How to Kick Off a Successful Year in Business: Planning Essentials for the New Year
At the start of each new year, most people think about how they want their lives to improve in the coming year, both personally and professionally. Business owners have visions for where they want to see their companies go and the level of success they hope to achieve. But knowing where you want to go is only part of the journey; you have to take action to make it happen. If you’re hoping to make 2017 your most successful yet, here are a few strategies to help make that happen.
Plan: Set Goals, Tasks, and Deadlines
If you ask a highly successful business owner for their secret to success, it’s likely that their response will have something to do with planning. Most people don’t catapult to success by happenstance; they plan for it. They set goals, they break them down into actionable steps, and they pursue them relentlessly.
First, review your previous goals and evaluate your progress and whether they’re still relevant. Then map out your vision for your business on paper and set clear, specific goals for each month or quarter. Then break those goals down into actionable steps to take to reach them. Your overall vision for the end result is good to have, but you need a roadmap to get there.
Have an Organizational Strategy
If you’re like most business owners, you probably feel like you’re being pulled constantly in all directions. Trying to meet all these demands at once quickly leads to overwhelm. That’s why you need an organizational strategy: a set of tools, systems, and practices that help you prioritize your tasks and schedule your time effectively.
Choose a calendar app that offers the functionality you need and integrates with other tools you use (such as project management software or task-planning tools) for a seamless flow of information. Look into workflow management tools like Zapier and IFTTT (If This, Then That) to connect planning tools without built-in integrations.
Outsource Your Non-Essential Tasks
Many people, by nature, aren’t that great at delegation, but learning to outsource effectively is one of the hallmarks of business success. The truth is that you simply can’t do everything on your own. Make a list of all the tasks that you carry out on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Then review your list to determine what tasks must be done by you directly and what tasks could be handled by someone else.
For instance, you might consider outsourcing household chores like grocery shopping or house cleaning, or you might want to hire a contractor to handle your company’s social media presence. Maybe you could benefit from an administrative assistant who can schedule meetings, screen calls, and handle emails and other back-office tasks.
From there, you can determine which tasks are most easily outsourced (such as those that don’t require you to train someone) and prioritize. While you may not be able to outsource every task that can be delegated immediately, delegating even a few tedious tasks can save you tremendous amounts of time that you can spend on more important demands.
Whether you’re hoping to grow your business this year, expand to new markets, or simply gain better control of your time, these three planning essentials will set you up for a prosperous, organized year.
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