Whew, this year certainly flew by, didn’t it?
It’s hard to believe we’ve all clocked another 12 months and are heading into January at full speed. Just as the new year is a fabulous time to make resolutions and sketch out new plans for your personal development, it’s the ideal time to consider how you’ll change, expand, and improve your business.
This can be easier said than done, of course. The rush of the late-December holidays typically bring a slowdown, but if you’re in coaching or consulting early January is often incredibly busy.
Everyone’s got that New Year, New You buzz and can’t wait to launch new projects and tackle new goals. With all that new business flowing in, it can be tough to carve out time for planning and goal-setting.
But try. Try hard, lovelies.
Because if you dive into January (or February) without a clear vision for the rest of the year, you’ll always feel behind the ball. And you’ll certainly never find ways to increase revenue!
If you’re not sure how to get started preparing your business for the new year, here are 5 key steps to take.
Plan for the new year by reviewing the previous year’s business milestones
I’m not the first to say this, and I know I won’t be the last: If you want to learn and grow as an entrepreneur, you MUST learn from your mistakes as well as your accomplishments.
Goal-setting for the new year should start with a review of the previous year.
Evaluate what worked and didn’t work this past year, and analyze what happened.
- What would you do differently moving forward?
- What could you have outsourced to expert contractors?
- What will you skip altogether in the coming year?
- What was an unexpected, phenomenal success?
- What was your biggest money-maker, and how can you leverage it in the future?
Plan for the new year by setting concrete business goals
Vague goals are the hardest to crush, especially if they’re business-related.
- How will you know if you’ve “changed lives for the better”?
- How will you measure transforming your brand “to better reflect your values”?
I’m not saying those aren’t worthy goals – not at all! I’d just encourage you to assign measurable outcomes to ANY business goal you set.
Changing lives could be linked to the number of positive testimonials you receive, and brand success could be measured by the number of perfect-fit clients you attract.
You decide the metrics, just make sure you set some.
And consider adding some clear, numbers-driven, hittable goals to your wishlist.
- How much more revenue would you like to bring in?
- How many more launches are you planning?
- How many new contractors will you add to your virtual team, and which roles will they fill?
Make a comprehensive list, add “do by” dates, and start sketching out the first few steps you need to take to progress toward success. Only by doing this can you out-earn yourself in the coming year.
Plan for the new year by kick-starting your content
Want to start the new year off on a high note?
Get a head start on content creation BEFORE that crush of new projects comes flooding in!
Plan out at least one-quarter of your editorial calendar – ideally more – and get your team working on creating and scheduling some posts. Content is the engine that drives your business, so give it the fuel it needs to keep running!
Plan for the new year by making an outsourcing plan for your business
Even if you’ve already got a stellar virtual team in place, there are undoubtedly tasks and workloads that you’re foolishly keeping to yourself. You know the ones: repetitive work that doesn’t directly drive revenue, but that you’re reluctant to relinquish to a freelancer?
Now is the perfect time to decide what you’ll keep and what you’ll delegate in the coming year.
- What can you entrust to a team member?
- Which tasks are a total grind for you, but would be a perfect fit for a contractor?
Keep your budget in mind, of course, but also remember that whenever you outsource, you free up your time to focus on high-level work and money-making tasks.
Plan for the new year by mapping out your first quarter
If you’re a big-picture thinker, it may be tempting to consider year-long goals or multi-stage projects first. But you’re working against the clock! So instead, create project plans and map out your first 90 days.
Think about what you and your team need to tackle right away to get the business headed in the right direction.
- Are there seasonal launches that need to be planned?
- Systems that need updating?
- What did you do last year at this time, and what did you regret leaving for later?
Plan for the immediate future first, then let yourself look farther out.
Making more money year-over-year is every entrepreneur’s dream … but the only way to turn that dream into reality is to plan for it!
Stumbling on success may happen occasionally, but none of us can bank on it. So set aside some time this winter to prepare your business for the months to come, and find ways to amplify your earning potential.
You’ll be grateful you did when you see that revenue rolling in.