As a business owner, this is the perfect time to think about what you achieved this year – and to plan your personal and business objectives for the months ahead. But why do you need to review and plan?
Even the most creative business owners need a plan. A business plan, or strategic plan, not only sets out practical goals, it serves as a useful big-picture reminder of where your business is going and what you’re trying to achieve so that you can eventually exit. It creates common goals that everyone in the company can get behind, which spurs people into action. And it gives you something to revisit throughout the year, to see whether you’re progressing as you intended.
If that sounds like a big undertaking, think again. Your 2021 strategic plan doesn’t have to be complex or lengthy. Even a one-pager can provide much-needed clarity and direction, and ensure you spend your time and effort on the areas that are most important to the business.
For example, planning your 2021 priorities and activities could be as simple as:
- Stating your company’s purpose. Why not try composing a new strapline for your company that better describes its purpose? This could just be a fun creative exercise with your team, or, who knows, it might be a springboard to an exciting new marketing campaign. Particularly for business owners who are highly creative or technical, thinking about ‘why’ you do what you do is a very positive way to start the year.
- Reviewing what worked and what didn’t in 2020. Make a list of what went well in 2020, alongside the things that didn’t quite go as planned. For each item, good and bad, set an action point that gets you and your team doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
- Identifying a big-picture target or priority for 2021. This could be launching a new creative or technical service by the end of the year, growing revenue by x% or boosting the value of the business for a potential sale or exit.
- Turning that target into a series of activities. For you to achieve your big-picture priority, what needs to happen? What skills, for example creative, technical or business-related, need to be enhanced? What people and processes do you need to put in place? How should you and your team spend your time over the coming year? As you do this, keep in mind what worked and what didn’t in 2020, so you can focus your efforts on those activities that really deliver value.
At Henchards, we work with agencies, consultancies and technical service providers to facilitate this planning process, crystallise key goals, and provide the practical support needed to achieve those goals. Talk to us about planning your key activities for 2021 and the years ahead, and we’ll help you build a better, more profitable business.