It’s hard to believe the year is already winding down and 2024 is a mere couple of months away. Year-end is often regarded as a time of hectic, heads-down planning for business owners as they seek to prepare their business for whatever awaits in the new year. How does year-end planning typically go for your business? If it has always been a pain point, there’s a better way.
In this six-part article series, Creative Planning Business Services is challenging business owners to get intentional with their planning for this year and beyond by providing insights and strategies to start the new year off strong. From discussing the best way to assess your financial and organizational health to technology, recruiting and retention efforts, we’re diving into the topics that matter most so that your business can tackle year-end planning with ease.
Before we jump to these business areas, let’s start with the basics.
Does your business have a solid strategy to approaching year-end? As crucial as this time of year is for analyzing certain business areas and making projections for the near future, it’s equally if not more important that your strategy behind the planning make sense for your business. We’re keeping it simple in the first installment of our article series by breaking down what it means to create a solid foundation for your year-end planning.
1. Take Time to Reflect
Before jumping into your future plans, start off year-end by reflecting on your business outcomes from the year prior. Doing so gives you the opportunity to identify areas of your business that performed well and where there’s room for improvement. Use these findings to guide where you focus your attention in the year ahead. This way the foundation of your year-end planning is built on past results, not gut feelings. Not sure where to start? Consider these questions from our recent planning season article. You may also want to use this reflection period to assess if your business’s vision and values are still aligned or if any adjustments need to be made to stay true to your mission.
2. Set Realistic Goals
This may seem obvious, but the key word here is “realistic.” Many business owners have the habit of shooting for the moon when it comes to setting business goals. This practice can lead to disappointing results and lower team morale when goals aren’t achieved. As you begin your year-end planning, be sure your goals are lofty but still attainable. If you take the time to reflect on the past year, your business goals for next year should be easier to set. Have the habit of going big or going home? Try categorizing your goals with different time frames (i.e., what goals will you achieve next year, in the next three years, in the next five years, etc.).
3. Don’t Do It Alone
Delegating work can be difficult, but when it comes to year-end planning, it’s necessary. Based on your goals for the new year, get the right team members involved who can make them happen. Knowing whose shoulders to tap to get valuable input beforehand will prevent future meetings and headaches from catching those team members up on your expectations in the coming year. It also allows you to get their feedback as you formulate your plans so that everyone is in agreement. That way when 2024 rolls around, you’re ready to hit the ground running.
Using these three best practices will help you establish a strong foundation for your year-end planning by providing you with the areas of focus, goals and team members you need to make the new year your best one yet. We told you we were keeping it simple in this first article — literally as simple as 1, 2, 3.
If you’re looking for a partner to help your business get intentional this planning season, Creative Planning Business Services is here to help. We offer an exclusive Intentional Growth program designed for clients to gain the insights and resources they need to create sustained value for their business. Learn more about the program here.
Stay tuned for our next Countdown to 2024 article, where we’ll explore how you can get intentional with a make-it-or-break-it area for businesses: financials.