Planning ahead for 2022
As we look ahead to a new year it's traditional for people set themselves some personal goals by making New Years Resolutions. It is also a good time to think about setting some business goals. I can almost hear some people saying what’s the point, the immediate future is uncertain and until there is an end to the pandemic then there is no point.
I would have to disagree, a plan doesn’t have to be written in stone and can and indeed should be adapted as things start to change but without a plan in the first place how will you be able to adapt?
I am sure many businesses have been planning and adapting throughout 2021 if only verbally. By going that step further and writing your plan down and even sharing your aspirations for the business with staff you will be surprised how many of your goals you are able to achieve. Have you like me ever written a list and then left it on the table when you go shopping, I know I have and just because you’ve written it all down it’s surprising how many of the things on it you remember. Writing it down reinforces the thoughts, it’s the same with your business goals.
So how should you go about writing a plan
Step 1: Define your end goal, if the thought of writing a long term plan for the next 12 months seems daunting then break out down and write a quarterly plan instead. Over longer timescales, it can become increasingly difficult to track progress towards objectives.
Step 2: Write a list of the steps you’ll need to take in order to reach your goal, it doesn’t matter how many steps there are.
Step 3: Have a look at the steps you’ve created and put them into order of priority, it might be that some are more pressing than others or that some steps need to be completed in order to move to the next stage of your plan.
Step 4: It’s important to set milestones and celebrate those little victories as each one is reached, it encourages you to continue with your plan, keep you on track and can be used to examine progress and to maintain motivation towards short-term achievements. In addition deadlines often inspire productivity an in accordance to Parkinson's Law "Work expands to fill the time available for completion".
Step 5: Identify what resources you are going to need and where you can find them, it can be a good idea to set some budgets so the costs are kept to a reasonable level for your business.#
Step 6: Can you visualize your plan? Can you see yourself reaching the end goal of your plan? This is where it good to ensure your goals are SMART by this I mean
Step 7: Lastly, as I said at the beginning your plan should be regularly monitored to evaluate the progress and then updated and adapted as necessary as things change to ensure your end goal is achieved.
If you want to put plans in place for your business but don’t know what is achievable or where to start then it may be a good idea to look for a business coach who can go on the journey with you. A good business coach can be worth their weight in gold especially if you run your business alone and don’t have anyone you can bounce your idea off.