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Planning for 2017

It’s the most hectic time of the year, so how can you even think about 2017?

Since most business owners can be procrastinators it is a pretty safe bet to assume you haven’t mapped out your goals and strategies for 2017.

I know, I know, all you want to do is drink eggnog, sip champagne and eat that delicious fruit cake. Trust me though, it really doesn’t have to be such a hassle. Take a few days over break and map out a one-page strategy.

Follow the below simple outline and get cracking.

  1. Elevator pitch. Review what you currently have, is it still accurate? Make sure all staff is on the same page and is talking about the business succinctly.
  2. SWOT. Every year you should map out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These change from year to year. By understanding where your company stands, you can best plan for the coming year.
  3. Goals. Map out where you would like to be at the end of 2017. What are your sales, growth, culture and financial goals? Don’t make this difficult, bullet point and move on. No one ever said you need to write a novel.
  4. KPI. What are your key performance indicators? 834 focuses on client retention, conversion rates and retainer revenue.
  5. Target customers. As you grow and evolve as a company, so will your clients. Perhaps when you started out your focus was in a different industry or size client. What does your ideal customer look like?
  6. Industry analysis. This is a quick snapshot of the current market. What does competition look like? Is the geographic region you are concentrating your efforts on tapped out?
  7. Competitive analysis. When you bid out jobs, what companies to you compete with? Spend time researching what they are currently doing and where there might be opportunity for your company.
  8. Marketing plan. How the hell are people going to hear about you? Where will you spend your time? For 834, we concentrate on blogging, social media, networking and media relations. What is the best return for you?
  9. Financial projections. More than likely, you have already projected 2017 revenue for tax purposes, so take those numbers and break it down into more detail. In this section of my plan I look at expenses, revenue and our internal processes. How can we improve?
  10. Staff. In this section, I map out an org chart with current employees and then another one that maps out future positions. This gives me something to work towards and also determine if I have any existing holes.

This whole document should not be more than a few pages. You are not writing a novel, you are determining goals to work towards. If you write a 30 page business plan, do you really think you will ever look at it again? Oh hell no.


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Hi, I'm Kim!
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