Tips & Tricks for How to Plan for 2023
The key to business success and continued growth comes down to planning. If you have a solid business plan for the year, your daily decisions will come easy for you. Knowing and understanding your company's mission and vision will help you make informed decisions about what matters most for your business.
It is never too early to start planning for the next year ahead. We've put together some tips and tricks for things you can do to start preparing today.
Set Your Business Mission, Vision, and Goals for the Year
One of the most important things your business can do is define a clear vision and mission statement. These two statements will steer the direction of your company and give your employees an idea of what matters most for your business and what your priorities are. Think of your mission statement as the HOW you get things done and your vision statement as the WHY you do what you do.
Your mission statement should be what your company and business do at its core. What do you do? Who are your customers? This statement should focus on what your business does day in and day out.
Your vision statement focuses more on the future of your business and where you want to be. The vision statement is what drives the purpose of your business.
After these two statements are defined, you can focus on setting your goals for the following year. Do you want to increase your revenue by 10%? Invest more money into marketing? Sell more of a particular type of product? Defining these goals will help you when you go to create your business plan and budget.
Look at the goals you were unable to reach this year and see what changes can be made to reach them next year. Have some of your goals shifted directions? Were there any roadblocks? What was missing?
These goals will also help your employees know where they should focus their efforts throughout the year. In addition, it will help you make sure you have the proper tools and training available to get them and your business where they need to be.
Review Your Past and Current Years
The first thing you will want to do before you start planning for the next year is take a look at your current year. What worked well? What could be improved upon? What did you wish you would have done?
Each year is a learning experience, and you will continually build upon your successes and learn from any failures as your business matures and progresses.
It is essential to note anything that did not work for your business, so you do not repeat the same mistakes the following year or even years later. Keep a running list of things that may have flopped so you can refer to the list each year and avoid making the same mistake twice.
On that same note, it is crucial to see what worked well and continue improving upon it in the coming years. If you had a successful marketing campaign via direct mail, you might consider increasing your direct mail budget next year.
Create or Update Your Business Plan & Budget
Once you have created your mission and vision statement, defined your goals, and reviewed your current year, you are ready to create your business plan and budget. Make sure you take into consideration everything you have learned in the first few steps.
Things to include in your business plan:
- Executive Summary and Company Description: These two things will help guide the rest of your plan. While you know what your company is all about, it may help to get it down on paper. Then you can refine anything that may not make sense and any other employee or outside vendor will have it outlined for them.
- Market Analysis: This is important when creating your plan. You want to know what is at the forefront of your consumer's mind to help determine what products will sell and how you should market to them. You can also look at your competitors to see what they are doing and how they are marketing.
- Services Offered: Writing out what services your business offers or may want to get into will be incredibly helpful for your employees. Your technicians and sales team will know where they should focus their efforts. This will also help in your marketing efforts because you will know what you should prioritize promoting and selling.
- Marketing & Sales: A clear marketing and sales strategy is critical. This is the bread and butter of your business and how you will increase your revenue, so you will want to have a robust marketing plan.
- Financial Projections: It is important to have a goal of what your business will do in revenue the following year. You can use your current year to determine how much you think your business will grow. Having a budget and goal is important and will help keep you on track during the year.
After you understand what your business plan for the upcoming plan is, you can start creating a budget for the next year. A thorough understanding of your expenses is the first step to building a realistic budget. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started:
- Examine Your Revenue: You will want to look back at your past years and see how much revenue you brought in each year. It will be helpful to see how much that revenue has increased or decreased over the years so you can set a realistic expectation for how much you will bring in the following year.
- Gather Fixed & Overhead Costs: You must know your fixed costs and expenses. These things will not change throughout the year and are costs like rent, phone lines, internet, and salaries.
- Consider Variable Costs: You should budget for variable costs throughout the year. These costs will vary based on how much and how often you use them and can be things like office supplies, replacing old equipment, uniforms, etc.
- Budget for Unexpected Costs: You will want to have a safety net in your budget for any unexpected costs that may arise. Having money set aside will give you the peace of mind that you are prepared if something unexpected comes up.
- Review P&L Statements: Looking back at your Profit and Loss statements will help you when budgeting for the year ahead. This will help you know where to put extra money in your budget for the next year.
Once you have defined and gathered all the above information, you can create your budget for the following year.
Bring on the New Year
Now that you have thoroughly planned for the next year, you can kick back and relax knowing you have a solid plan for running and growing your business! This planning will help you when making key business decisions and will give you and your employees a direction to focus on throughout the year.
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