A year ago, if you had asked me my plans for 2008 they would have been very different to how the year actually played out. That was out of my control, but it led me into new and exciting ventures and a direction I could barely have imagined.
As a result of my epiphany, my plans for 2009 will be very different.
Thinking about planning my next year reminds me of the lyrics to the Diana Ross song from Mahogany: “Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you?”
Do you know where your business is going? Do you like where it is now, and if not, are you prepared to change course?
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to sit down and plan the future of your business. Where do you want to be in 5 years time? How are you going to achieve that? What do you need to do next year in order to further your plans?
It can be easy to get lost in the minutiae of everyday life and business, so planning is essential. It doesn’t mean you have to be rigid or that you can’t suddenly decide to change direction because a great opportunity is presented to you. A plan will simply help you to stay on-track and not lose sight of where you are heading and what you want to achieve.
Once you have decided where you want to be in a year, break it down into months and the things you will need to achieve each month to get there. Once you have it broken down into monthly goals, you can plan each month in more detail with what you will need to do to reach those goals. Suddenly you will have a roadmap for your year, and each month you can review the month ahead and break it down into weekly plans.
It may sound tedious and even boring – knowing exactly where you are going – but it is like taking a journey. You know where you want to end up. You know how you are going to get there (the transport you are going to use, the places you may stay along the way). But having those plans does not mean you can’t deviate from your route occasionally, or stop to see things you weren’t expecting. And it certainly doesn’t mean you will enjoy the destination any less.
So, start planning 2009 for your business, and I wish you every success for your next year and beyond. I plan on making it my best ever (and a wonderful year for the SWBN)!