Kickass annual business planning for clever people

How to be a champion goal-setter

Kickass annual business planning for clever people

How to be a champion goal-setter

Limping across the end of the year finish line? 

It’s only natural to feel a tad drained after the year that’s been (let’s not talk about it...again). You’ve got the last day of business highlighted in your calendar and it’s all you can think about.

But we’re coming in (softly) with a little challenge. Often we finish the year and dust off our hands thinking well that’s it, we’re done. But you know what happens next, right?

JAN-U-ARY.

Yep, it comes around faster than a sushi train on Nitrous Oxide (don’t get it? Watch Fast & Furious.)

New Year’s Eve passes and you find yourself wondering what now? You’re opening back up, watching work slowly come in and you fall back into the same old patterns.

This is all totally fine IF you want your business to roll on the same as it did in 2021.

But if you’d like to up your game and hit some new goals, now is the time to get your annual business plan sorted!

Three groovy reasons to plan next year’s goals now

Why start your business planning in December? 

Okay look, we know you’re tired. And those conversations about the family Kris Kringle can get pretty intense. But you only need half an hour to whip up your annual business plan and it’s kinda worth it. (Plus, it’s a great excuse to switch your phone to silent and ignore Uncle Bob’s demands for a set of titanium nunchucks.)

Here’s why doing your annual plan now is the way to go:

  1. You get the jump on your competitors who are too busy Googling eggnog recipes. And you won’t be left behind by the savvy ones who, like you, are thinking a little further forward.
  2. Reviewing the past year while it’s fresh means your goals will help you avoid going through the same mistakes you made this year (we all made one, maybe two, right?). Leaving your planning until after your Christmas break means you’ll have your golden sunglasses on. All warm and relaxed from lazing at the beach, those 2021 bloopers are easier to gloss over and pretend they weren’t that bad.
  3. You don’t have to wait loads of time for outsourced projects. A lot of businesses are quiet during January so you’ve got less chance of getting an email saying Sure we can help you with your project if you’re happy to wait six months.

Check out the current landscape

We know you’re super frazzled right now so we’ve got a quick and easy process to map out your 2022 goals.

Before you know where you want to go, you’ve got to know where you are. Let’s pause for a moment and do a quick assessment.

Grab a pen and paper, open a blank doc or hit start on your audio recorder and answer these questions:

  • Did you hit your business goals for 2021? If you said yes, what helped you reach them? If it’s a no, what held you back from reaching them?
  • If you had the power to do absolutely anything, what would you change about where your business is right now?
  • Has your business shifted throughout the year? (Has your target audience changed? Have you evolved your products or services?)
  • Has your industry changed throughout the year? (Are there new competitors in the industry? Are there new solutions to your target markets problem? What kind of trends have you seen and are any sticking around?)

Done? Fabulous!

Now you’ve got a clear idea of where you are, it’s way easier to plan the next steps.

Rapid annual planning for savvy business owners

We’re not fans of overcomplicating things, simple and clear is best for success. So we’re using the same question-answer gig to help you map out the next twelve months for your brand.

First, use your imagination and pretend you’ve got a crystal ball. If conditions inside and outside your business stayed the same as they are now, where would your business be by December 2022? What would a year’s growth on the same trajectory look like?

Even if you’re pretty chuffed with that picture, there are always opportunities for improvement.

The next questions help you get clear on your purpose:

  • Who are your most valuable customers?
  • What value are you adding to their lives?
  • What markets are you looking at?
  • What product or service range are you looking at?
  • Why is your solution better than your competitors?

You’ve got to pin down exactly where you want to see change and growth.

Keeping that all in mind is going to determine your next answers:

  • What’s going to be your financial focus?
  • What’s going to be your operational focus?
  • What’s going to be your people management focus?
  • What’s going to be your risk focus?

Knowing what you’re going to focus on dictates what your goals for the next year will be.

Plus you’ll know what actions to take to help you reach them. You might need to invest in new tools, hire a new employee or outsource work (like hiring a creative design agency!).

Finally, add an ideal end date for each goal. (“One day” is not a date, it never comes, trust us.)

Rebranding in the new year

The beginning of the year is also the perfect time to unveil new branding. As people come back from holidays, they’re often inspired to change their habits and lifestyle. (That’s why gyms and personal trainers love February!)

Launching a new product, service or rebrand early in the year is a great way to capture their enthusiasm for trying something new.

Unsure if rebranding might be a good move? Learn when it’s the right time for a rebrand.

Knowing you’ve got your annual plan done and ready to action tastes even better than organic plum pudding drizzled in custard and topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Give yourself the gift of smugness this festive season.

Oh, and if you’d like a hand with your creative projects in 2022, chat with our brand design experts today!

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