Yes, it’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close and 2018 is just right around the corner! It will be here before we know it! That’s why this is the perfect time to begin planning what you’d like to achieve in your business in the new year. Without a written plan you’re much less likely to have the success and joy in your work than if you set written goals and create a plan to make them happen.
If you can swing it, I encourage you to take an entire day to plan out the new year for your business and end the day having created a written set of goals and a detailed plan on how to execute on them. For some, planning just the first half of the year is enough structure and leaves the flexibility to change things up mid-year. I like to set my goals for the year and my execution plan for the first half; then review and iterate, if needed.
So, whether you’ve got a full day for planning or a few chunks of time here and there, you can use my tactical plan below to help you plan for the best year yet for your business.
Step 1 – Set Your Vision
What would you like to achieve in your business this year? Take a 30k view. Consider the change you seek to make and the impact you want your business to have. A successful business is one that serves the market well; not one that is just focused on a revenue number.
An example to consider: My vision for 2018 is to help women in professional services better communicate and market their businesses — through providing marketing and content creation services, teaching, writing, and coaching — so they can enjoy the freedom and purpose of having a business they love.
Step 2 – Set Ten Goals
At the end of each year, I make it a practice of listing ten accomplishments, based on that year’s goals and then writing ten goals for the coming year. Go back to your vision and think about the ten ways you can bring your vision to pass. And yes, this must include a revenue number! Write it down! Stats show that you’ll have a much greater chance of it happening if it’s written down.
Other goal categories might include number of clients served, profit earned, personal income earned, number of social media followers, etc. Think about how you define success and growth in your business. And remember that to be useful, goals must follow the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. framework (Specific, Measurable, Active, Realistic, Time bound, Exciting for you, and Risky).
Step 3 – Plan the Execution
Now that you have your ten (SMARTER) goals you’ll need to take each one at a time and break it down into a plan for how you will get it done. Taking each goal individually, plan out the processes, habits, milestones that you can put in place to achieve the goal. Get your hands on a large annual planning calendar and draw out on the calendar all the timing of each part of your plan. This will help you visually see how each goal is going to get done!
Planning like this takes time, but every minute you spend will be worth it when you turn over the new year in your business excited and ready to go make your vision and goals happen!
Cheers to a successful 2018!
P.S. If you would like some help planning out 2018 for your business, please let me know. Between now and the end of January, I’m conducting one-on-one planning sessions where we go through these steps for your specific business. I have one and two hour sessions available so sign up right away before my slots fill up! I’d love to help you make 2018 your best year yet!