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.
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.
- 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!