If you’re like me, you may have spent the past couple of weeks doing all the self-assessments, planning, goal setting, reflection, etc. I’ve mentioned in a few posts recently that I just love this time of year. The fresh slate is so motivating to me, and I love really digging deep and doing the hard work to figure out where I can (and want to) improve this year.
For me, planning out my business goals and strategies is just as important as my personal planning. It’s crazy to me I’ve been a business owner for nearly nine years now! I’ll admit, it’s taken me quite a while to figure out this whole yearly planning thing when it comes to my business, but I think I’ve gotten a good handle on it by now, so I wanted to share a few things I do each year to make sure I’ve set myself up for success for the year ahead.
Ask for Feedback from Employees and Partners
This is a big thing for me each year. It truly takes a team to keep a business like this up and running at the level we do, and I’m so grateful for everyone who helps make it happen. At the beginning of every year, I like to touch base with my team and partners to figure out what’s working for them and where we can make some changes in the year ahead. In my line of business, I also work with some of the same brands regularly, so it’s super important to me that they’re happy. I like to do quick check-ins just to make sure things are going smoothly on their end and get any feedback they may have. This helps me when I’m creating my overall business goals and just ensures that everyone is happy!
Assess Your Previous Year’s Goals
Another must-do for me at the beginning of every year is to review my previous year’s goals. Did I reach my revenue goals? What did my work-life balance look like last year? Did I achieve the social engagement I set for myself last January? When I can review these goals and where I achieved them or fell short, I can more realistically set my goals for the year ahead. There have been many years where I fell short on the previous year’s goals and several where I knocked them out of the park. But knowledge is power, especially when it comes to business, so it’s important for me to have an idea of what last year looked like as a whole.
Conduct Your Own SWOT Analysis
In addition to talking with my team and partners, I always make sure to evaluate my own skills as a business owner, boss, partner, etc. I personally love doing a SWOT analysis where I assess my own strengths and weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and the potential external (market) threats to my business’s success. You can read more about doing a SWOT analysis here, but I find it to be a really helpful tool to evaluate what may come up in the year ahead.
Set Your Priorities For the Year
Each year, my business priorities look different. Some years, I’m focused on growth, exploring new opportunities, and exciting launches (like last year with Agenda!). Other years, it’s all about establishing sustainable processes or creating a better work-life balance. For example, when I was pregnant with Four, it was important for me to practice self-care and make sure I was taking care of myself as best I could. At that time in my life, I had to prioritize the partnerships and goals that were most important to me and let some stuff go to the wayside for the time being. Remember: it’s not always possible to anticipate what the year will bring, so you may need to make adjustments as you go and that’s okay!
Create Quarterly Goals
I don’t know about you, but it can feel super overwhelming to me to look at the year as a whole. Like I just mentioned, you really have no idea what the year will bring (I mean who could’ve anticipated COVID in January of 2020?!), so I like to break it off into more digestible bites. Creating quarterly goals helps keep me on track because I’m able to check in on the goals each quarter and pivot where needed. It can be tough to set annual goals for your business and then have no real idea of how you’re doing with a said goal until the end of the year. Quarterly goals will obviously be smaller than annual goals. I like to keep mine super specific (i.e., bring in this much revenue or partner with this brand) so I can know exactly whether or not I’m hitting the mark.
Okay I know that was a lot, but I hope it helps give you some direction as you plan for the year ahead. Whether you’re a business owner or just want to set some professional goals for yourself, I think these steps can be extremely helpful! Happy planning! (:
Brighton Your Day
Get exclusive content, sale items, and lots of fun stuff, straight to your inbox!