(Or rather, how to make it one.)
I know, we haven’t even made it to Thanksgiving yet, but I’m wishing you a Happy New Year? Hey, at least I’m not the “Christmas decorations in September” guy.
But now is a really good time to think about what you can do to make 2018 a great year for your business. I thought I would take this post to mention a couple things you can do when planning for next year. This list is obviously not exhaustive, but hopefully, these suggestions will give you a springboard from which to jump into the New Year.
1. Review your strategic/business plan
Every business should have either a strategic plan or a business plan which helps guide them as they make decisions, set goals, and generally run their business. If you don’t, that should be first on your list for 2018. If you do, now is a great time to assess how your business progressed over the past year, what changes you need to make to your plan, and what you can best do to set yourself up for success in the next year. I recommend you update your plan annually to reflect changes within the business, within the industry, and within the general business or geographic environment.
2. Set REALISTIC financial goals
While it is important to continue to grow your business, it is also important to be realistic. Many businesses will set a goal to grow 10%, or to hit a certain dollar amount in revenue, or to increase a certain amount of net income. Before you set your 2018 goals, start by thinking about the basics. What kinds of pricing decisions will you need to make in 2018? How many clients will you add or lose in the next year? Do you envision adding or reducing employees? What cost savings measures have you implemented (or will implement next year) that will have an effect on your bottom line? The main idea is to build your budget/financial goals from the ground up – starting with the basics – to put together a realistic picture of what your business is going to look like in 2018.
3. Set some personal goals for yourself
I think this might be the most important suggestion. Being successful in your business life is often prefaced by success in your personal life. I found this article on Mark Zuckerberg very interesting. It shows how he sets “outside the box” goals for himself as he tries to expand his knowledge and perspectives. So if it’s good enough for the founder of Facebook, it might be worth taking a look at. What personal goals can you set that might help you expand your knowledge and perspectives next year? I think we all could use a little more of each of those in our lives.
So, take a few minutes to think about 2018 and what you can do, both professionally and personally, to improve your chances for success. And if you’d like some help with your review, my door is always open. I’d love to help.
Remember, the days might be long, but the years are short, so enjoy the journey!
(And not to cause you any panic, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!)