It’s that time of year again—the time when everyone makes his or her New Year’s resolutions. We resolve to love and laugh more often or to lose weight by eating healthily in combination with hitting the gym. Of course, now is also the time when business owners everywhere work on their business plans for the year, trying to get them in shape as well.
I’ve always found it funny and wonder why the calendar year dictates business planning. What’s the difference between January 1 and June 19? The answer: nothing. They are just two dates in time. Business planning is a constant process that needs to be reviewed regularly. So if you are feeling stressed that you haven’t gotten around to creating your 2013 business plan, don’t fret; tomorrow is another day, and next month is another month.
You have many opportunities to create business plans and set goals. With data transparency what it is in this day and age, you can easily see where assets, number of households, client scores, and so forth are at any point and at any time. Then, you simply have to set a goal toward how you want to improve those scores and what your goal measurement intervals will be.
Some goals don’t need data points to be achieved. For example, you might decide that you want to offer three client appreciation events between February 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014. Of course, specific goals serve as a better basis for planning. Stating “I want to have two or three prospective client meetings” per month is helpful for pointing you in the right direction, but if you have two meetings, is that a success or not? Be clear and true to yourself. It will help you stay accountable to the only person who matters when doing planning for your business: you.
Lastly, I often hear people ask about business planning software. For me, the simpler, the better on this front. Using Microsoft Word or even writing your plans down on a pad of paper can help reinforce the points. The fact of the matter is, writing the words down is the big step, not the medium. And just because it’s past January 1, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start writing on a whim’s notice.