The closer we get to Thanksgiving, the closer we are to the new year. From a business planning standpoint, if you haven’t already started thinking about the who, what, where, why and when (5Ws) of your business, it’s time to start. The most basic form of a business plan should include your objective, strategies, the tactics to deliver on each strategy and finally the financial implications of what you expect to get back in return (ROI). We can easily get caught up in the day-to-day, “executional” activities of our business and suddenly find ourselves with no new plans for growth in the new year. Between now and January 1st here are some simple steps to help you focus and create a plan for the new year.
1. Set aside specific days and times to work on your b-plan for the next 6 weeks; 2 hour blocks of time are best.
2. Start by reviewing last year’s plan – what worked, what didn’t work and why; best done with your management team.
3. Establish your objectives and goals for 2014; need to grow the business by x%.
4. Develop the Marketing, Sales, and Operational strategies to achieve your goals.
5. Line out the tactics needed to make each of the strategies happen.
6. Financially calculate the cost of the tactics and the expected ROI; repeat this step as necessary to meet your budget.
A good resource for helping map out your business plan is the book Business Model Generation by Osterwalder and Pigneur. Let us know if you have other good resources you’d recommend for helping plan for the new year.