End 2019 with a clear vision for 2020!
How to end the year with a clear vision and plan for 2020?
With just over 2 months until 2019 is officially gone, now is the time for some evaluation and planning. For some, budgeting time has come to an end, while for others, budgeting is in full force. And while festivities are almost upon us, and these last 2 months of the year will fly by, it's important to make the time to evaluate how your business did, and to make a plan for next year.
Before year end:
Showing gratitude is never a wasted effort. 'Tis the Season' to say THANK YOU to all of the those who were are a part of your year. Let go of any minor conflict that may have risen, and take it as a learning experience. Add a personal touch to a thoughtful gift to your clients. Maybe get creative and differentiate between vendors, past clients, and current clients. How about adding a little extra incentive to those that you want to do business with? But be careful, this is not a time to be pushy. This is the time to be grateful, and give more than you take!
There's also no better season to get involved with a charity. For those that can afford a donation, not only will you make a difference, but you will also get brand recognition and even a tax reduction. But if you are a small business that can't afford a cash donation, there are other ways to get involved. Partner with a local charity to collect goods for Thanksgiving, or Christmas at your place of business, help out on a weekend as a volunteer, or create solid awareness through your strongest social platform.
Review your 2019 plan
No one likes to look back at possible failures. And reviewing your former business plan might leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed with yourself. Take this opportunity to get pumped with the idea of improvement. Reviewing your past year plan, and being objective in determining what didn't work or didn't get done, will be the first step to creating a good plan for the following year.
You may find out that your goals were not attainable. This will allow you to create a realistic goal, one that you will be proud to have achieved a year from now. Or you may find that you excelled at some areas. These areas can be given more focus the following year, and can be classified as a strength in your business. Building an area of strength can help narrow down your niche and differentiate you from your competitors.
Preparing for the Technology Trends
It is no secret that Technology is ever changing, and that those that don't keep up with it are left behind.
An evaluation of where you are in the technology spectrum should be made, so that you can properly plan and not fall behind when the new year hits.
Benchmarking is a good place to start. Looking at what your most successful competitors are doing/have done the past year, will already assist you in identifying gaps in your own business, and make a plan for the following year.
Research comes next. Make sure you are active within your Industry. Reading industry news especially during the last quarter of the year is important to stay abreast of upcoming trends, and get expert advice from industry leaders.
Looking internally is also important to ensure that you have the tools to keep up with the external forces of technology. Optimizing office equipment, including program updates, is essential to delivering effectively and efficiently.
Your Brand Perception
Brand perception is everything. Throughout the year, but especially during this time of the year, go back to your motto, your mission statement, and what persuaded you to get into business in the first place. Businesses expand and change, and can easily grow apart from their original motivation. Innovation is great, but staying true to your motto, and what your brand stands for, is key for client loyalty and brand consistency.
This is a great time to review your online presence. Your website, your social presence, your email marketing efforts, your company culture, should all reflect your brand goals.
Build a 2020 plan
If you have done all the steps above your plan for 2020 is almost ready. Now you take out your planning calendar and fill in the blanks.
1. Assign a budget and a month for each item.
2. Separate your indispensable items from your wish list.
3. make sure to keep track of progress at least quarterly.
4. Brainstorm some ideas, and get input from others involved in the business. It's good to get a fresh perspective, and you will surely find things that you have missed.
5. Assign responsibilities to others, delegate and create a positive teamwork environment of support.
6. Be ready to adjust to new goals that may affect your day-to-day routine.
7. Take action!