Checklist: Getting Ready for the New Year
By Karyn Greenstreet
copyright © 2008, by Karyn Greenstreet. All rights reserved.
It's the most wonderful time of the year...time to think about your business plans for next year.
This is a great time of year to work ON your business, as December is usually a slower time of year for most small businesses (except retailers, of course!). It's also the time of year that we personally pause and reflect on the past year and set our personal and professional goals for the new year.
Print out this checklist and use it for your New Year planning.
What should you think about? First, gather your facts from the current year:
- What was your total revenue?
- What were your total expenses?
- How much did you spend on marketing?
- Did sales result from the different marketing techniques you tried?
- Which techniques worked best for you?
- How many new customers did you get?
- How many visitors did you get to your website? Is that number increasing each month?
- How many people are currently on your mailing list?
Next, think about your business goals for next year:
- How much revenue would you like to make?
- Will there be any new, one-time expenses (like a facelift for your website or a new bookshelf for your office)?
- Will there by any new, recurring expenses (like hiring an assistant or membership dues to a new group)?
- Are there any expenses that you will drop (like that magazine you subscribed to but never read)?
- How many customers would you like to have?
- How many new people would you like to add to your mailing list?
In addition, think about all those ideas you had for new products and services for the new year:
- Which projects would you like to start next year?
- Are there any projects you started in the current year that just haven't panned out, and you'd like to drop them in the new year?
- What have your customers been asking for? (And do you want to supply this to them?)
- Do you want to add new services, classes, books or audio programs to your business offerings? Is this the year you create a podcast or online video?
Finally, write a new version of your business plan and marketing plan for next year, incorporating all of the above, plus:
- Will you be going after any new audiences in the new year?
- Will you be dropping any audiences that didn't pan out?
- Has the vision or mission of your business changed?
- Has your competition changed?
If you're unsure what should be in a business plan, read my blog entry checklist -- What should be in your business plan.