Year End Planning

goals-and-plansAs the holiday season quickly approaches it has yet again become time to plan for 2018. Part of determining your level of success is being able to look back and see which goals you have met, and where you fell short.

Being a business owner means that you are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of not only your company but also your employees. To be successful takes strategic planning and operational structure, all things that should be looked at before the next fiscal year begins.

What do you want to accomplish in 2018? Is it a new line of product, so many new customers, a revenue goal, social media activity, a digital newsletter or a different market segment that you haven’t worked with before? Your goals should be reflected in what you want to achieve.

Setting your goals. It is important when setting goals to make them obtainable and write them down on a vision board that you and/or employees can see. Review where you are in the goal at the end of first quarter. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a multimillion dollar company. Be realistic in goal setting; however, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself into new personal and business areas of growth. Remember that success is not always measured in the amount of revenue you generate, but it is how you also feel as a business owner. Can you put your head on the pillow and night and say, “I’ve done right by my clients and staff?”

Make a plan. Now that you have set your goals for the following year, you need to make a plan as to how you are going to reach your goal. Give yourself a road map to get where you want to be and write it down. This plan should include timelines and assignments of tasks. You may also want to determine who is going to hold you accountable for meeting your goals. In many cases, a friend, business coach or mentor can help to ensure you are doing what you set out to do. Personally, I have 2 very close friends/business owners that I meet with a few times a year to review where I am in my business growth.

Execute the plan. The most important step is to regularly review the plan, timelines and responsibilities. If you need to adjust – do so, but do something. As a small business owner we wear many hats. But in order to grow properly, you must step back and work on your business and not just in your business.

Did you notice something above? It’s a 3 step process. From young children, we are taught to learn in 3’s. ABC, 123, Red/Yellow/Green. That’s why there are only 3 steps – set, plan and execute.

As we approach the end of the 4th quarter, there has never been a better time to set a plan for the upcoming year. Be sure to talk to your employees when setting goals and be reasonable when setting expectations. Their opinions matter and if they feel part of the team to grow your business, their buy in to accomplishing new things and stretching their abilities won’t be met with opposition.

Ready…Set….Grow in 2018!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.