Ask any entrepreneur about annual business planning for their business and you'll immediately be met with eye rolls. If we're honest, it's one of the few pieces of business ownership most entrepreneurs would rather avoid. Yet, it's likely one of the most important pieces of business development as you head into a new year.
Your annual business evaluation and planning adventure (I do encourage you to see it as an adventure.) sets the tone and direction for the upcoming year. Done thoughtfully, it provides insight into trends that may impact your business and changes to consider in the year ahead.
It's the perfect business reboot!
Year-End Assessment & planning: A big deal vs. a big ordeal
Whatever you do, avoid making it a big ordeal. Any project that "feels" big and unyielding tends to be avoided for as long as possible. And, we all know what happens with delaying action...
Additionally, make sure your plans for the year ahead are based on facts and data rather than conjecture.
1. Set your intention for your assessment/planning adventure. Just like "going to Grandma's for Thanksgiving" gives us a framework for preparation, establishing an objective equips you to achieve your desired outcome.
2. Schedule planning time and location. I don't know about you but talking about doing something doesn't get it done. Blocking time on your calendar certainly does increase the likelihood of its happening — especially if treated with the same respect you would any important meeting.
If you need an uninterrupted, undisturbed assessment/planning experience, consider finding a nice Airnb away from the office.
3. Pack your bags. With your intention set, consider the information you'll need to gather in advance of your assessment/planning time.
4. Dig in. This can certainly be easier said than done. For that reason, we created this handy, dandy year-end business assessment and planning worksheet for you.
Finally, I'd like to leave you with a two additional points:
- remain as objective as possible during the assessment phase to ensure you're evaluating business results properly, and
- refrain from too much detailed planning for the third and fourth quarters of the year. As quickly as business is evolving, you want to remain as agile as possible.
Although you may have to pinch your nose to get through your business appraisal, your ability to think clearly and act boldly in the new year makes it worthwhile.