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    Think About Your Business And Plan For The Coming Year

    Think About Your Business And Plan For The Coming Year

    Summer can be a funny time of year when it comes to business.

    The sun is shining, the beach is calling and everyone is struggling to transition out of holiday mode. That can often mean a real quiet spot in sales.

    But that can actually be a good thing. You can take advantage of this quieter period to reflect on your business and plan for the year ahead.

    A plan is a really important component of business success. So whether you are looking to grow your business or maintain the current level, a plan can help you achieve what you want.

    Let’s look at how you can hit the ground running after holiday mode finally fades away.

    Look Behind You!

    Before you can put together a kickass plan for the coming year, you need to have a look at what happened in the year just gone. That way, you can build on the things that went well and learn from the things that didn’t go so well. 

    Celebrate Success

    Positivity can breed more positivity, so have a look at your wins for the year and what influenced them. Was there something in particular you did to cause them? Were the market conditions just right? Was it a system or practice you introduced? Knowing how you arrived at these successes can help you to replicate them (and build on them) in the next 12 months.

    Give yourself credit for a job well done. You can even give yourself a little reward to motivate you onto greater success going forward. 

    Learn From Your Mistakes

    There is no such thing as a mistake as long as you learn from what has taken place. Sure, you might not want to repeat certain things again, but learning from what happened can prevent the same errors from repeating. 

    Just like the positives, look what caused these mistakes to happen. Also look at the areas that were not so successful - maybe a failed marketing drive, losing a big customer, or a product that no one bought. Brainstorm ways you can avoid the same failures from happening again, use it as fuel for success instead!

    Review The Nitty Gritty

    Do you do things in your business because that is the way you have always done them? Perhaps there is a better way to do them - a faster, more efficient, cheaper, or less stressful way. Reviewing your systems and processes can help you to save time, energy and cash going forward. 

    Have a look at how you are handling things like client communications, leads, marketing, invoicing, and any other day to day tasks. Are there tools out there that could help you to handle all of these things better?

    And speaking of tools, examine the ones you are currently using. Are there any apps that you can do without, ones that perform duplicate functions, or some you could upgrade to a better version?

    Time is one of the most important resources in a small business. There is only a finite amount in each day. It is amazing how much time you can save in each day by simply having the right tools at your disposal.

    Looking Forward - Making A Plan

    Now that you have reviewed what happened in the last year, it is time to look forward to the year ahead. The first thing you want to do is to look at where you want to be by the end of the year. That doesn’t just have to be a financial target, you could also think about:

    • The hours you are working - do you need more work/life balance?
    • Will you still be offering the same products and services or will you diversify?
    • Will you hone your offerings to focus on one or two key aspects?
    • Maybe you want to add a complementary service to your business?
    • Do you want to grow your email list? (the answer to this question is yes!)
    • Do you want to raise brand awareness?

    Any of these things will help you to build the kind of business you want to run. Once you know where you want to be in 12 months time, it is time to put a plan in place to get you there.

    You know the drill on setting a plan. You want to choose 2-3 goals to focus on. Then, break those goals down into monthly tasks so that you continue to make consistent progress on them throughout the year. Make sure you track how you are getting on and adjust your plan as things crop up or as you complete aspects ahead of schedule.

    Making a plan for the year ahead will help you to achieve the things that you want. Without one in place, it is likely you will get to the middle of the year without any change. Then before you know it, the end of the next year will be upon you. Take the time to plan now and prevent that from happening!