Our business plans need to work into a day that is already filled with household priorities such as meal planning, laundry, grocery shopping, and that *slight* detail of keeping the kiddos happy, healthy, fed, and rested.
Sometimes our business tasks get squeezed into ten minute time slots if the day doesn’t go according to plan.
In these moments, it’s so easy to tend to tasks that we ‘think’ are productive, but aren’t actually pushing us in any direction.
Doggy paddling, staying afloat…but not going anywhere.
You don’t want to just maintain your business…you want it to grow.
It all depends on planning with intention.
The five-step foolproof plan below will keep you and your business moving onward and upward, one brick at a time. Get out a pen & paper and be ready to take action!
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Annual Goals as a Mompreneur: Step 1
Set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal
If S.M.A.R.T. Goals are already your M.O., glance through the acronym below again to see if you can add some extra clarification to your annual goal.
If you’ve never heard of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal, today is your lucky day!
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. It takes a well-intentioned goal such as, “I want to start a blog”, to an actionable, fleshed-out statement such as, “I will create a crunchy mommy blog that focuses on DIY skin care products with 10 published articles by November of this year.”
Have a basic goal in mind before reading below (bonus points for following along with a pen and paper to do this exercise with me!).
Example basic goal: I want to start a DIY skin care line.
Look at your goal and decide how it can be more specific. What kind of a skin care line? Organic? Natural? Meant for teens? Meant for mature adults? Affordable? Luxury?
Modified goal: I want to start a handmade organic skin care line for mature adults.
What does ‘done’ look like to you? How will you know when you have met your goal? Something to bookend your efforts.
Modified goal: I want to start a handmade organic skin care line for mature adults with 10 core products.
What is attainable, or realistic, for your current situation? If you’re a stay-at-home mom with a newborn and a toddler, you’re not going to have the time to sell your skin care line to a boutique or set up a booth at a farmer’s market right now (in due time!).
Modified goal: I want to start a handmade organic skin care line for mature adults with 10 core products to sell on Etsy.
I wish there was a way to put this at the beginning before the other steps! Relevant in our goal-writing scenario means ‘DOES THIS GOAL MAKE SENSE for your overall vision?’
If your dream is to have 100% passive income, then starting a Shopify store with digital products or creating a mom blog that only requires computer-work are ideas that you should be focusing on right now instead.
That doesn’t mean all of your annual goals have to be serious and life-changing. Maybe you just want to learn a new skill – anything goes as long as there is intention behind it and not taking you away from where you actually want to end up.
When do you want to achieve your goal? Creating a ‘deadline’ will help you to set benchmarks and time-sensitive task lists.
Full disclosure that Rachel Hollis and I respectfully agree to disagree on this point (in the chance that you have read ‘Girl, Stop Apologizing’, which I whole-heartedly recommend). I get where she’s coming from that creativity and exploration might be rushed if there’s a deadline. But as mompreneurs with kids and businesses to raise at literally the same time, we have to give ourselves discipline or there will always be a more important fire to put out.
Modified goal: I want to start a handmade organic skin care line for mature adults with 10 core products to sell on Etsy by September of this year.
Before S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I want to start a DIY skin care line
After S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I want to start a handmade organic skin care line for mature adults with 10 core products to sell on Etsy by September of this year.
Creating a S.M.A.R.T. Goal automatically sets you up for more success even before reading the four other steps in our annual goal setting plan – awesome right???
Annual Goals as a Mompreneur: Step 2
Identify Your Daily Productivity Trends
Identifying productivity trends is CRUCIAL for home-based mompreneurs.
I would say the majority of us that are raising our kiddos and businesses at the same time probably have a realistic 2-3 hours a day to dedicate to work time if prioritized intentionally.
Part 1 of Identifying Daily Productivity Trends:
The first step is identifying the hours that you do possibly have available. While the sleep schedules of babies can be unpredictable, hopefully if you’re starting a goal you’re at the point where some habits and schedules are starting to surface.
Are your kids early risers? Night owls? Take one hour naps or two?
When can you reasonably get some work done on the average day? This will fluctuate radically as your kids grow.
I currently have a 2 and a 4 year old, and I change my work schedule about every 3 months as their sleep routines change. When my second baby was a newborn, my only guaranteed work time was between 4am and 6am. I now have three separate work times available in my day, so realize that you won’t be locked into ANY sort of routine forever!
To use myself as an example, I currently have from:
- 6am – 8am (girls asleep and husband on wake-up/breakfast duty)
- 2:45pm – 3:15pm (toddler quiet reading time, baby nap time until 4p)
- 8pm – 10pm (girls asleep)
Write your own available time blocks down on a piece of paper.
Part 2 of Identifying Daily Productivity Trends:
Now that you have identified the chunks of time you have available to work, you need a strategy of what to do when.
Of those time blocks, when does your brain work the best? When does it give you ‘fuzzy mom brain’ the worst?
