Now that the end of the year is coming in fast, how prepared are you to take your business forward in the New Year? While most large organizations have been preparing, I find most small businesses have not. Some wait until the end of December to map out their strategy while others wait until that new year has begun. Sadly, there are some who just keep doing what they’ve been doing without a plan (and then wonder why they are getting the ‘same old thing’).
I recently participated in a two-day strategy session to help with my planning, recognizing that I was just given the tools to begin but all the rest is on me. Here are the lessons and strategies I have come up with and hopefully they will help you too:
- Decide – I had to make the decision to begin to plan for 2016; this is often a big key in doing anything but particularly when it comes to mapping out activities and strategies for growing your business. Once you decide, then you can start the dreaming and planning stages
- Prepare – as I’m a very visual person, I like colors and the like that stimulate my brain. So one of the first things I did was buy a really attractive planner; I find it moves and inspires me to use it, which is the purpose of planning. Find one that works for you and your needs, but that has all the key ingredients to motivate you
- Solitude – in order to stomp out all the ‘noise’ in our heads we need to take time to just relax, as this opens the senses up and allows those creative ideas and solutions to come. I would recommend going to a place that gives you this type of peace, such as being at the beach or somewhere outdoors, or it could be a cozy corner in your office or den
- Review – a great first start is to review the past year; why keep on doing actions and activities if they’re not moving your further ahead or are profitable. Go back to your previous planner and look to see what meeting you attended, people you’ve connected with, money you’ve made (or lost), and the wins, such as projects, speaking or presentations you made, any media or accolades, etc. Also review any deficits that may have occurred, i.e. financial losses, projects that you didn’t get, customers you lost, poor reviews and the like. This will give you the big picture on how to move forward
- Map out – armed with all the information you’ve taken time to think about, it’s now time to map out your strategies for what you want your business (and your life) to look like in the coming year. One thing I like to do is set a theme for my business – this can be phrase or word that inspires you; some of mine have include Carpe Diem (Seize the Day), Inspire and Focus Forward. Plan out: money goals (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly); what your priorities are in both your business life and your personal life; books you want to read or write; conferences or events you want to attend; any projects you want to create; people you want to get connected to; incentives or rewards you plan to give to clients or referral partners; social media activities; books/articles/blogs you plan to write; help you plan to take on, such as virtual assistant or social media guru. There may be more for you but mapping out activities in these areas will help you to list specific steps and strategies you plan to take and lays it all out there for you; you will now have your year on paper, which should have a calendar that you can schedule in the days of the week for each activity. Transferring these on to a white board will make them more ‘alive.’
Planning for your business is good business, so to speak. Taking the time to do so will give you the direction you will be taking so on January 1 you are hitting the ground running. Doing this work now will help you feel less-stressed and you can enjoy the holidays more. Let the planning begin!
If you would like help on planning your business for 2016, contact us today at http://www.cyscoaching.com to get started. Let’s rock your new year on the right foot.