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6 Key business planning resources for Latina entrepreneurs to start anew in 2022

With the new year here, it’s time to reevaluate your business plan and business planning resources in 2022. 

While the new year is only a symbolic shift in time, many find the prospect of “new beginnings” to be refreshing. The start of the new year in many ways is a “clean slate” for new and exciting ideas, projects, and goals. 

For Latina entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your plans and make necessary changes and set new objectives and goals to work toward in the following months. 

As industries change and businesses evolve or grow, revisiting your original business plan and making changes is necessary. 

Below, we share a few key business planning resources to help you kick off the new year right! 

Key business planning resources in 2022

1. Review last year’s accomplishments – When planning for the new year, it’s important to look back on the previous year to see what strategies worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved. Reviewing your past accomplishments—and failures—will help you plan for the future and set the right goals for your business.

Make a list cataloging what worked and what didn’t, what strategies drew in the most revenue, which expenses could be avoided this year, and so on. Then use this list to help guide you in creating your new year business goals.

business planning, SMART goals, business goals

Set SMART goals for the new year. Photo created by Waewkidja

2. Set SMART goals and objectives for the new year – SMART goals are: strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound with deadlines. Setting goals with these parameters helps to focus goals and ensure they are achievable. Many times when we set goals, they can feel far-fetched and too big. Especially when looking at a whole year, it can be overwhelming to think of how you will get from point A to point B. 

When you set your business goals for this year, make sure you’re hitting each letter in the SMART acronym. This exercise from Vistage—the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize business leaders— will help you break down your larger “big picture” goals into actionable strategies. 

For each goal, ask yourself: WHAT will you do? HOW will you do it? WHEN will you do it? Be crystal clear in separating strategies—the hows and the whys—from tactics (the whats and whens) and use “Verb-noun-date” format to create specific action steps and put them on your calendar. 

3. Create your yearly budget – Planning your goals for the year will also help give you an idea of what your finances and budget may look like. To plan your budget, determine your operating expenses and then see what you can dedicate toward your new year goals and objectives. Read on for a more in-depth look at starting a basic business budget.

4. Update your business plan – As every entrepreneur and business owner knows, your business plan is your roadmap. You probably made a business plan when you first got started, but maybe it’s been a while since you revisited it. If you don’t yet have a formal business plan written up, then this is the time to do it! Get started here

Over the years, as your business grows and industries change, your business plan should be adjusted to reflect those changes. To start updating your old business plan, reevaluate your original goals with where you are today. Revisit each component of your business plan, from Executive Summary and Company Description to Market Analysis and Financial Projections. See SBA.gov for more business planning resources

5. Reevaluate your marketing plan – The new year is the perfect time to reevaluate your marketing plan. Look at your previous year’s marketing strategies and figure out what worked and what can be done differently this year. Now more than ever, marketing has a big impact in our social media and digitally driven age. A good starting point for planning your new year marketing goals is to figure out which channels best reach your customers. If possible, consider conducting market research. Ask your customers about their lifestyles, needs, wants, and expectations through surveys or social media polls and use that information to target your marketing strategies toward your customers. 

You might be interested: How to Make Your Marketing Work for You

6. Expand your network – One great goal to have every year is to expand your network. Your network is what will ultimately help you grow. The more help and resources you have the better your business will thrive. Instead of trying to go it alone and do everything yourself, utilize your network and accept help from your peers and mentors. Tackling obstacles and challenges will be easier with help and you can pay it forward by being there for other entrepreneurs too. Sign up for our newsletter and receive this FREE E-book “10 Steps to Happy Networking!”

Spend time this year connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs, attending some events or workshops, joining support groups or membership programs, and putting yourself out there. You got this!

Visionary social entrepreneur Jacqueline Camacho inspires Latinas to land on their dreams

Jacqueline Camacho, international speaker, author, and entrepreneur (Courtesy of JC)

Jacqueline Camacho is a visionary social entrepreneur that has created an enterprise of inspiration. Living by the motto: “Taking off is optional, landing on your dreams is mandatory” Jackie has soared high and achieved much in a short time. At only 36 years of age she has founded two award-winning companies, established two nonprofit organizations, published sixteen books, created over ten products, and held dozens of events around the world.

Landing on your dreams

Jackie’s drive is her passion for supporting the dreams of other women. Often referred to as a “dream catcher,” she uses her strategies as a speaker, author, and entrepreneur to support thousands of women to live a life of significance. 

Surviving cancer at age 21 and 23 sparked a sense of urgency in Jackie to serve others and make an impact.

“I learned how to live and how to transcend,” she says.  

Seizing the opportunity to live a full life and chase her dreams, Jackie created her first company–a full service marketing agency–in 2006 at the age of 23. In 2010, she then wrote and published her first book The Little Book of Business Secrets That Work! and by 2014 Jackie launched both her international publishing house, Fig Factor Media, and her first nonprofit, The Fig Factor Foundation

With the launch of her publishing house came the start of her book series, Today’s Inspired Latina. The award-winning anthology series shares the success stories of Latinas, inspiring hope and motivation “for anyone sitting on a dream and thinking it can’t come true.” As of 2019, the series is now the largest collection of Latina stories in a book in the world. 

Jackie launched the series along with her nonprofit as a way to inspire young Latinas toward “unleashing the amazing” in themselves and going after their dreams.

Jacqueline Camacho

Jacqueline Camacho, a life as a servant leader (Courtesy of JC)  

Jacqueline Camacho

Jacqueline Camacho achieved her dram of being a sports pilot (Courtesy of JC)

Living by her own motto, Jacqueline Camacho landed on a dream of her own: becoming a sports airplane pilot, which she achieved in 2018. As one of the few Latina sports pilots in the United States, she is about to embark on the historic air race that twenty women flyers participated in crossing the United States 91 years ago, including the famous Amelia Earhart.

