When do you begin planning for the next year in your business?
Do you put it off until the holidays thinking things will be slow then and it will be a good time to get started?
Or, have you learned your lesson after years of not getting it done due to the craziness that the fourth quarter brings with last minute projects, trying to schedule time off for everyone for the holidays, new launches, closeout sales, etc.?
Right now is actually the perfect time to start. It is time to work ON your business rather than In your business. And it’s easy to get going.
Just take a look back on the first three quarters of the year and you will have a pretty good idea of where your business will be come the end of December. It will save you time and lots of stress in the long run if you get ahead of it. Plus, you will be able to focus better and really work through your plan for the coming year with more clarity and less frustration.
Here are nine things you can do right now to ensure you have a great 2014:
1. Figure out what you want to accomplish both personally and professionally in the upcoming year.
2. Identify what actions you need to take between now and the end of this year to meet goals and be better prepared for the new year.
3. Map out your personal calendar breaks now. I take an old fashioned print calendar and I block out time for me. Time when I want to vacation, time when I want to travel, and time to attend special events.
4. Map out your business calendar. This ties in with number one. If you want to work with “x” number of private clients next year or attend a certain number of conferences, these need to be planned out on your calendar so that the time is blocked for those things. Creating a framework in your calendar will help you plan and strategize for next year without fear of overbooking yourself.
5. Start planting seeds and gather info, tools and resources to make it happen. Planning to do some big product launches or live events next year? Start seeding those now. Drop hints to your clients and begin making inquiries on venues, delivery systems, creative elements, etc.
6. Identify the team members you need. Take a look at your current resources and map out who is doing what. Review the last year and ensure that you have the right people in your corner to accomplish the goals you want to achieve next year. If not, now is the time to add new team member, not as you begin running out of resources. Remember, failure to plan is planning to fail.
7. Forecast your numbers. This part is one of the things I enjoy the most – mapping out the sales forecast. Once you do this, you can then reverse engineer what you need to do to convert the right number of customers. This is critical to your business success.
8. Figure out who you want to work with. I’m not talking about your team. I’m talking about who you will choose to be your mentor. It’s no secret that you will get more done when you have a coach to hold you accountable. That is why I work with professionals on my keynote talks, my sales scripting, strategy sessions and more. If you don’t hire someone to help you with your own skill development and growth – why would anyone invest in themselves through you or your product to do the same?
9. Visualize how great it is going to be and get excited about it. If the planning makes you tired and depletes you of energy, chances are you are not doing the right thing in your life. I love the planning stage – it completely sets me up for execution so that the things I want to have happen in my life, actually happen.
What is one of your big goals for 2014? What are you planning for right now?
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.