As we wrap up the year, it is a great time for you to take stock of your business and turn your attention to the future. What are your business goals for the new year? Now is the time to work on a strategic plan so you know what kind of plans you need to accomplish those goals. A strategic plan may sound like something only big companies do, but it is a great tool that any size business can use to thrive and grow.
With a strategic plan, you want to answer the following questions:
1. How is your business performing?
2. What business goals do you have for the new year?
3. What are the best ways to accomplish your goals?
Here are some key steps you can take to plan out your goals for 2019.
1. Review the current state of your business. Assess key areas in your business, such as operations, finances, customer engagement, and capacity for growth. Identify what has worked this past year and what you can improve on. Also identify what worked well and scale that too.
2. List the 3 most important objectives for your business over the next year. These should be important “big picture” accomplishments that will lead to profits and future achievement. Examples include sales quotas, performance goals, etc.
3. For each objective listed above, identify your responsibility in achieving the objective. WHAT will you do? HOW will you do it? WHEN will you do it?
4. Decide if you need to re-position your business story. How are you positioning your business, services, products to your potential customers? Is your story clear and consistent? If not, you may want to re-assess your brand story and marketing strategy.
5. Lastly, consider your personal goals too. If you are a small business, founder, or entrepreneur, your business goals are generally intertwined with your personal goals. Do you want to buy a house, spend more time with your family, maybe take a big trip? What things do you need to do in your business to achieve this personal goal? You should factor this into your strategic plan.
Creating a strategic plan will help you map out where you want your business to go and is an excellent way to plant the seeds for success in the new year. Keep this document handy throughout the year and revisit to keep you on track.