There's no better time than the start of a new year to wipe the slate clean and think about where you want to see your business in a years time. Whether you intended it to be or not, the Christmas period is often a time for reflection and you will likely have plenty of new business ideas that you'd love to implement given half a chance. Planning 2015 for your business should take precedence throughout January, and though each business will require different things depending on their current market share, age, size, etc., the following recommendations ought to help you make the best of your planning sessions.Know Where You Stand
As a business owner or manager you should always know where your company stands. Having an up-to-date SWOT analysis, or better still an audit, will help you to understand your business' current position and from there you can plan what direction would be best to take in 2015.
Surround Yourself With Allies
Planning the entire year by yourself can be an awfully heavy weight to place on your shoulders. By planning 2015 with the help of your managers and staff you'll have access to many more thoughts and ideas, not to mention their collective experience.
Set Short-Term Goals
Every business should have long-term aims and objectives, but short term goals are needed to achieve them. Setting more than 3 goals will make each one more difficult to achieve, so keep the number of your goals low and make sure each one is SMART:
There is a reason why many organisations measure their year in quarters, and the reason is because it helps them keep track of how well they're faring. Setting quarterly milestones and review dates will help to track your business' progress and allow you to correct your course if areas of the business are falling short.
Stick To Your Calendar
The first thing most of us do in the morning is check our inbox, when really we should be checking out calendars. There's no point planning 2015 for your business if you're going to allow incoming calls and messages to sway you from what you've planned to get done; of course there is a time and place for them, but that place is behind what ever plans you've got to drive your business forward.
Spending a year looking at your tasks and objectives may make time feel like its crawling by at a snail's pace. You may get frustrated, but for heaven's sake remain calm and stay on track! You need to lead your business in the direction necessary to achieve the goals you've planned, if you go off track you'll be derailing everyone else along with you.
Don't Lose Yourself
It's a fact that the more rested and relaxed we are as people the better we function in our professional lives. So whilst you're planning 2015 for your business don't forget to plan 2015 for yourself: book a holiday, get a gym membership, put aside an evening a week when you'll go out with your partner or with friends to unwind; what ever it is you do (or use to) to have fun, make sure you make time for it.