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Five tips for new year business planning

Whenever another year passes, standard practice for entrepreneurs is to start new year planning. This should include completing a ‘Year End Business Review.’ An effective summary of the year allows business owners to evaluate their goals and achievements, growth, and disappointments, which all inform how to run a better business in the future.

2020 has hardly been a normal year. The Coronavirus Pandemic has shaken the world in ways that were never expected. At TAB, we work with business owners all over the world and it’s safe to say not many of them had ‘Global Pandemic’ as a threat in their SWOT Analysis. Therefore, this year’s review may look a little different.

Regardless, it is still important for business owners and leaders to make sure their business works for them, and not the other way round. Entrepreneurs still need to think strategically for the year ahead, while of course, considering the current business climate.

We can’t control the event, but we can control the response – and that determines the outcome.

Here are five tips for business owners to consider when planning their business strategy for the new year:

Tip 1: Consider the changes in consumer behaviour 

How might the changes caused by COVID affect your business strategy for the new year?

For example, there has been an increased love of staying at home, a demand for virtual activities, a greater emphasis on health and a further rise in digital communications. The acceleration of change in 2020 has been astronomical. The office culture we knew before has gone and the changes in the working world that would have ordinarily taken years have happened in just a few months. Read this article on the five lessons business owners can take from 2020.

So, as you review 2020 and your plan for the new year, think about how your business might need to adapt and change. At TAB, we've seen lots of business owners pivoting their business models during this time, and they continue to do so to stay ahead.

Tip 2: Reflect on your personal goals for the new year

Why did you start your business in the first place? What personal goals were you looking to meet?

When thinking about writing a new year business plan, reflect on your personal goals and whether you've met them in the year that has passed. It might be that you haven't. However, because of the change in circumstances, next year you may be able to adjust your working lifestyle to meet them.

As an example, one of our TAB members in Leeds had a personal vision of living in the countryside. Before COVID, this vision had been delayed due to the need to be near the city where his business was based. Along came the pandemic and the owner realised because of the strength of the communication platforms available to us, he could still run his business and move to the countryside.

Is there anything in your personal vision that could be achieved in 2021 because of the results of the pandemic? If you aren't sure what your personal vision is, this is something we help with at TAB. Read our guide on how to write a good personal vision statement.

Tip 3: Write some 90-day business goals

In our white paper on the Essential Steps for Running a Better Business in 2021, you'll find some specific new year business planning activities to complete. This includes looking at your business areas and planning some key goals for the new year. However, our top tips for this new year is to write succinct, 90-day goals. The world is rapidly changing so you need to make sure that as a business leader, you are able to react quickly. If a complete annual plan feels overwhelming given the uncertainties we're currently facing, start with just 90-days.

Tip 4: Share your new year planning with your team

There is nothing more important than starting off the year than making your team feel included, valued, and motivated. So, present your review, plan and goals to them in a fun and positive way.

Why not host a virtual team day and include social activities such as a quiz, bake-off activity or online game of Pictionary? Read our blog post about how to share performance with your team.

Tip 5: Don't let new year planning be lonely

2021 will be the first year where it has never been easier to strengthen your connections online. Join LinkedIn Networking groups, attend virtual events to acquire new business and to continue improving your leadership skills. One of the best ways to tackle feelings of loneliness as an entrepreneur is to get people around you to support and guide your decisions.

Business owner advisory boards have proved to be an excellent support for business owners across the world. At TAB, we provide entrepreneurs with the chance to get together with like-minded business owners, almost like a board of directors, to discuss the opportunities and challenges they each face in their business. Find your local facilitator and contact them for a chat.

Paul MacDonald joined us at the very start of lockdown. This is what he said about TAB:

“The pace of change now is large with decisions that you have to make being quite instant, really fast and it's changing all the time, and nobody's ever been in this situation before. I mean, it's completely unprecedented. We don't know what's coming around the corner. Well, that's not a scary thing when you know that you've got a support mechanism, which is a completely impartial set of people, individuals that are there to help you and you're there to help each other.” Paul MacDonald, Paul Waite associates and PWA Geo-environmental

Whether you’re a TAB member or not, successful people respond better to the events around them. How are you going to respond to the year we have had? How are you looking to become a better leader in the new year?

A positive response will more likely lead to a positive outcome. Get reviewing and planning and say to the new year – “Bring it on.”


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