My work time block efficiency:
- 6am – 8am: Brain works the best (1st most efficient)
- 2:45pm – 3:15pm: Brain is seriously checked out (3rd most efficient)
- 8pm – 10pm: Brain getting another energy burst (2nd most efficient)
Write your own time block efficiency down on a piece of paper.
Part 3 of Identifying Daily Productivity Trends:
The best part about being your own boss is that you get to say when you do what. That also means you’re responsible for setting yourself up for success by working INTENTIONALLY.
If writing creatively is difficult for you and that’s part of your goal task-list, do that when your brain is the most awake. Scheduling pre-written social media posts is pretty brainless once you get a system down, so that’s a great thing to do while your brain has checked out for the moment.
As you learn more and more about your annual goal and the tasks that come with it, make sure to categorize them on the same sheet as you wrote your available work times. You’ll find that the ‘difficulty level’ of certain tasks get easier the more you do them. Your time blocking sheet will become an ever-evolving reminder of what to work on when.
For my personal situation, I have a blog that teaches other stay-at-home moms how to create a skin care empire from home and I also have a natural skin care line of my own. I have a large variety of tasks and blocking like this is the only way I get things done with my two little ladies at home with me.
My time-blocked tasks:
- 6am – 8am: Write blog posts and social media content (most creative time for my brain)
- 2:45pm – 3:15: Schedule posts or create skin care products (Brain. Checked. Out.)
- 8pm – 10pm: Package up orders and plan for following day (somewhat efficient time for my brain but don’t want to get wrapped up in computer work)
Write your own time blocked tasks down on a piece of paper.
Annual Goals as a Mompreneur: Step 3
Create a high-level annual overview
Now that you know your available work times and how to use them most efficiently, we can begin taking your annual goal and breaking it down into daily steps.
Going from annual to daily may sound too planned out for some, but I promise that as a mompreneur, this is exactly how you’ll meet your goals this year.
Creating a goal setting funnel is a visual way to plan backwards. If you haven’t already created a S.M.A.R.T. Goal for your year, stop and do that now.
Start with your S.M.A.R.T. Goal
I want to start a luxury, organic skin care line for mature adults with 10 core products to sell on Etsy by December of this year.
Break up your annual focus into four parts that can be completed in 3 months time. Keep in mind your life schedule to set yourself up for success. My busiest season is Q4 with holiday parties and more errands than usual in preparation, so I always plan a bit of a lighter load during that time (perks of being your own boss!).
Quarter 1 (January – March): Experiment with recipes and decide on products for my skin care line.
Quarter 2 (April – June): Everything business branding (color palettes, labels, packaging, etc.)
Quarter 3 (July – September): Everything to prepare for website (copy and photos)
Quarter 4 (October – December): Create Etsy shop and launch!
Use your monthly focuses to start breaking up your goal into actual tasks. What specific action will you take each month to fulfill your quarterly focus?
- January: Research recipes to try and order ingredients
- February: Experiment with all recipes and narrow down to 10 core products
- March: Provide products to anyone willing to test and give feedback – modify as necessary to finalize recipes
- April: Define my target market and customer avatar – decide on company name, color palette, fonts, and create a logo
- May: Decide on packaging for all products and order
- June: Create labels for all products and order
- July: Write all product descriptions for Etsy site
- August: Write all other copy for website (About Me page, Payment and Shipping Policies, Privacy Statement, etc.)
- September: All product photography
- October: Create Etsy account and set up back-end requirements (payment account, tax information, profile picture, shop banner, etc.)
- November: Upload all pre-written website copy, product descriptions, and product photography
- December: Make shop LIVE! Create social media posts to announce and show examples of your product line.
Actively time block EXACTLY when you will be working on the tasks you divided up in your monthly focuses. If you just cannot find time every day to work towards your goal, you must find a consistent time to work it in to be successful. (Every day from 9a-11a, Mon/Wed/Fri evenings, or every Saturday afternoon…to name just a few options.)
The steps you are going to take towards your goal may fall under different categories. Some may involve more critical thinking, so it would make sense to plan those tasks when your brain is more efficient. Some may be more suitable for your ‘fuzzy mom brain’ times – simply plan your day with intention and modify as necessary.
You will also need to break your monthly focuses down into ACTUAL tasks at this point – below is an example for my January week one:
Monday: 5am – 7am – Monthly focus (research organic face serum recipes)
Wednesday: 5am – 7am – Monthly focus (research organic eye cream recipes)
Friday: 5am – 7am – Monthly focus (research organic lip balm recipes)
Pro Tip: Plan in one ‘Catch Up Day’ at the end of the week for your business tasks. Don’t plan ANYTHING that HAS to get done during that time. If you don’t need to catch up on anything (wha???) either take some time for self care or get ahead on the coming week.
Plan Your Entire Year on One Sheet!
- annual overview examples
- goal setting template
- other goal planning resources
- a quick 5 page ebook to help you visualize and funnel your entire year
Annual Goals as a Mompreneur: Step 4
Commit to a Daily Tracking System
You. Must. Document. This is necessary both for planning your day intentionally AND so that you can look back at your progress.
