Why You Need a Plan for Your Side-Hustle if you Want it to Grow

As someone who could happily draw up plans all day long, has made itineraries for hen weekends complete with daily schedules and hasalways got a huge quarterly planner on my wall, I’m a huge advocate for having a plan. If you want to make stuff happen, if you want to make your ideas a reality, you need a plan.

Why? you ask? I like to go with the flow and be spontaneous you say.

I hear you, and having a plan doesn’t mean that every second of your day is set out for you. What having a plan does is keep you focussed on what’s important and breaks down the huge, overwhelming projects into small, approachable chunks.

Why you need a plan for your side-hustle if you want it to grow | Josephine Brooks

Yes, there are business owners out there who have grown their businesses by following the opportunities and ideas that come up along the way. But if you’re limited on time, as all side-hustlers are, you’re going to need to know where your focus needs to be to get you closer to escaping your 9-5 and creating the lifestyle you long for.  

First, let’s define plan because what you’re picturing in your mind might be a total snore-fest in comparison to what I mean by having a plan. When I say plan, for me it’s a quarterly wall planner that sits on my wall in my work space that I can glance at throughout each day.

I’m not talking about a 16 page word document with sections like ‘annual projections’ or 'executive summary'.

Unless you’re seeking investment rather than looking to grow organically, I don’t see any need for you to have a formal business plan, unless it's something that you think will help to keep you focussed on the big picture over the longer term.  

Open notebook with a ball of wool and cup of tea - creative business plan

I do however strongly believe that a quarterly plan that's stuck to your wall, that you can glance at everyday, is a really powerful tool that will help you make your ideas a reality, for lots of reasons.

It keeps you focused

Having a quarterly plan on the wall in your work space keeps your goals at the front of your mind. And seeing how your goals break down into weekly actions will mean you know exactly what you need to do each week to achieve your quarterly goal.

It ensures that you’re working on the right things

By being intentional about setting your goals based on what you want your business and lifestyle to look like, you can be confident that the actions you're taking each week are working towards your bigger picture dreams and ambitions.

Pile of notebooks and a cup of tea

It saves your brain power for more important things

When you’re spending precious tokens of brain power each day on deciding what you need to be working on; that’s an inefficient use of your energy. When you have your actions all mapped out by week, all you need to do each week is decide on which days you'll work on each action. Saving a whole load of time and mental energy.

You can see what you've achieved over time

Having a physical plan where you can cross out your finished tasks shows, in one glance, how much you're achieving each week and how much you've achieved over time. The best part of having a plan like this is that you can look back at the end of each quarter and see all of those actions crossed off - meaning you've reached those goals you set all those weeks ago. In the day to day, it's difficult to keep track of what you've achieved over time, and the satisfaction of crossing actions off a plan is pretty unbeatable. 

Perhaps you’ve got a project you want to get to work on but have no idea where to start with it, maybe you’ve decided it’s time to get serious about making your side-hustle your escape route from your 9-5 or perhaps you’re feeling all inspired about a new product idea that you want to get started on right away. The best tool to make all of those things happen, yup, is making a plan for your side-hustle.

If you’d like to hear more from me on planning for your business and making the lifestyle you long for a reality, make sure you’re signed up to my fortnightly side-hustle letters. You’ll also get access to my free resource library, packed with eBooks, workbooks and templates to help you level up your side-business.

If you want your side-hustle to grow, you need a plan for your creative business | Josephine Brooks