waited till the last minute and been like, shit, I should have put out a Black Friday special. Right? And it's like the day before Black Friday. Don't let this happen to you. Right? Look at your calendar, know what you're gonna offer and know the standard practice of your runway for marketing these items and building interest and curiosity in these items, in these offers well before, especially for those of you who have hired a VA, you've hired someone in social media to help you map and map out this stuff and market this stuff, right? I used to be a hot mess with this, off the hip trying to throw this stuff out, generate interest and get people to register for my master classes. Until a year ago when we started building a legit editorial calendar. I'm talking about, we know when my live event happens and how early we need to be promoting for it. We have actually 4 different times throughout the year. We make big pushes for live event tickets.

Melissa [00:42:38]:

Right? We know when Black Friday is. We have our authors written and ready to run actually before our October live event. Why? Because by the time we come home from our October live event and we hit our final launch of the year in early November, the whole team, their head spinning, we're exhausted and we totally forgot about Black Friday, and it's right underneath our feet. Right? So we actually plan what our offer is, what it's gonna cost, and the landing pages for it. Like, it's almost like Christmas in July. Like, we do it earlier. Right? And so I want you thinking about your marketing campaigns well in advance of what you're rolling out. Right? Same thing with our mastermind.

Melissa [00:43:17]:

We only open the doors to our mastermind once a year. Right? So you better bet that 2 month window before the doors open, our marketing message shifts heavily to high level leadership, experiential retreats, right? Where our marketing is evolving. We're not pushing the lead gen masterclass. We're not pushing the live event. Right? There's strategy around what we're marketing to optimize applicants into the mastermind. Right? The last thing I'll say on this and then I'll wrap up, is that you wanna be wildly protective when you're planning your 365 days of the importance of the time you need for creative blocks in your calendar that have nothing in them right now. So in my calendar, every week on Wednesdays is a creative block. No one can book anything in it.

Melissa [00:44:12]:

And there's nothing in it until it gets to time where something needs to be in it. So for instance, preparing for this, preparing for a podcast, working on my content for a live event, working through a new slide deck. If you don't anticipate the need for the creative time in your business, you'll find yourself doing it at night around the other work that you're totally booked in with. And then you're burnt out and you don't have the energy to give it your best. So just know that you are a creator in your industry and in your business, and you have to block out creative time. And it's total black space until the weeks leading up to it. And you know, you need it. Right? I know I need a good month of black space, not solid, but every week I need a good 4 to 5 hour chunk per week to start working on building my content for my live event.

Melissa [00:45:07]:

If I don't black that space out in my calendar well in advance, my team starts filling it up with other stuff. And then I come a couple months before live event and I have no space in my calendar to plan for it. And now I'm overwhelmed, I'm stressed out. And I'm not sure how I'm gonna work it in. There's also CEO times. Like I have very specific times on Monday all day long. Those are the days I take calls with contractors that work with me and CEO work, right? I have a CFO day every single month where I look at my P and L, I look at my numbers and I look at where we're tracking, Right? So it's really, really important to have all of that stuff in your calendar for the year blocked. Okay.

Melissa [00:45:51]:

So if I give you an example of our editorial calendar, how to how we map, how we ramp up, how we're mapping out what we're marketing. And yeah, with that, the last thing I'll say is you can take this whole, document, and this actually walks you through how to make this a a retreat intensive instead of doing it at home, literally going into a quiet retreat by yourself. And I give you some ideas in how to, like, what to pack and how to run through this whole exercise in a matter of 2 to 3 days and come home, like, with a built plan. Alright, guys. I hope this was helpful and get to work on those business plans. Alright? Alright, guys. We'll see you soon. Bye bye.

Melissa [00:46:38]:

Thanks, guys, so much for listening in on today's podcast episode. And I can't wait for you to see my upcoming guest in the next episode. You are going to love this keynote speaker. Hey, here's the deal. If you like this, please subscribe and leave a review. And you want the latest online business growth strategies and exclusive LinkedIn pro tips sent straight to your phone? Text the word update to 704 318-2285. That is text the word update to 704 318-2285. Can't wait to see you guys.

Melissa [00:47:18]:

Come find me over on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, wherever you like to hang. Cannot wait to hear how you are enjoying and applying what you're learning. You guys reach out to me over on social because I love hearing what's resonating with you. When you reach out to me and you send me those personal DMs, they really do impact the content I continue to bring forward to you. So again, come find me, melissa_henault over on Instagram. Melissa Hinault over on LinkedIn and Facebook. Can't wait to see you guys over there.

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