The end of the year is such an exciting time for every business owner! With the hustle and bustle of the fourth quarter, it’s easy to only focus on the now. But now is the best time to plan for next year in your business to experience amazing growth!
Setting aside time to plan for next year in your business is going to set you up for success. You need to decide your intentions for the year and know exactly what your goals are. That way, you know what to focus your energy on and where you’re headed big-picture.
Why Is It Important To Plan For Next Year As A Business Owner?
There are so many reasons you should take time to plan for next year in your business. Let’s dive in and explore six powerful benefits of planning ahead!
You Focus On Strategic, Long-Term Growth
Annual planning is often the most strategic planning we do as business owners! We’re able to step back, evaluate our progress, set new goals, and strategize how we’ll achieve them.
You get to focus on strategic, long-term growth. It’s up to you how far in advance you plan—you could set intentions for five-year goals, three-year goals, one-year goals, and then break down your quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals too.
Having this type of big-picture strategy sets you up for success.
You Know Your Priorities and Can Start Saying “No”
On a similar note, you get to outline your biggest priorities in alignment with your big-picture goals. That means you’ll know how to say “no” (and this is a HUGELY valuable skill to have as a business owner).
You’ll also be able to make decisions easily, with confidence, that accurately reflect your goals. You already have an overarching framework for the year, which makes it so much simpler to make decisions as things arise throughout the year.
You Get To Really Focus On Your Audience and Their Needs
When you plan for next year, you’re able to hone in deeply on your audience and their needs. You’ll be able to better serve your core audience, which leads to much better results!
Every piece of planning you do should be with the intention of serving your audience. This lets you strategize your goals more effectively.
When You Plan For Next Year, You Boost Productivity and Proactive Thinking
Having a plan for next year is a surefire way to boost productivity and be more proactive throughout the year.
As you work to plan ahead, you’ll need to examine what’s working and where you can strategically improve. We’ll dive deeper into that a little later!
And when you examine those things, you can identify opportunities to boost productivity and maximize your time! On a similar note, you start to be proactive about fostering growth and putting systems in place to support your business as you grow.
If you want to be more efficient in your business, planning ahead is essential.
You (and Your Team) Will Feel More Motivated When You Make a Plan For Next Year
Making a plan is one of the BEST ways to boost motivation as you head into next year. As you communicate that plan with your team members, they’ll feel prepared, excited, and motivated to work hard towards the big-picture goals you’ve set.
Although you might be used to keeping your goals and plans close to the chest, sharing them with your team is super beneficial. When people understand the “why” behind something, it’s way more motivating…and they’ll do their best work.
Plus, your team members might come up with ideas and strategies you hadn’t thought of to help you achieve your goals! Share your plan for next year with your team for incredible collaboration and motivation.
You’ll Know What Metrics Matter Most (and Consistently Track Them)
Another huge benefit of making a plan for next year is that you’ll know what metrics you need to track (and plan ahead to consistently track and evaluate them).
Metrics are one of those things that tend to slip through the cracks as we get busy and our to-do lists grow. But when you make a strategic plan, you not only decide which metrics you’re going to track (and why), you create a commitment for yourself to follow through on those actions.
Since you’re setting goals, choosing goal-aligned KPIs and strategizing how you’ll evaluate progress is a great choice.
How To Plan For Next Year With Less Stress
Now, you understand why planning ahead is so important at the end of the year. It’s time to dive in and explore how you should actually plan for next year!
These three steps are the foundation of making an amazing strategic annual plan in your business.
Figure Out What Worked Well This Year & Strategize How To Replicate It Next Year
Reflection is such a key element in making a plan for next year. And while most of us use reflection as a way to come up with a new strategy, don’t underestimate the opposite opportunity. By that, we mean that you should reflect on what worked so that you can focus on doing more of that!
It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel every year when it comes to your plans, goals, or strategies.
If something has worked well, replicating it is the BEST way to recreate that success! Look at your goals and use last year’s metrics and information to make decisions and strategize a plan grounded in prior successes.
Think About Your Big Goals and Then Break Them Down
One of the biggest parts of your plan for next year needs to be your goals. Think big-picture and long-term, then break everything down into smaller chunks!
If you know a goal (or a few) for the year, you can break it down into quarterly and monthly goals, and even weekly or daily tasks to help you achieve them. Focus on the “why” of your business, and be as specific, relevant, and actionable as possible as you work to set your goals.
Focus on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely). A goal like “increase organic search traffic by 50% over the next six months” is much more specific, attainable, and measurable than a goal like “increase website traffic.”
Select KPIs To Match Those Goals (and Make a Plan)
When you’re finalizing your goals, it’s time to figure out which KPI metrics you’re going to use for evaluating progress on those goals. Metrics are essential to strategizing and succeeding in your goals.
After all, you don’t want to get halfway through the year and realize you haven’t worked on your goal at all! Metrics help you stay on track, re-adjust your strategy as needed, and follow through on your plan for next year.
It’s time to sit down with your notebook (or a Google Doc, of course) and plan for next year. This strategic plan will give you direction for your business and make success totally possible!
To plan ahead and use your data to the fullest, make sure you’re measuring the right metrics. Grab our guide to the most important KPIs now!
Check out these other blog posts to learn more about planning ahead and boosting productivity:
- 5 Ways to Maximize Productivity By Effectively Planning Your Day
- Why Measuring Your Business and Marketing Metrics Is So Important (& How to Get Started)
- How To Use Data To Skyrocket Your Business Growth This Year
- How To Have A Productive Day While Working From Home