2021 is here faster than we ever expected it to be. As entrepreneurs, we must embrace new challenges and try to get a head start on the new year. Therefore, we wanted to share five business planning hacks with you to help you reach the growth you want.
Of course, planning alone would never be enough, in the end, we need accountability, perseverance, and resilience to thrive. But we hope that the following tips will help show you what direction to go with your business this year.
Understand What You Want to Accomplish
The first step in any process of business planning is understanding your goals. You must know what you want to accomplish to create a successful plan that will guide you through an unpredictable year.
For many businesses, 2021 is the year of coming back. After enduring the hardships created by 2020, entrepreneurs are ready to get back-on-track.
While ambitions can boost morale, a good strategy is what you need to move forward. As a starting point, we recommend that you build out a SMART goal.
SMART goals provide you with clarity, a timeframe, definite expectation, and a rough draft of your gameplan. Having goals like this eliminates ambiguities and thus should be the core of planning your business.
Involve Your People in the Business Planning Process
Your people are your most valuable asset. Therefore, start your planning by speaking with essential team members, such as:
- CEO and CMO
- Office manager
- Team leaders
These people are your company’s key stakeholders. Their decisions should affect how you plan on moving forward, even if you are the sole owner of the company.
Nobody can succeed alone–you need to make sure your team is on the same page so you can march forward together.
When having a conversation with your decision-making team, be honest. Don’t focus solely on positives, because we all know real life comes with ups and downs.
Consequently, it is vital to address both your expectations and concerns when doing business planning.
Inventory Your Resources and Strategize
Many of us scrambled to survive in 2020. Accordingly, your top priority in the new year should be doing inventory.
It is not just about knowing what you have but also understanding what you offer. During the inventory process, evaluate:
- How much monetary asset you can leverage.
- How much physical asset and inventory you have.
- What services you offer and what dollar-values they have.
- What you used in 2020 that is currently running low.
- Whether there has been a deficit or surplus in your inventory.
Feel free to involve your CPA or bookkeeper in this conversation as they would know the most about your numbers.
Re-evaluate Your Revenue Structure
Once you complete inventory, it is time to re-evaluate your revenue structure. Today’s economy changes so rapidly that businesses must continuously evolve to stay relevant and competitive.
Luckily, you can do a few things to re-evaluate and enhance your revenue structure, increase your cash flow, and bring more growth in 2021.
Dropping Low-Value Items
First, understand your offers and prices. If the value no longer makes sense in comparison to the work required, you need to adjust your charge or drop the service altogether.
Prepare for the Unforeseen
2021 is still under unpredictable clouds. Therefore, you must prepare for potential future disruptions when planning business activities for 2021.
To prepare for the unforeseen, you only need to follow two steps:
- Identify risks
- Create a business contingency plan
Risks could be financial, structural, or team-related. They could also be both internal and external. Therefore, when creating your contingency plan, you should also leverage both internal and external resources.
Business Planning on Paper
Make sure you have a hard-copy of your business plan. If you need references, try to use a business plan template. You can find plenty of options online. If possible, use a template designed for the same industry as your business.
Having a hard copy helps you stay on track. If you weren’t aware, you are supposed to have a hard copy of your business development and marketing plan as well!
Some Final Thoughts
In conclusion, your 2021 business planning activities should start with understanding what you want to accomplish. Evaluate what you currently have and address both your expectations and concerns. Nobody can predict the future and with a pandemic over us, we need to have a contingency plan in place. In the end, remember massive action brings massive growth. So untie your hands, face your uncertainties, and let’s see how high you can fly in 2021.
We hope these business planning hacks will give you a headstart.