via Forbes: It’s October, just two-plus months away from the New Year. Have you begun working on your strategy for a successful 2019 yet?
As we enter the fourth quarter of 2018, most business owners are looking forward to ending their year on a high note. I challenge you Mr. and Ms. Business Owner, to look further ahead and determine what you want to accomplish for 2019.
Just because we’re a little over two months away from the start of the New Year, it doesn’t mean you should wait until then to get started on your 2019 plan of attack. Keep in mind, when developing this strategy follow the KISS principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Don’t overcomplicate the plan, the process, or turn your strategy into the Magna Carta.
Here are 5 strategies to help you get started:
1. Incorporate Key People
As you’re developing your plan for 2019, it should be pertinent that you bring your key people into the fold. If your key people, your managers, your department heads, whoever, aid in the development of your plan, they’ll be more invested in the plan.
2. Have a Clear Timeline
You should have started your first draft on October 1, but it’s not too late to start right now . Grab a pen and paper and begin jotting down what you want to accomplish, and have your first draft completed by the end of the month, October 31. Reflect on it, make revisions, then have your CPA or trusted advisor take a peak and check for reasonableness, just remember to not complicate your plan.
Have a final draft completed by November 30, and begin rolling it out to employees by the second week of December. Don’t let up on this schedule. I’ve seen countless business owners still working on a plan for the New Year in the middle of February. Don’t let this be you!
3. Determine What You Will Accomplish
“What are you looking to accomplish in the coming 12 to 15 months,” is a question that’s easier asked than answered. Think about sales. Think about profit. Think about your geographical footprint. Are you looking to expand in the locations you service, or are you looking to increase your market share in your area? What about expanding on the services you provide? Perhaps you want to manufacture new products?
Determine how you might be affected by tariffs, fuel increases, potential wage increases, interest rate hikes, union issues, and more, and create a flexible plan to account for these changes.
Take some time in planning for all possibilities. Don’t have time? Invest one hour of your day and explore the possibilities. That time you spend browsing Facebook can wait .
4. Resources and Strategy
After you compile a list of what you want to accomplish, look at developing a plan of action to make it work to turn it into a reality. Ensure you have the capital to move forward as well as a strategy that will hit the ground running on the first of January.
Keeping track of your progress throughout the year is a strategy often overlooked by business owners. Break your plan down into goals and milestones to determine where you should be annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily, and segment that by each department.
If issues begin to rise, you can react much faster by knowing exactly what’s happening and which department it’s affecting.
As you’re developing this plan, just remember to follow and live by the KISS principle. Take the lessons you learned last year and apply them to the next. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. It’s how you perform versus your plan, not versus last year.