Documentation is also a helpful reflection tool. If you’re having trouble completing xyz task, your daily planner can be a visual way to troubleshoot why.
Do you plan tasks for a time of day that is not productive for you?
Were there other things going on in your mommy life that made work tasks more difficult during a particular season?
Do you have the resources you need to move ahead in this area?
You’ll only be able to really analyze it if you see the big picture.
I personally am a 100% paper planner kind of gal. I’ve tried several digital planners and I just don’t feel productive with them. I need to write things down, cross things off, highlight, and make notes in the margins.
Since my needs as a maker mompreneur are very specific, I created an annual planner and goal tracker for myself (and then turned it into a printable planner for you to download). This planner specifically prompts me to write down my priorities and steps towards my monthly focus, as well as ‘normal life’ things such as meal planning and self care.
If you already have a planner you love, make sure that you find a place to document EVERY DAY how you moved towards your annual goal.
Building an empire as a mompreneur consists of teeny tiny baby steps, even if the only thing you can manage to do on some days is one social media post.
Need a daily tracking system?
The mompreneur’s daily planner that keeps your daily priorities front of mind:
- Steps towards monthly focus
- Top 3 daily priorities
- Self care
- Intentional Planning
- Body Movement
- Meal plan/prep
Annual Goals as a Mompreneur: Step 5
Share with an Invested Accountability Partner
Now that you have a schedule ready to fill in with real business-building tasks, who’s going to help you stick to it?
You HAVE to HAVE an accountability partner. THIS FINAL STEP IS EVERYTHING.
Thinking about building your business…and then actually DOING it (at the same time as raising your tribe) takes major energy.
You. 👏🏼 Need. 👏🏼 Support. 👏🏼
I am SO very lucky that my husband is 100% on board and knows exactly when I’m going to be working on what. If I’m not, he knows something is up and we talk about it. If my current schedule is no longer working, we come up with a different plan to try.
With babies in the picture, rearranging your time slots and plan will be the case a LOT when running your business. From having a newborn, to getting down to two naps a day, then to one nap a day, then to an attempt at ‘quiet time’ with a napless toddler, your schedule will shift.
So who is going to keep you focused through these twists and turns?
Here are three solid accountability choices:
Your life partner.
It’s ideal for the person you live with to know the specifics of your plan. They’ll be there to see if you’re following through on these goals of yours.
- You’ll talk about it at the dinner table.
- It’ll be a focus as you plan your week together.
- They’ll be with you to jump up and down when a blog post or new product of yours goes viral.
Do you have any other stay-at-home mom friends that are on an entrepreneurial journey? Starting this adventure together at the same time will make it SUPER fun and you’ll have each other to bounce ideas off of.
- Moms in your neighborhood?
- In your playdate group?
- In your exercise class?
Even if you aren’t in the same industry, having someone that you see routinely will keep you motivated. Plan at least one date a month that is dedicated solely to talking about your businesses.
Online Networking and Groups.
As a stay-at-home mom building a business, Facebook Groups have been SO essential to my every day. There is a super niched-down Facebook Group for ANYTHING under the sun, and I reach out to these groups daily with questions.
Most recently this week, I was able to get the following questions answered after coming up with nothing in my Google searches (each from a different group I’m a part of):
- What redirect code do I use for Pretty Links?
- Where can I find more sustainable packaging?
- Can I get feedback on these three Pinterest Pins I created?
- How do I deal with the missing sales tax entries to prepare QuickBooks for my accountant?
I don’t personally know anyone in my ‘face-to-face world’ that makes natural products or has a blog. Having a place to ask questions when Google doesn’t understand what the heck I’m looking for has been priceless. (And P.S., if you are in the natural skin care industry, check out our Mompreneur Mastermind Group here to network with other like-minded maker mamas).
Really consider this. An invested accountability partner could save your motivation/mindset and business when you’re feeling *blah*.
Reflect on a time when you had NO energy or inspiration before, but something was able to get you back into action.
What was it?
Who helped you get back up?
What did you need?
Choose your accountability partner(s) with intention.
After that, get your accountability partner up to speed on your goals and time blocks so that they can help you stay on track.
Let’s Keep Each Other Accountable!
Join our private Facebook Mastermind (specifically for natural skin care mompreneurs) to swap ideas, network, share content, and grow together!
This five-step plan is super easy if you have a basic annual goal to start with:
1. Start with your annual goal and turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. Goal.
2. Identify the times of day that you are better suited to different tasks.
3. Create a high-level annual overview (includes breaking your annual goal into quarterly and monthly benchmarks).
4. Commit to a daily tracking system so that you can see your progress and identify any areas of opportunity.
5. Find an invested accountability partner that will keep you motivated and on track.
This year is going to be YOUR year that you finally meet your annual goals as a mompreneur – what an example you are setting for your little people (and for yourself)!
If you need any assistance with your plan, please reach out to me via DM on my Instagram or in my private Mompreneur Mastermind Facebook Group – creating goals is one of the things I love best in life! Everything is better together!