Being a servant leader

Using her strategy-focused mind and vision to connect the dots and see what others cannot she has been able to build a successful brand for herself and use her talents to serve others. It is her life-long quest to be a servant leader and help people achieve their goals. 

“I have a heart for other peoples’ dreams,” says Jackie. “I am activated by their desire to manifest success in their lives.” 

Jacqueline Camacho

Jacqueline Camacho continues to achieve her purpose by helping other achieve theirs (Courtesy of JC)

Over the years she has shared her inspiration in four continents and aligned with some of the most powerful brands to elevate others. 

Jackie recalls one occasion where a successful entrepreneur reached out to her to help position her as an international speaker–this was her dream. After working together, in just six months they were able to create her brand and get her several media placements and over seven speaking engagements in five countries. 

It’s these moments, helping someone attain their dreams, that mean the most. “I live for those exponential moments,” says Jackie. 

Her advice to others who are looking to land on a dream is to believe in your vision, never quit, and impact the lives of others. 

“In the measure that you help others achieve their dreams, you will inevitably achieve yours.” 

You might be interested: CEO and founder of The Business of WE Paulina Lopez betting on women entrepreneurs

business focus

Test your business focus by finding your invisible gorilla (videos)

It is always good and necessary to have clear business goals and, therefore, business focus is also necessary to reach those goals. However, when I am coaching I often see that for some people having a goal and being rigidly attached to it often becomes an obstacle to sustaining and growing a business. Learning along the way, I came to the conclusion that goals too clearly defined can become blinders.

My first school teacher had a peculiar –to say the least- concept of discipline. Whenever she wanted to punish one of us for poor performance, she made the student wear for a few hours -sometimes even a whole day- a headband with two large pieces of paper attached to the sides, simulating horse blinders.

Nowadays, this would be a monumental scandal, but back then nobody questioned teaching methods, and that was her way to teach us how to focus, however controversial it may have been.

She probably didn’t realize that by punishing us with the blinders, she was only encouraging our tunnel vision, blocking other peripheral learning experiences and, consequently, making us less aware of new possibilities.

Keeping your business focus to accomplish goals

We all strive to accomplish goals in our personal life and in business. But we can stay focused in order to reach our long-term goals, and yet remain flexible and aware of what is going on around us to maintain control of what needs immediate action.

If you don’t want to be blindsided by competitors, your advisors, or yourself, the most effective way, from my point of view, is to develop strategic focus and a strong sense of awareness.

It sounds simple, but few entrepreneurs have the discipline of constantly zooming in and out of their “bubble zone” enabling them to really observe what is going on around them. At times, they can be too stressed out to be conscious of what is really happening and often forget that their business – your business- depends on your attention, and if you are overloaded or under pressure your level of attention to details tends to decrease.

A certain research done by Johns Hopkins University regarding this topic caught my eye. Before reading ahead, try this test for yourself:

If you have focused only on a particular thing – in this case the T–, you mastered what scientists call the “Art of Ignoring” or overlooking irrelevant information in order to get quicker results.

This type of exercises can be very useful for certain professions which rely on visual searches, such as radiologists or airport baggage screeners. The ability to ignore is a key part of the ability to pay attention, as the researchers determined. Nevertheless, as an entrepreneur, your business depends on your undivided attention. To you nothing, absolutely nothing, is irrelevant.

The John Hopkins research reminded me of another fabulous experiment which is extremely useful for business people. Perhaps you have heard about it, because it has been a classic since professors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons published their book in 2010, The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us.

Look at the video first, and we will comment on it later:

Did you see the invisible gorilla?

Here is my two cents. You, as an entrepreneur, must always be looking for the invisible gorilla in your business. “The Monkey Business Illusion”, as it is known, reveals a lot about our focus, our attention, and our perceptions.

All of these are key points and have the capacity to boost, or to derail, your business. So, please reflect on this metaphor. Look for the gorilla, but keep your strategic business focus and awareness. Don’t blindside yourself.

If you concentrate only on one particular aspect of your project – location, employees, loans, marketing, levels of production, that client that would bring cache to your list of VIP, you will miss other important things that are happening right now in front of you.

Avoid over concentration but following these tips

To avoid this overlook, here are a few tips to enjoy the journey of your entrepreneurial experience, applying strategic focus:

  • Your goal is what you want to accomplish, the finish line. However, you will have better results if you keep your business focus on the daily challenges. If you commit to the process, instead of the goal itself, you will be happier. This state of mind will feed you clarity and energy and will activate your creativity.
  • Bringing to life an entrepreneurial initiative is literally like a road trip. You have a plan, your roadmap, and a destination. However, be ready, because just like in a road trip you will experience the greatest surprises during the unexpected stops. Be flexible and make it just as much about the journey as it is about the destination. In other words, be open to pull over, enjoy the landscape, and reflect.
  • If you are too preoccupied on how far you still have to reach your goal, and the long term progress seams unreachable, you will get overly stressed. Appreciate the present and enjoy the little wins. If you value what the builder that is in you is accomplishing, you will remain motivated and open to looking outside of the box, which is always a very healthy and stimulating exercise.
  • Lead from the front and promote and seek feedback. You might have great ideas but your employees and customers do also. Create an entrepreneurial culture and encourage and share creative thinking.
  • And lastly… Remove your blinders and keep all your senses turned on, always!!! Awareness is vital to identify opportunities and, of course, to find your “invisible gorillas”.