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Big, Advertising Specialties, Dallas, TX

Simple Suggestions For 2013 Planning

by Susan Morgan on December 18, 2012

If you’ve been too busy to notice (and who hasn’t?), it’s time for 2013 predictions, the turn of the year offering an ending and a chance at a fresh start. A clean slate.

Which makes the last weeks of 2012 the perfect time to create your plans for the next 12 months. It’s only natural in this economy that you be focused on the bottom line, yet it’s critical that you take the time away from the day-to-day and do some planning for the year to come. Just as you wouldn’t go on a trip without knowing where you’re going, or build without plans, operating a business without planning makes no sense.

Issues like tax planning, marketing planning and the often overlooked planning for training

It’s important that on a regular basis, for instance now at the end of the calendar year, you make the time to see where you are, what resources you have at your disposal, and think about goals for next year. This is also a natural time to look at your operation… see what’s working and what might not be.

One of the most common annual planning approaches is based on a concept known as SMOST, each letter representing a part of the plan: Situation analysis, Mission statement, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics. Start with the big picture and drill down to the details.

As you plan, keep an eye on trends identified for technology, social media and marketing. Know what’s happening in your industry… keep in close touch with customers.

A lot of the uncertainty for 2013 comes as many small businesses wait to see how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known popularly as Obamacare) works out. Add to this that consumers are smarter and more connected than ever, keeping their phones within 3 feet at all times and it’s hard to deny the change in ways every business is able to approach customers. The mobile era is here to stay, and growing stronger.

Interesting that in the planning process, printed calendars are still so useful in an increasingly digital age. They let you display the whole year at once, forcing you to think long term, if just for this task. You can use a printed calendar to mark the dates for all the key events (new product launches, trade shows, special events) you know are coming up this year. Count back and identify planning dates. This is the basis of your plan for 2013.

Once you have some things on paper, consider these suggestions to make planning for 2013 even more complete…
  • Reflect on what’s happened this year… both good and bad, and plan on doing more of the good stuff in a bigger way. Put that on the calendar too. Don’t wast time berating yourself for things that didn’t work out… learn from this and move on.
  • Aspire to what is possible in business, maybe set some rather unrealistic goals, because people can often do so much more than we give ourselves credit for. Believe in yourself, your talents, and your best efforts.
  • Get to work… create… go into the lab, the field, the garage or wherever you create and bring out something new.

By putting some time into planning for next year, you’ll be in a strong position to hit the ground running as the year begins. Everyone in your team will be on the same page, your business will be running more efficiently and you’ll be ready to take on any opportunity that comes your way.

We here at bigpromotions wish you and yours
the very best of success, health and happiness in 2013 and beyond.
Enjoy the season!


Susan Morgan on sabtwitterSusan Morgan on sabfacebook
Susan Morgan
Creative, passionate and detailed, Susan brings 25-plus years professional writing experience to a variety of projects — get-noticed direct mail pieces, full line print catalogs, eye-catching color brochures and totally original. search engine friendly company blogs, web pages and online articles.

A lifelong love of storytelling has also produced a full-length novel (Out of the Ordinary published by booklocker in 2007). Susan continues to indulge her passion for fiction with a growing number of short stories (one an award winner in 2004, another in 2008) and finalizing a second novel.

In her spare time Susan enjoys gardening, studying astrology and tarot, being with family and friends and keeping up with politics and current events.

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