It’s that time of year when every business article you read, every blog post you get, every podcast you listen to are all talking about preparing for the new year – goal setting, strategy development, financial review, yada yada. This is part of what I do and even I get annoyed with all the talk about it!

BUT……the reason for all this talk is because now IS the right time to be preparing for 2018 if you haven’t already done so. December is the perfect month because things tend to slow down a bit with work, and you now have only 30 days to prepare to go into the new year with a solid game plan.

The downside to not preparing for the new year? You don’t want to be traveling like a bat out of hell to Mississippi when you’re aiming for Montana. It’s that simple. 

Know where you want to go and create the right map to get there. Click To Tweet

It’s imperative to have a plan, even if it’s a simplistic plan.

But what exactly do you need to do as a business owner to prepare for the new year? Your new-years’ strategy doesn’t have to be complicated; keeping it simple will ensure that you do it and follow it. Follow these simple steps to guide you through the process. Click here to read more.

Here are the key steps to take in developing your new years’ strategy:

  1. Document your ‘Year in Review’. What worked, what didn’t work, what were your accomplishments and results?  
  2. Identify your goals and objectives for year-end 2018 – both financial and non-financial. Some of this should stem from your ‘Year in Review’ results.
  3. Brainstorm on how will you bridge the gap between your 2017 results and your 2018 objectives.
  4. Create a tactical action plan with key milestones and desired outcomes.

The financial piece is relatively easy and straight-forward, or at least it should be. It’s the other things that you really need to put some thought into. Here are a couple of examples:

EXAMPLE 1:
Objective: Put less stress on the team with RFP responses.
Action: Create a response library so there is pre-approved content ready to use for upcoming RFP’s.
Due Date: March 1, 2018
Desired Outcome: More ease in gathering standard content for RFP responses.

EXAMPLE 2:
Objective: Only respond to RFP’s that are in our main wheelhouse.
Action: Identify key targets and develop assessment criteria to aid in responding to the right RFP’s.
Due Date: December 31, 2017
Desired Outcome: Increased response rate, improved profitability, less team stress.

These “softer” objectives tend to get overlooked, but now is the time to reflect so you keep doing what you should be doing, and stop doing what you shouldn’t be doing. These things are not going to correct on their own, and it’s your job to make sure you are creating a culture and environment of improvement.

Here’s to a winning strategy for 2018!