Sometimes, your business challenges are mostly day-to-day. You talk to a customer about their challenging order. You work through a busy afternoon. However, as 2019 approaches—and faster than we think—it’s important to start the challenging process of making plans for the new year, especially the first few months. Planning challenges can be daunting, but starting early can help.
Here are three planning challenges you’re sure to face—and some tips on how to conquer them.
Planning usually involves at least one meeting—if not more than that. Planning meetings can be a great change from the norm, but they can also get off track easily or run into challenges with making those ideas a reality. So, before you head to a planning meeting, plan for your meeting (even if it sounds silly). Set your agenda and stick to it. Then, while you’re sending important files to the other meeting attendees, also send that agenda so that everyone is on the same page.
Setting goals can be a huge planning challenge—after all, you don’t want those yearly or quarterly goals to be either too easy or too hard. However, with some thought and some effort, you can create goals that push your business toward success. Brainstorming is a great way to get started, because it allows you to think about what you want from the next few years—more customers, more profit, or something else entirely. Once you’ve figured out where you’re going, you will have a better idea of how to get there.
More importantly, make sure you create milestones along the way to those bigger goals. Reaching out to new customers can be a daunting task, for example, but breaking that down into smaller milestones can help. You could create an advertising campaign, sign up to be an exhibitor at a tradeshow or local fair (depending on your clientele), or create a campaign to encourage word-of-mouth advertising—whatever you choose, each of these smaller projects can act as a milestone.
Planning for the new year isn’t just about big ideas. It’s also about planning the little details—an editorial calendar for your emails, advertising campaigns, product launches, and more. Just like the milestones for your year-long goals, breaking down these big projects can help ensure that everything gets done.
It’s also important to break down who is going to be involved with each project. Not only will this ensure that everyone knows who needs to deliver on which tasks, but it will also help ensure that future kickoff meetings will include everyone who needs to be there.