Week 2 of The Eight Week Plan

Written by  //  November 6, 2012  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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The second step in our 8 week plan is to have a look at how we went this year. We’re not just going to look at numbers, but also at the things we did that worked (yay!) and the things we did that didn’t (glum).


Taking a few moments (ok, maybe a couple of hours) to have a proper think about the year-that-was is really, truly, helpful. Most of us don’t bother doing it. We’re way too eager to get on with the next stage. But do it we shall, and uncover some gems we must!

Let’s start with the numbers



If the whole number thing makes you feel unwell don’t worry, we won’t go into too much detail, we just want to get a sense of what you earned this year. The you being “you” the business owner. [Remember from last week – it’s your earnings. ]

Now I know that some of you won’t have much in the way of financial information to hand, so we’ve got the cheats way here for you too. And don’t spend too much time on this. An hour tops. We just want to get a sense of what you earned, not the nitty gritty.



  • If you have an accounting system (and use something like Saasu, Xero, MYOB etc) you can take your profit figure from there. Just check that you make it for 12 months (so if you’ve got 9 months of info divide it by 9 and multiply by 12 to make it a years-worth).



  1. If you don’t have great accounting records but do have a business bank account then you can just add up the balance in the bank today plus all the drawings you have made over the last year. Less any business expenses that you’ve paid on a personal credit card. That will give you a close enough idea.


  1. If you run a cash business and/or pop everything through your personal bank account it’s a little trickier to work out your earnings. I don’t want you bogged down in numbers ( this is just one tiny part of the 8 week plan) so why don’t you just work out what you made in earnings last month (October) and multiply that by 12. It won’t be perfect  – especially if your months vary wildly – but it will do!

And Two Tips

  1. If you also have inventory remember to add back the cost of the stuff you have on hand today and subtract the cost of the stuff you had at the beginning of the year. You do this to match the sales you made this year with their actual cost. If this is all a bit confusing message me or speak to your bookkeeper.
  2. If your business is very seasonal – big sales in Oct to Dec for instance, then try and use  actual years figures in 1 above rather than just pro-rating 9 months. That way you will get a more accurate picture.

Find the Gap


  1. Now take your year’s earnings that you calculated above and pop them into the Worksheet called “The Gap”. Put the figure in the box marked “actual”.


  1. Now grab your “Good Great Awesome” sheet from last week and pop your “I’m aiming for” number in your “I’m aiming for” box.


  1. Subtract the number in (1) above from the number in (2) and that’s your GAP!


  1. So The Gap is a simple number  – it’s just how much more you want to earn next year than you earned this year – but it’s a great one to focus on because:

Keep your GAP in your mind as we work through the rest of today and the next six weeks. You might even want to make it into a small poster and stick it on your wall!

Coffee break!

For some of you that might have been quite a bit of work so take a break, the next bit can be done over a couple of days!

Close the Gap

Now we’re going to look at closing the Gap! We’ll start it today and then look at six more ways in our weekly run up to Christmas. By then you should have some great stuff to go and do in January.Today we’re going to look at the year-that-was and hunt out the stuff that worked well (and we want to do more of) and the stuff that didn’t (and we need to stop doing or change the way we do it)

The year in review


The best way to do this is to get a notebook and head up one page “Things that worked well” and another “Things that didn’t”.

Over the next few days think about the year and all the different things you’ve done for your business. As they come into your mind decide whether they worked well or not and note them down on the respective page in your notebook.

To give you a start, try:

  1. Listing all the sales and marketing activities you’ve done.
    1. Which ones generated good sales?
    2. Which ones were awful?
    3. Which ones are you not sure about?
    4. Do you think you did enough different activities?
    5. Do you think you did too many activities?


  1. Listing all the changes you made to your products or services:
    1. Did you make any?
    2. Should you have made any?
    3. What worked?
    4. What didn’t


  1. Listing all your products/services
    1. Which is the most profitable? {you might not know, don’t panic just leave this one}
    2. Which is the least profitable?
    3. Are we selling too many different products?
    4. Do we need to sell more variety?
    5. Which are our top sellers?
    6. Do you think customers pay a fair price for your product/service?


  1. Looking through your customer list
    1. Which are your favourite customers? Why?
    2. Which are your least favourite? Why?
    3. Did you get new “fave” customers this year? What did you do to get them?
    4. Did you get new “awful” customers this year? What did you do to get them?
    5. Should you get rid of some customers?


  1. Thinking about the way you run the business
    1. What did you do yourself which would have been better done by an expert?
    2. What did you pay someone to do which you should have done yourself?
    3. Could you/should you have paid someone to help you out on the easy tasks?


  1. Thinking about you
    1. How many hours do you reckon you’re working a week? Is it enough? Is it too much?
    2. Did you take a holiday? Did the business survive without you? What went wrong when you went away?
    3. Did you enjoy your business this year? What were the highlights? What were the lowlights?

Keep going listing stuff in your notebook until you feel you’ve exhausted all the thoughts you could possibly have!

Then take a look at your list and pick three things that you think you should do more of, and three that you think you should do less of.  Write them down in the Worksheet “More of, less of” here. And if any of the questions got you thinking “I don’t know but I need to know” then jot that down in the ‘notes’ section.

We’re on our way, that’s the beginning of our 2013 plan! And it’s also enough for this week. Breathe, relax. Well done. 

If you don’t want to miss weeks 3-8 sign up to our newsletter here and it’ll come straight to your inbox!


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