It’s a New Year! We are always so excited to close one year and move into a new. Clean the slate. Set our goals. Start over. “This year will be better,” we say. But what do we need to do to set up our goals for the upcoming year?
I’m often asked “where do I start?” Well, a great first step is looking back. Look back at where your business came from in the last year. Look back at what didn’t work. These are all pieces of information that you need to consider before setting your new path. For example, if you see that two-thirds of your business is coming from speaking events then in this year’s plan you should be finding ways to increase your speaking engagements which will in turn increase your sales. On the flip side, after evaluating ad responses you discover that a particular ad that you ran all year has not brought in any direct business, it would be prudent to discontinue that ad and try something new.
The next question is, where do you want to go from here? Knowing where you want your business to be in two or five years can give you vision and clarity to setting a timeline of what might be reasonable to accomplish this year for a five year goal. For simplicity say in five years you want to add four items to your product line. Well, this year your goal should be to identify one or two new products and consider testing the market for them. You must also assume not all the products you test will be successful so if you need four in five years you may need to identify more than four to test market.
Make a list of new skills you may want to acquire. For example, learning about business strategy is very important to me. I study successful people and business models. So, I make it a point to read two hours every day. Is learning a new skill for you? Maybe it’s to get your business on social media or start a new blog. Take one thing, one new goal, and add that to your business plan. You can also think through what that new skill will add to your business. Will learning social media or starting a new YouTube account increases your exposure which will in turn increase your sales volume?
If writing a business plan and setting goals seems like a daunting task, just start the first step. Look at the year you just left behind and evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and why.
Founder & Executive Director
The Natural Life Business Partnership
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