Hurrah! You’ve started a business! It’s all rainbows and sunshine until one day you realize….I’m doing a million and one things in my business and yet I’m still sitting here spinning my wheels and can’t seem to move forward. With anything.
This can happen if you haven’t got a business of the ground yet. And it can also happen when you already have an existing business and you are in the middle of a business pivot.
Yes, this has happened to me, and yes, it happened recently. My wheels spun right outta control. It was bad. I won’t get too personal here (I’ll save that for another day), but let’s just say that on my low days in entrepreneurship, I cope by staying in bed and not doing anything. Sound familiar?
In my case, I had a great business concept, a gorgeous website (Thanks to Sarah Kay Design!), prospects knocking at my door asking to hire me, and yet I could not get myself organized or clear enough to move forward with anything.
I had a general outline of the kinds of services I wanted to offer, but they were conceptual and not built out in reality, with key things missing and not thought through well enough to actual put into action.
My bills piled up. My productivity was low. My would be clients were left waiting.
Taking #AllTheThings and Making It Palatable. A Quick Flashback to My Project Management Days.
In the midst of all of this, I managed to pulled myself out of the mess-of-my-own-making by thinking back to my days as a project manager.
When things felt unclear and out of control (which they often did!) I always fell back on my main skill set, which was (after taking a deep breath) gathering large amounts of unclear information and making it organized, clear, and understandable to all members of the project team.
So it makes sense that when faced with similar overwhelm in my own business, applying my nerd-tastic planning skills to force my business into clarity and forward movement, made complete sense.
Here’s what I did:
I mapped out all of the offers I wanted to launch in the next 3-6 months using Google Slides.
I included details about whether or not it was an offer for a group or for a private individual, what the deliverables would be for each offer, how the client would be onboarded, what the experience would be like for them etc. #Allthethings. Writing down all of these details in one place (see below) not only helped me design my lead generation funnels, they also helped me write the copy for the offer pages on my website.
I made an A La Carte pricing sheet in Google Sheets to make sure my pricing made sense.
I had all sorts of offers, but the pricing of my bundled packages (aka packages made up of smaller offers) was all out of whack. I had to adjust the pricing of my various offers until it made sense (ie bundled offers were priced according to the value of the individual elements in each offer).
For example, my Minimind Accountability Group Offer includes pricing elements like 6 group calls over the 12 week period, plus access to a group slack channel for ongoing support over three months.
I had to estimate how much time per week I was going to spend monitoring the slack channel, responded to questions, editing and reviewing client content etc, and make sure I was including this cost in my pricing.
When you are building our your prices, I recommend pricing out all of your individual elements up top, and then building out your bundled offers, pulling down the prices from above, like in my example below.
I designed 1-2 funnels in Google Slides, to sell my various offers.
When I design funnels for myself or my clients, I use the same Google Slide deck that I was previously using to map out offers. Once I decided what offers were going together in a funnel, I decided on the lead magnet topic, and the blog post subject for the funnel.
I mapped out how the email sequence would interact with new potential clients in the funnel and decided on topics to touch on in each email. I identified which specific email I would invite potential clients to a phone call, and when an auto email would be sent to prospects after purchasing my intro offer (tripwire).
Here is my lead generation funnel, designed to sell my front end consulting offer, and then later upset my higher end ongoing programs. My Tripwire is currently a placeholder for my lead magnet which is still under production.
I created a 3 month workplan using Google Sheets.
Once my funnels were designed, I became super clear on exactly what I needed to do to build out each offer. I looked at each funnel (In project management speak this would now be referred to as a project that needs to be completed) and identified the tasks that needed to be done to consider the project complete.
These are the items that were put into a Google Sheet so that I could track #AllTheThings I needed to do in order to launch my offers.
My workplan is not as tidy as I’d like it to be right now, so here is one I made for a client! You can see that for each project or funnel, there are a number of ordered tasks that need to be completed in order to finish the project and launch the product or offer.
I started a few accountability groups to force myself to get the work done.
Once I had my workplan sorted out, I decided that I needed a way to literally force myself to sit down and focus on building out the business and launching my offers.
I meet with various comrades weekly. We get work done during silent working sessions, and touch base to hold each other accountable. I have one group where it’s just the two of us. And I have a second group where it’s 4-5 of us.
These virtual work dates force me to sit down and actually get my tasks done. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than marking a task off as complete!
Planning Is My Jam, But It’s Not For Everyone.
This process helped me take the million and one ideas I had in my head, get them down on virtual paper, figure out how to sell my key offers, and then figure out how to get everything done so that my funnels were up and running.
I’m a major planner, so when I operate without a good plan for too long, I stall right out. For me, this is the most straightforward way to get myself (and others sorted out).
If you are currently panicking because you have no idea how to make a workplan (or design a funnel for that matter), don’t worry. I have a handy template for both the Google Slide Deck and the Workplan that you can download below!
I recommend looking at the examples I included and then adjusting it to suit your own needs. Bonus points if you edit the master slide deck to make it showcase your brand instead of mine!
Get your templates here:
I know I’m not the only one to get stuck in a rut. I’d love to hear from you about the strategies you use to get yourself up and running again after being stuck in overwhelm mode!