Free Printable 2021 Planning Guide Included Below! 2020 had everyone feeling like quite the tailspin! The gift of January is that it’s an excellent time to refresh, reflect and reboot before sling-shotting into the New Year without a game plan. Below are 6 tips for a successful business planning reboot to get your new year off to a successful and refreshing start!
Business Planning 2021: 6 Tips + Guide
1. Seek solutions early!
There’s no brighter shining light reflecting on the problems of our businesses than the reality of business during the end of the year and for many, during the winter slow down. So much time is spent on what has to be done tomorrow, that thinking longterm, often gets pushed aside. With all the new safety regulations in place across the globe, a long term plan for the upcoming year will help you move forward in a positive direction.
Take time to reflect on the past year, what worked, what didn’t. Take time to look at the way you navigated the pandemic, what worked and what didn’t. Take a good look at where your strengths are, and where your weaknesses are. Certain challenges won’t be going away. January, before spring hits and life gets busy again, is a great time for reflection and offers creative space for seeking solutions to challenges. It’s a great time to brainstorm solutions!
2. One bite at a time!
How does anyone get through a year? One month at a time! Break your year up into the strategy that works for you. For most businesses, quarterly, which also lines up seasonally, works best. There’s always a peak season and always a slow season. What are yours? Make a plan for each season or quarter of your business. Start with your essential needs and assign them to what quarter you want to focus on them. This will not only free up headspace for the quarter that you are working in, but it will help you productively achieve the plan or goals set for that quarter.
If you know the strengths and weaknesses of each season of your business, you can make a plan for how to capitalize on your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. Tackling the big picture of your plan one month, one quarter, or season at a time will yield positive rewards! One way to easily start planning is to get a planning sheet and divide it up into quarters or the seasons to your business and execute a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats).
Write down everything that happens and needs to happen in each season or quarter. After you have identified the needs, strengths, and challenges, on the bottom of the sheet, write down the actions that need to happen. For example, If you know your slow season starts in November, use the strengths of your social networking in the busy seasons to accrue more accounts for the winter. An action step in Early Spring or Summer would be “Secure winter delivery accounts!”
3. Make a budget!
You’ve got to have a budget! Getting good at effective budgeting in business takes time. It’s also vital to keeping your doors open long term. Do you know how much you’re spending overhead? What is your profit margin? How much are your operating costs? Where are your profits going? How much are you allocating to repairs, new equipment, new training, etc? It’s easy to burn off profits on frivolous spending throughout. A budget in your business keeps you honest and responsible in your spending!
4. Keep it well rounded!
Life is not all about business! Your health, your family, your mental, emotional, mental, and spiritual health are all vital to your well being. As you plan your business this next year, don’t forget to add in some healthy doses of all the other areas of your life. Plan for some vacations early, even if they are low budget and non-traveling. How will you prioritize your health and relationships? What is something you want to learn or accomplish? When will you make time for yourself? Everything works together. Keeping well rounded keeps us rolling forward!
5. Adjust your mindset!
“Solution-oriented people don’t make excuses, they solve problems!” Forbes Magazine
A positive focus on growth is essential to getting off on the right foot. With small adjustments to our mindset, our entire lives can change. Problems can become opportunities to learn from. Challenges can become opportunities to meet more people, creatively think, and see how life is stretching us to learn and grow.
A few ways to keep your mindset in a positive focus is to learn from mentors who have been where you’ve been, read intentionally, and spend time listening to entrepreneurial experiences of others and the businesses and movements they built such as NPR’s How I Built This.
6. Take action!
Start now. Start today. Don’t wait. Improvement starts with action. Where do you want to be at the end of the year? What are the steps you need to make to get there? What can you do today to work on the steps? What will you do tomorrow? Small acts of consistent action towards the goal is what makes manifesting happen. Your action will always be based upon what you are willing or unwilling to do.