How To Plan For Your Best Year Ever In Business, Part 1: Assess Your Past Performance

How To Plan For Your Best Year Ever In Business, Part 1: Assess Your Past Performance

There’s no bad time to plan for your best year ever in business. While the New Year may feel like a convenient “fresh slate,” the truth is, you can start planning whenever you want!

And while I’m all about planning and figuring out how to actually make your vision your reality, I find that there’s a key step many business owners tend to overlook.

In fact, it’s so important that it’s a step I recommend taking before moving forward and planning your goals for the upcoming year. Wondering what it is?

You can’t plan for your best year ever in business without assessing your past performance!

Before you create your vision for the new year and plan the goals that will get you there, take some time to review the last 12 months.

This review allows you to take an accurate assessment of where you are — and once you know that, it’s easier to see the steps that will help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Ready to learn more? Here are some tips to get you started:

1 – Celebrate everything you’re doing to make your vision your reality.

Often, when it comes to goal setting, we focus on what we want to create and can get so caught up in that end result, that we overlook the progress we’re making.

What are you proud of? What’s gone really well this year? Take time to acknowledge and celebrate your progress. How has your business grown? How have you grown as a business owner? What have you learned this past year? How have you helped your clients?

Every step matters, because everything you’re doing helps you move closer to your vision. I’d call that a success!

Celebrate your creativity, your hard work, and your dedication. Before you make a plan for your best year ever in business, take a little time to recognize all of the amazing things you did this year.

2 – Take a look at what didn’t quite work out this year.

Part of entrepreneurship means that we’re going to have to deal with failure or missteps. It’s normal to have some ideas that flopped. Planning for your best year ever in business means changing up some of the things you’ve been doing.

Take a look back at the past year. What were some ideas that didn’t work out as you’d hoped? Be honest with yourself. What do you think went wrong, and how can you improve on your plan, or execution, next time?

Was there a problem with the plan? Was it just not a great fit for your clients? Did you need a longer timeline? Were you taking on too much?

Every failure can be an invitation to learn and grow as a business owner, but we need to allow ourselves the intentional time and space to look at why things didn’t work out. This isn’t a judgement in any way, it’s simply a way of learning why things didn’t work so hopefully you can take this information and experience greater success when it comes to new ideas or plans.

When you try to ignore areas that you could improve, you’re actually stopping yourself from blooming into your full potential in business.

3 – Openly assess what might be changed or improved from this year.

At this point, you’ve celebrated your wins and assessed plans that didn’t quite work out. Now it’s time to look at what’s working in your business that could be improved.

Take some time to reflect on the current state of your business and where you would like to see changes.

What are some areas you see for improvement? What are things you wish were easier or simpler?

Where do you wish you had more ease in your business or that things could flow more smoothly? When do you tend to feel overwhelmed? What tends to stress you out? You can reduce business overwhelm by following these 3 simple steps.

It may be time to build a team to take some work off of your plate. Lucky for you, I’m an outsourcing specialist! I’ve written some resources to help you build your team:

I also cover this more in Part 4 of Plan for Your Best Year Ever in Business.

Give yourself time to brainstorm and write down everything that comes to you. You don’t have to make all of these changes at once (in fact, please don’t, as that’s almost a guaranteed way to be overwhelmed and stressed out) – you’re simply gathering ideas.

Once your list feels complete, choose one area to focus on.

For example, if you find yourself scrambling to create content each week, perhaps you look at creating a system or schedule to simplify that process. Read my guide on creating a content strategy that works for you!

If client onboarding feels chaotic, look for how you can streamline the process so that it flows with greater ease.

Choose one area and commit to creating and implementing a plan to improve it. Once that feels better, you can always come back to your list and choose another area to improve.

4 – Look for the path of ease (when it comes to moving forward).

Before you start setting new goals and creating new plans for the upcoming year, look at what’s working well in your business. Make a plan to build off of what’s already working.

If video is working well for building your list, what are more ways you can use video to build and serve your audience? Are coffee chats helping to provide more referrals? If so, how else can you build networking into your plan?

If you have a particular service that’s most popular with your audience, then look for how you can expand or adapt that offer to better meet your goals. Is there a natural next step that clients can take to continue working with you?

This can work in many areas of your business. Often, I’ll see business owners want to come up with elaborate new plans for the new year. This is understandable, because entrepreneurs are often creative visionaries and new ideas come easily, however, it just isn’t necessary.

If something is working in your business, use this as your starting point and expand your vision from there.

Read the next 3 installments of How to Plan for Your Best Year Ever in Business:

And if you’d like some help with planning (and creating) your best year ever in business, let’s talk. I love helping business owners like you map out their big, bold dreams and then figure out how to make them a reality. Plus, my team is amazing at taking care of the details so that you can focus on the work that matters most to you. Schedule your free Business Lifeline Call now. to see how I can help you have your best year EVER in business.

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