At this time of the year, business owners are busily preparing for the New Year. Or maybe I should say that I hope they are…
I read an article recently that said that more than 50% of business owners don’t plan, they just let business happen to them. And I hope that you, like I, are cringing at the thought of not planning to be successful in your business. This instantly brings to mind one of my favorite alliterations:
Prior planning prevents piss poor performance.
If you want to shift from the almost 90% of business owners who aren’t making more than $100,000 a year in their business (according to the US SBA and IRS’s 2011 survey) a little planning can go a long way. That’s exactly why hearing from Shara got me excited – I answer her question in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV. Check out her question:
“Hi Darnyelle, I really love Incredible Factor TV. You share so many amazing business nuggets that I am so grateful that I found you! I am always telling my entrepreneur friends about you! My question is now that we are nearing the end of a year, what should I be doing to make sure I am ready for the New Year?”
As I share in the episode, with just about 6 weeks left in this year, if you haven’t done so already, you definitely want to get ready for the New Year. Here are the 7 things I do around this time of year, every year, in preparation for the next.
1. Set your 2015 goals based on the seven systems in your business. The most successful businesses operate around the seven systems that ensure success: Operational management, sales management, marketing management, financial management, talent management, client management and legal management. To learn more about the seven systems, check out my recent post about them.
2. Survey your clients about their 2015 needs. It’s cheaper to keep your current clients than to go out and work to acquire more, so end 2014 by conducting a survey of those who hired you this year. Find out what they are needing next to make 2015 as successful, etc as 2014. Find out the role they would like you to play in that success. This survey should also give you a great indication of exactly what you should offer in the New Year.
3. Have a strategic planning meeting with your ENTIRE team. Even if you are a team of one, you need to set aside some time to think strategically about your plans for the upcoming business year. I recommend that you map out your marketing calendar, your events calendar, your project launch calendar, your editorial or content calendar, raise your rates, review your results from 2014 and determine what is next for your business. Now, if you are challenged by doing this, you can hire a business strategist or consultant to participate in this process for you. And if you do, be sure that they have documented results of how they have helped others. My recommendation is that you end 2014 knowing EVERYTHING you’re doing in 2015.
4. Complete a SWOT Analysis on your 2014 operations. Clarifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your current year of operating can be a great asset to preparing for your next year of operations. Next week, I will share with you how to conduct a SWOT and how often to do so.
5. Clear your email inbox. Action or delete everything from the current year or if you’ll need to refer to them later, create a folder so that your inbox is crystal clear. The best way to welcome the New Year is to get out from under items from the old that are not useful and cannot add value to your daily operations and business building goals.
6. Set up your 2015 electronic and paper folders. Organization is key. So for everything that you do month end and month out, create your folders for them. You should also archive folders from 3 plus years ago if you have not already done so. I recommend keeping the current and previous 1-2 years in easy reach to compare results, strategies and actions.
7. Celebrate and express gratitude for what you have accomplished. While this isn’t a direct “business preparation strategy”, it is essential. For it is only when we celebrate and express gratitude that we invite the abundant universe in which we live to create more reasons to celebrate and be grateful. Regardless of where you are as you end your year, you’re likely farther than you were at the end of the previous year so celebrate that. (And if you want to be farther in the coming year-end, then do something about it :-).)
Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?: What do you do at the end of a business year that will be helpful to Shara and others like her in the community who are wanting to start the New Year ready to welcome success?
©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.