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How to Build a Profit Plan for your Online Business

April 14, 2020

Sarah Williams

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Before jumping into the step-by-step guide on actually creating a profit plan for your online business, I wanted to make sure we’re both on the same page about what exactly a Profit Plan is.

Ultimately, a Profit Plan does two things:

  1. Tells you what your projected income will be for a certain period (normally 12 months)
  2. Sets sales goals, that are both ambitious and attainable at the same time, to hold you accountable for making money for your business.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past 5 years of running Rebel Office is to prioritize profit because if you’re not making money in your business, you can’t keep running your business and serving the people that need you.

It is so easy to charge 50% of your fees to family and friends “just to be nice”. It is so easy to offer to do a free strategy call because “it’ll only take an hour”.

But those hours and those 50%s add up. They add up quickly. And not even just financially, but with your energy bank too. And even if you are charging full price if you are on the edge of burnout or feeling as though you’re working more and barely coming up on the right side of things financially… sure, you might last a bit longer, but in the end, it isn’t sustainable.

And our goal by building a Profit Plan is to ultimately guarantee that our businesses and our efforts are sustainable.

It’s the real end-goal here. This is what I want you to keep in mind as I walk you through building one for your online business.

Ready?

 

Step One: Identify Your Products and Services

The very first step to building a Profit Plan for your business is knowing what you’re going to offer throughout the time period you’re planning for – whether it’s every year, every quarter or every month.

Do you have a high ticket 1-on-1 package? Great, write it down. Do you have a group program or course? Digital product(s)? Write it down.

Get clear on EVERYTHING you are going to offer during that period. And let me tell you, I am a giant advocate for diversifying your revenue. Just some food for thought.

For Rebel Office, we plan our profit for:

 

Step Two: Set Goals

Now that you have your products and services figured out, it’s time to set some sales goals for them. Ignore the price for now and think specifically about the number of UNITS you want to sell or CLIENTS you want to acquire.

When setting goals, be ambitious but think about what’s attainable. Of COURSE, anything is possible, but I also hate to see women that I work with set giant goals and then everything gets shut down when they’re discouraged they don’t hit it.

These goals are designed to keep you focused and committed, knowing that you have until 11:59 pm on the last day of the month to hit that target. It’s not over until it’s over if you know what I mean.

Start small and grow from there. And always keep in mind the capacity you have and the amount of work you can (and want to) take on. If you have a 1-on-1 signature package that runs for 4 months, know that you’re carrying that client for four months and that limits your capacity for the months that follow signing them.

If you want to keep the same levels throughout the board but scale your income, Step 3 is going to be handy for you…

 

Step Three: Setting & Increasing Your Prices

No matter what products or services you’re offering and how many you want to sell, I recommend increasing your prices approximately every 6 months. By how much and exactly how often is entirely up to you and relies on your judgement, but ultimately raising your prices:

  1. Creates regular urgency and encourages people to buy/sign up before the price goes up
  2. Allows you to scale your income sustainably without adding more revenue streams and increasing the amount of time required to run your business (because we’re still always striving for that work-life balance/freedom lifestyle)
  3. Continually positioning yourself as an expert and working your way up to higher-level clients/customers that grow with you as you grow and gain experience

And you don’t even need to raise prices based on time but rather on units sold or clients signed.

Pricing is tricky and a LOT of women in business have a hard time with it.

 

 

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Step Four: Identify Strategic Actions

So you know what you’re selling, how many you need to sell and at what price it is being sold at. Awesome! Now, it’s time to build in some action items to your Profit Plan.

Look at your sales goals and ask yourself: What is EVERYTHING I can do to hit that goal for each month? Write all of your ideas down.

It’s okay to be messy here and brain-dump everything you have. You can clean it up and streamline it later.

For now, think of:

  • Lead magnets and funnels
  • Organic content
  • Events
  • Partnerships and collabs

Then, look at how those can be streamlined and which ones make the most sense to tighten up your acquisition strategy.

 

Step Five: Make Money

Now it’s time to buckle down, put your plan into action, do the work and make money. And remember back to when we were setting goals: It’s not over until it’s over. Keep working towards those goals. Commit to them. Commit to bringing in an income to your business so that you can continue to serve at a high-quality level and with the energy and passion that your business and your clients/customers deserve.

Go get ‘em, girl.

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