Three ‘Must Do’ Inclusions for Your Annual Business Plan
It’s that time of year – Christmas is looming, and generally, we’re so focused on finalising the ‘must do’ to do list, that writing next year’s annual business plan often gets forgotten.
But’s it critical to take some time out now, before the year’s end, to develop next year’s Business Plan, or what I call my 1 page annual business intent.
When you write this Plan, I’m sure you’ll be focused on the numbers, for example:
- Percentage increase in sales
- Increase in staff
- Number of speaking engagements, books and products sold
- Number of training participants
And that’s great because firstly setting targets, and then tracking your progress against these numbers is important and critical to your business’ success.
But in order to achieve these targets, we must also look at our behaviours, attitudes and tasks we’re focused on this year. We need to see if they need tweaking. Without this honest reflection, we cannot be assured of giving ourselves the best chance of achieving next year’s annual business plan.
When I help clients develop their 1 Page Annual Business Intent, my template includes three headings: Keep Doing, Start Doing and Stop Doing. So let me share with you why these three words must be included when writing your annual business plan.
Here are three must do inclusions in your annual business plan:
1. What Do I Need to Keep Doing?
What’s been working for you, your team, your clients and your business this year?
Maybe it’s having weekly staff meetings to keep everyone connected and focused.
Once you know what’s working, it’s important to ensure you keep these practices going when you get busy rather than letting things slide or getting complacent.
So what are the three things you need to keep doing to grow your small business?
2. What Do I Need to STOP DOING?
What hasn’t been working for you, your team, your clients and your business this year?
Maybe you need to stop saying Yes to everything and everyone. Instead, why not start to determine your ideal client (which isn’t everyone) so you can talk directly to them?
There will always be distractions (internal and external) stopping us from achieving our success. And it’s these distractions we need to recognise and stop so we can take our business to the next level.
So what are the three things you need to stop doing to grow your small business?
3. What Do I Need to START DOING?
What’s been holding you back this year… Why haven’t you achieved what you wanted?
Often, it’s needing to start embracing all aspects of being a small business owner (sales, finance, marketing, systems etc); rather than being what I call ‘The Reluctant Business Owner’ and just doing the fun or easy work.
Without committing to doing things differently next year, we can only expect similar results because as you know, if nothing changes, nothing changes.
So what are the three things you need to start doing to grow your small business?
By asking yourself these three questions and answering honestly (which I understand may be a bit confronting), you can leave behind the distractions, doubt and fear which have held you back this year.
Therefore, I hope you’ll not only spend time before Christmas developing your Annual Business Plan; but also including in the document the three things you’ll keep doing, stop doing and start doing to demonstrate your commitment to success.
As they say in sport, how you train is how you play so will you put in the work NOW to give your business the best chance of success next year?
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