It’s a new year, and if you haven’t started laying down plans for 2019 now is the perfect time to start.
I’m not talking about forecasting here, where you estimate how much you’ll be earning, but strategic planning: what can you do to improve the condition of your business?
It’s important to take out time yearly and critically analyse where you’re at, where the market is headed, and where you’ll funnel your energy for the coming months.
I’ve spent the last week mapping out my content plans for the year; deciding what I want to accomplish, and calculating which steps I’ll need to take to get there.
I recommend you do the same: instead of just thinking ‘this will be my year!’, take the time to figure out exactly what you want to achieve in 2019, and then break it into achievable tasks.
It’s important as part of the planning process to reflect on 2018. What goals did you have? How many did you accomplish? Is there a reason that you did/didn’t?
Speak to your co-workers, friends and family and try to get as much feedback from them as possible. How you work, after all, impacts them too: they may have noticed issues that slipped by you. As Entrepreneurs it’s all too easy to become all-encompassed by our work, and sometimes only an outside opinion can make us realize our work-life balance is off.
It’s important to be honest at this point. Write down everything you can think of – the things that went well, and the things that didn’t. You need to also think about why things happened. If something succeeded or failed, was it outside of your control, or did you play an important role? What was that role? Did it include planning, time-frames? Was something marketed well, or not? Were there any system errors?
This can help you gain perspective on what to continue pursuing in 2019, what to pivot away from, and what needs improvement.
If you’re facing a number of challenges, it can be tempting to try and address all of them. But spreading yourself too thin might mean you make little headway with any of them. Instead, pick the challenges whose resolution will have the largest positive impact on your business.
It’s not enough to identify issues; you need to plan how tow to resolve them.
To do so, create SMART goals: goals which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Deadlines will be essential for your success. They help you measure and track time, and help you maintain oversight of your progress.
Once you’ve reflected on 2018, identified which areas you want to focus on in 2019, and mapped out a plan it’s important to share it.
Keep all your stakeholders in the loop. These could include your employees and co-workers, your suppliers, your investors, and any other businesses you collaborate with. How much detail you share with each of them will depend on their role, but it is important that they understand what changes they can expect in your business and which role they might need to play in those changes.
If you’re facing a number of challenges, it can be tempting to try and address all of them. Instead, focus on the challenges whose resolution will have the largest positive impact on your business.Click To Tweet
It’s not too late to put together a plan, and it’s more important than ever. So take the time to map out your goals, so you can celebrate in a year once you reach them!
Let us know where you’d like your business to be in a year, and how you’re going to make sure you reach that goal.