By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Photo Credit-DesiLu Photography
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ~ Alan Lakein
Now is the perfect time to review 2018 and plan ahead for 2019 for the success of your business. What is your vision for where your business will be one year from now? Just as you would not start out on a trip without knowing where you are going or how you will get there, you need to have a plan for your business. Set specific goals for where you want your business to be at this time next year and break down what you need to do throughout 2019 in order to reach those goals.
A key area in that success is the financial health of your business. What expenditures will need to be included in that plan in order to reach your 2019 goals? If you don’t plan ahead it can be easy to lose track of the long-term view of your business when so many immediate pressures pop up. A financial plan focused on the future can help you understand what expenditures need to be made to grow your business in the long term.
Before you set your goals for 2019, review your P&L as it will tell you where you have been – that is important information in order to determine where you want to go. Analyze how and why you reached the P&L results that you did. You might want to involve some of your team members as you analyze your past in order to then focus on your future, and getting them involved will help remind them that they are part of the team effort it takes to succeed.
Then define your goals for 2019 and identify what you will need to achieve those goals – again, involve your team. Maybe one goal is to add a member or members to your team. Marketing should definitely play a part in those 2019 goals, which is why you also need to have your 2019 marketing plan in place – so that you can include those planned expenditures. Will you need to update any equipment and/or technology in the coming year? Are there other overhead expenses that will be increasing in 2019 – i.e. increased in cost of utilities, lease, insurance, etc.? What financial resources will you need in order to reach these goals?
Not only is it important to plan ahead financially to reach your goals, but by reviewing that financial plan regularly you can address any issues quickly if you find your revenue is lower than what you had planned. Then you can help avoid bigger problems down the line and immediately focus on sales and marketing to try to increase that revenue.
Although planning for 2019 may take extra work now, it will help to make it easier to turn your vision into reality and reach your goals along with one last bit of advice from Jim Rohn: “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”