Archive for Planning

New Year’s Resolutions. Do You or Don’t You?

2015-2016 change represents the new year 2016 three-dimensional rendering

OK, it’s New Year’s resolution time…and I have to admit I’ve never made any.

It always seemed to me that an effort to make all those well intentioned changes at once would be doomed to failure. And statistically that seems to be true for most people.

Guess I’m more into doing things on a gradual basis…more along the lines of a resolution a month or a quarter. That’s always worked well for me because I can focus & make the needed habit changes one at a time.

I don’t have anything against New Year’s Resolutions, I just am happier not adding them to my already over burdened multi-tasking list. (of course, doing something about that would be a great New Year’s resolution.)

Taking a Strategic Break

So the goal setting process I do focus on every year at this time (along with egg nog & holiday cheer) is taking some time to look back in order to grow my businesses going forward.

My various businesses operate on calendar fiscal years so it’s a perfect time for me to take a close look at what happened in the previous 12 months so that I can use that information to help inform my business and financial goals for the next year.

So I take a few days off, get out of the office, and pretty much tune out from the phone & emails.

By asking myself a lot of questions, such as:

  • Which plans worked well?
  • Which didn’t?
  • What kind of financial return did I expect?
  • What financial results did I have?
  • What did I miss in my planning last year?
  • What was unanticipated & how did it impact my results?
  • Did I meet my budget? (Yes, I actually create one & review it each month.)
  • What new outside forces will possibly/likely impact my business models in 2016?
  • Are my business models still workable or do I need a new direction?

Some years the answers make me very happy and some years I scratch my head & say why didn’t I see that coming?

Gaining Perspective

I’m a numbers person, so I review financial data all year long. And I certainly advise my clients to do so regularly, so why the intense focus?

Because in the day to day of running businesses & managing busy lives, we all get caught in the weeds in ways we may not recognize.

I’m no exception to that. I’m extremely busy and I’m managing projects for both my businesses and my clients’ businesses. It’s easy to get caught up in the “To Do” and miss the turn off for the path that takes me to the new life or business opportunity that will be extraordinary.

So, it’s important for me to step back & reflect, not just charge forward because I might be building on bad or outdated assumptions or need to reallocate my resources.

However you want to approach this analysis & reflection, I strongly recommend you find a way to get out of the day to day, unplug and spend some time thinking about the bigger picture. You might be surprised by the positive results next year.

It’s an important step in creating value in your business and staying clear about your larger goals, both in life and business.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of my process with you and hearing from you about how you approach setting your business goals & strategy.


Plan Now for 2012

Daylight Savings Time is over – now’s the time to start really digging in about business planning for next year. You have 10 months of financial results in hand to use for analyzing your business – where it’s been and where it’s going. Review your business plan for 2011 and see how you’ve done…the good, the bad & the ugly needs to be faced if you’re going to build your business going forward.

Now is the time to write your business and marketing  plan for 2012. The best way to really clear your head and focus on this strategic planning process is to take yourself out of the office to do it – without a typical day’s distractions you’ll have the chance to really think things through and put a solid plan together. If you have a couple of key people who can contribute significantly, take them along.

Evaluate your opportunities, see what your resources are and make any staffing decisions you’ve been putting off.  Also, consult with your accountant to see if there are any year-end moves that make sense for you to make from a tax perspective.

So clear your calendar and block out a day or two to focus on your business strategy and financial projections – it’ll pay dividends next year.