We’re into the final few weeks of the year and so it’s time to do something important… no, not make the Christmas pudding or start playing your festive CD’s – well, yes I’m keen for an early Christmas season, but this is waaaaay more important!
It’s time to start your end-of-year planning, where you can begin to wrap things up and plan for next year.
Why ‘end of year’ planning is important
You work hard and your business is going well, so it’s time to capitalise on all your hard work and end the year on a high note. A little bit of time now can set you up for success in the new year.
Business owners and entrepreneurs must plan their time effectively, and as we near the end of one year, it is the perfect time to set goals, assess processes, and evaluate the growth of your business. You can learn from any mistakes made recently while building on your successes.
It’s natural for any business to evolve over time, and if we don’t stop and look inwards sometimes, then we are missing out on valuable insights that could be staring us in the face – if only we’d look! So, let’s look at some top tips for planning and achieving goals as we near the end of the year.
Top tips for end of year business planning
Look, we all know that some things don’t always go to plan, and we cannot predict the future (hello Covid, who saw that one coming this time two years ago?)
However, experience has shown that following these 6 simple steps will keep us all on track.
Step 1. Professional Development
The key aim here is to review, and then plan for next year.
Think about what you want or need to learn, and then outline clear steps to achieve this. Can you take a course? Sign up to a newsletter? Read a book? Go to an event?
The more specific you can be, the better. You might even consider blocking out half a day per week to devote to PD. That way you can treat it as the important task it is.
Step 2. Goals – review if you achieved them
If you set goals last year, now it’s time to revisit those goals and see if you achieved them.
Even if you didn’t achieve all the goals that you previously set, you can still pat yourself on the back for what you DID achieve.
For example, if you had a goal to increase revenue by 10%, even if you increased only by 8%, that is still a great outcome! Similarly, if you set a goal to take each Friday off work to be with family but you only manage to do that every second week, that is still a win of sorts, and you can assess how you can make this more achievable next year.
The lessons you learn from this year, will help you identify strategies to achieve your goals next year. You can assess what roadblocks got in the way, and what you can do to move them out the way next year.
Step 3. Identify business improvements for next year
What are two things that you can implement to make your business better for next year?
Maybe you need to start charging deposit payments? Or change your working/opening hours? It could be that you need to revisit your marketing strategy, or reassess your systems and processes? Can you sort your inbox to make it less overwhelming or start keeping a proper diary and planner?
Whatever you choose, try to limit the number of improvements you set out, so as not to get too overwhelmed.
Step 4. Identify something you can drop from your business practice
What are two things you can drop doing next year that weren’t all that successful to your business practices?
Similar to the above, but instead of making an improvement or starting something new, can you identify a couple of things that are just not working that you can scrap to make your life easier?
For example, maybe you can drop the number of meetings you go to? Or stop feeling as if you must reply to every individual message and instead implement autoresponders?
Again, try to only drop one or two things so you don’t rock the equilibrium too much.
Step 5. Plan something silly
What is one frivolous thing you will do/plan for you and your team to do/go next year?
Business can also be fun! You can work hard, but also make time for celebrations.
Find a way to reward your team for all their efforts and celebrate all the little achievements. Your team will love the acknowledgments and can feel ready to come back in the new year.
If you are your team and you don’t have others to plan for – then you do you. Treat yourself to the same as if you would a team member. Be as important to you as they would be.
Step 6. Set up payment plans or Afterpay
Nothing can affect your funk more than receiving payment demands or overdue notices for things your business is using.
Make your life easier by setting up payment plans for debts and bills or sign up for after pay.
Get ready for change
In summary, you can see that a little bit of end-of-year planning, where you can begin to wrap things up and plan for next year, can help you take stock of your business growth and professional development.
So, feel safe to let go of what no longer works, and get ready to embrace some new strategies.
At INKBLOTVA, we help clients just like you to assess and adjust business processes and systems. We can help you find the fun again in your business.
Get in touch via the website HERE.