An essential part of planning for the New Year is tying up any loose ends from the year before. It’s important to use your experiences from the previous year to help you decide the direction your business will take going forward.

This article will show you a few ways you can start your New Year business planning while resolving any lingering issues from last year. The full list of topics we’ll cover includes:

  • Measure your progress from 2021
  • Set goals from 2022
  • Start now
  • Use and expand your network
  • Make bookkeeping easier

Measure your progress from 2021

One of the best things you can do as the year draws to a close is measured how successful your business was in 2021. By doing this, you’ll better understand what progress you’ve made and what you need to do now to capitalise on that progress. 

There are a few different ways of measuring progress, so make sure you choose the most appropriate method for your business. One of the simplest ways to see how well you’re doing is to count your sales or the revenue you’ve made from sales. By comparing your sales from recent months to those from the start of the year, you can see if sales have increased.

You might also want to consider how many new contacts you’ve made or what goals you’ve achieved in 2021. Alternatively, you could measure the success of your marketing campaigns by looking at things like customer loyalty and the number of new customers you’re seeing. You can do this by looking at things like website analytics or asking for customer feedback.

The way you measure success depends on what you hope to do with your business, so think about your aims before you pick your success-measuring strategy.

Set goals for 2022

An important part of your New Year business planning is figuring out how you want your company to develop going forward. Doing so will help you make business decisions: if you know exactly what you want to achieve, it’s easier to pick options that bring you closer to achieving that goal.

Different companies will require different goals. You might choose something simple, like a set of sales targets, or a more complex goal like improving your brand awareness. If you’ve already measured the success of your business, choosing goals is easier as you’ll better understand areas that you’re doing well or doing poorly in. 

Short, medium and long term goals

It’s important that you don’t only set yourself a single goal for the year. Instead, try to set a mix of short, medium, and long term goals so that you’re always striving for something in 2022. 

If you only have long term goals, it’s unlikely you’ll see much progress until the end of 2022. But by only having short term goals, you might find yourself struggling to prioritise because you’ll have a lot of very close deadlines. 

By having a mix of goals and objectives with different timelines for success, you can plan out your entire year, as you’ll know exactly what you need to achieve and when you need to do it.

Start now

A great business tip for the New Year is to make the most of the traditional January business slump. That means that New Year business planning doesn’t just mean working out what you’re doing next summer; it means finding out what you’re doing in the days after New Year’s Eve. 

A good way to do this is to do your business planning chronologically. That means planning out your January before you do anything else, then creating plans for each following month. Doing so can help immensely with future business decisions and helps avoid any unforeseen circumstances. 

As the progress (and money) you make in earlier months will affect months later in the year, it’s not a bad thing if your December has a much vaguer plan than January does. That said, you should still try to do a rough forecast of how much you’ll make and what you want to focus on in that month (i.e. sales, marketing, business development).

Use your network

Using your network is a great way to tie up loose ends from the previous year while advancing your business interests in 2022. The idea is simple: you’ve likely managed to expand your network over the past year. As well as considering how you’ll meet even more contacts, plan out how you’ll use and engage with the people you met in 2021 going forward into 2022.

Networking like this is very important for a small business, as each new contact could bring huge benefits or business opportunities to your company. For example, you might meet someone with a lot of business experience that you could bring on as a partner. Alternatively, you might meet an investor who’s willing to put money into growing your business.

You don’t need to plan out exactly who will come in handy and when, but always keep your 2021 contacts in mind when planning out 2022. For instance, you might list potentially helpful contacts when you make your goals for each month of the New Year.

Make bookkeeping easier

Financial management is a huge part of your business, so make sure it’s a part of your 2022 business plan. If you struggle with different accounting tasks, consider downloading the Countingup app to make financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also instantly share your bookkeeping with your accountant without worrying about duplication errors, data lags, or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here and start your three-month free trial today.