What’s your business plan for the year ahead? Over the years, I’ve helped many business leaders identify opportunities for growth and shaped their priorities to achieve business success.
Today, I’d like to do the same for you. Read on to discover some tried and tested methods for identifying and clarifying the key areas to focus on over the coming months.
As the name suggests, a business plan is an outline of your upcoming business goals. Putting them down in writing helps to formalise them, strategise how you’ll meet them, and track your progress.
There are many benefits to creating a business plan. Companies that take the time to plan grow 30% faster than those that don’t. Another study found that businesses that completed business plans enjoyed near twice as much successful growth.
So, as we enter the first few weeks of new year, now is the perfect time to review your existing business plan or solidify your business goals for the year ahead.
For, as Benjamin Franklin once said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Take the time to reflect
A business plan should focus on the future: where you want to take your business and how you’re going to get there.
One of the best ways to identify future opportunities is to review your past successes. Taking the time to review what worked (and what didn’t) over the past few months will help give you a realistic view of what’s achievable moving forward.
It allows you to build upon the key areas that enjoyed growth and avoid wasting time and money on the areas that were less fruitful. In other words, reflecting on the past can help improve your return on investment over the year ahead.
As a result of this approach, you should be able to identify your overall priorities for the year, which enables you to determine what actions need to be taken to give your business the optimum chance of success.
Set goals for the year ahead
After a period of reflection, you should have a clearer idea of your business goals. It may be that existing goals need to be updated to reflect changes to your business or the wider world. It could be that you identify completely new goals as your ticket to further growth.
Either way, to give yourself the best chance of business success ensure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-related) and share
your business goals with your team, so everyone understands your business purpose and priorities.
And don’t forget, as well as setting long-term goals for your business, determining some short-term goals that can be achieved more quickly is a great way to keep everyone motivated on the journey to achieving long-term success.
Plan for the unforeseen
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Robert Burns
As we’ve seen all too well over the past year and a half, events outside of our control can – and often do – scupper our best-laid plans.
To help mitigate against this, it’s a good idea to plan for the unforeseen when you’re developing your business plan.
Of course, it’s not possible to 100% safeguard your business against unknown twists and turns but taking the time to consider a potential plan B (or C) means that when the unexpected occurs, you have a course of action to implement.
To find out more about how I can support your plan for business growth this year, get in touch today.