Can you believe it's almost 2017? Tomorrow is December 1st and I'll admit that yet again, another year has flown by faster than I could have imagined!
Today on the podcast I'm sharing tips on how to start planning for 2017. I think planning is SO important - I run a planning day every year for other business owners and I also make sure I plan out my own year. In addition to sharing my own tips, I also asked some fellow female entrepreneurs how they prepare for the new year.
Susan Murphy, Jester Creative
Susan Murphy has co-run a digital media production company, Jester Creative, for many years. She believes wrapping up the previous year is just as important as preparing for the new year; including getting caught up on expenses, closing your books and cleaning up your electronic files. She believes making sure things are organized and cleaned up make it easier to start with a clean slate in the new year.
The other thing Susan does to plan for the new year is to think about her three words for the next year. Chris Brogan started the idea of coming up with three defining words for the new year. Susan believes this is important because it helps you align yourself and your goals for the next year.
Gini Dietrich, Arment Dietrich
Gini Dietrich is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a digital marketing communications firm based in Chicago. She plans ahead for her business by reserving one day a week to work on her business rather than in it. People wonder how she is able to accomplish so much – and setting aside a day a week is how she does it. When she tells people this they often wonder how she is able to do that and come up with excuses as to why they could never take a day off to work on their business! Gini believes, "either you can make excuses or you can move your business forward quickly."
Her company also use the EOS model outlined in the book Traction. This plan makes it easy for businesses to set for their big plan and then break it down to smaller rocks for easier execution. Gini started this in 2014 and continues to out sell and out profit the previous year. For Gini, "planning success for the following year is ridiculously fun!"
Maggie Patterson, Scoop Industries
Maggie Patterson is the Chief Marketing Officer at Scoop Industries and she believes on getting clear on what your goals are before planning anything. Maggie believes if you work on a business where you are getting external inputs all the time it can be easy to lose sight of your own goals, so getting clear on your personal and professional goals and what is important to you and your business is necessary.
Maggie's second tip is to not feel pressured to do everything right away. Remember it is a whole year process, so break it down into 12 week chunks. Why? Because things change and this adds a more dynamic and flexible way of reaching your goals and also helps with procrastination. Maggie also thinks business owners need to write it down and make it real – and not just in a Google Doc. Write it down where you can see it and track it.
I believe it is really important for you to know what you want your life to look like. What kind of hours do you want to work and not work? How much time do you want to take off for vacations, etc.? How much money do you want to make? Once you are clear on these questions you can then plan your business goals around them. What is it you value? How can you can incorporate those into your business?
And finally, make sure to do regular brain dumps! Every time you have an idea write it down – in a journal or on a Post-It note! This will help you to sort your ideas and prioritize them where you're doing the detailed planning and putting things into your calendar.
How do you plan for the new year? Have you considered participating in a planning day with other determined entrepreneurs and business owners?
Resources & Links
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman