2016 finished just a few weeks ago, but already businesses are planning one year, two years, even five years ahead.
When you sit down and start mapping out the year’s events and activities on a big annual calendar, you suddenly realise – a year isn’t a very long time.
A one-year business plan is integral to your success in the next 12-months. Not only can it keep you on target, a one-year plan can also act as part of a longer-range objective or plan.
Before you begin…
Before you create your 2017 business plan, evaluate your accomplishments from 2016. What worked, and what didn’t?
Go through your 2016 plan and to do lists and work out how any uncompleted or untouched projects fit into the 2017 plan. Make it a priority to tie up any important loose ends as soon as possible as you don’t want your list of incomplete projects to snowball.
If you have a large(ish) company, check with each of your departments and see if they met their goals, and their progress on any long-term projects.
So, what’s on your radar this year? What do you want your business to achieve?
Here are some things to consider when you are planning for 2017:
- Look over the previous year’s financial data and work out financial projections for 2017.
- Look at your marketing, spend and sales data from 2016 and previous years and create new targets. Reverse engineer your marketing and sales targets to ensure they fit within a feasible budget.
- Review the structure of your organisation. Sometimes even just small tweaks can greatly increase productivity.
- Are areas of your business over- or under-staffed? For example, if you are generating more and more leads, but your sales aren’t keeping up proportionately, work out if hiring another sales rep could increase your ROI.
- Are there any opportunities in your industry that you can grab hold of in the coming months? For example, a competitor going out of business, or a big potential client moving their head office to your city.
- Revisit your market position and check in on your competitors. Have you noticed any shifts in competitors’ marketing strategies? Are they outbidding your top keywords on Adwords?
Remember: Keep your plan SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-framed) – i.e. what you can realistically expect to achieve in 12 months, without it being too easy to achieve.
For more help planning out your 2017, contact iif Chartered Accountants to schedule a one-to-one meeting with a Business Coach.