If you want to improve on the way your company performed this year, or you have new ideas on business management that you’ve been waiting to implement, you might want to use the new year as your signal to change things. The new year is a great time to refocus your business, but you have to be sure you’re doing things correctly so you can start next year strong.

This article will help you with your new year business planning and provide a few things you should consider when writing your plans and strategies. We’ll cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Set goals for the year
  • Measure your success so far
  • Pick your priorities
  • Consider changes in the market
  • Using Countingup in the new year

Set goals for the year

A vital feature of your business plan for the new year should be setting a few goals. Ask yourself what you would like to achieve for the year, but make sure your answers are specific. This means avoiding goals like ‘grow the business’ or ‘make more money’. Instead, it’s better if your goals relate to a particular department or area of your business. 

For instance, if you want to increase your company’s income, consider setting some sales goals. Look into ways you can increase sales of a particular product or service, or check if you need to invest more into marketing to convince more customers to buy your goods.

An important thing to remember is the difference between goals and objectives. A goal is a long-term target: it should help point your business activities in the right direction, but they usually don’t go into details about the methods involved. Expanding your network is a good goal, but consider how you’d actually expand your network. This is where objectives come in.

An objective is more specific, measurable and has some sort of deadline. To achieve your overall goal, it’s smart to break it down into smaller objectives. For example: as part of your goal of expanding your network, you might set yourself the objective of attending two networking events in the new year so you can meet more contacts.

Measure your success so far

If you want to succeed in the new year, you’ll need to define what success means to you and your company. A big part of working out this definition is to assess your progress so far, which means measuring the success of your business.

There are many different methods you can use to measure your success, but the simplest are the ones that involve calculating your income and comparing it to the income of previous years or months. 

For instance, to measure the success you had last year, you could compare your total income for each month and work out the percentage increase or decrease from month to month. This will help you set goals for the new year, as you could aim to maintain that same percentage or increase it.

If your main aim isn’t income-based, you might want to measure the success of a project you completed in 2021 instead. This can be a little harder than measuring the success of your business overall, especially if you don’t want to focus on income, profits, or similar statistics. It’s still possible, though: look at things like client feedback to measure the success of your project. This helps you determine what you did wrong and what to continue doing in the new year.

Pick your priorities

When you’re putting together a high-quality business plan for the new year, a small but essential detail to add is where you’re going to start. A list of tasks, goals, and targets is useless if you don’t know what you will tackle first.

To decide the order in which you’ll work through your business plan, you need to work out a method for prioritisation. Different things are important to different businesses, and you’ll want to figure out what’s especially important to your business. 

The best way to do this is to look at your achievements in 2021: determine what went right and what went wrong. If your marketing was phenomenal, but your production was slow and inefficient, you should prioritise the parts of your plan that will improve how you produce goods.

Prioritising tasks is the key to improving your time management. Time management is all about spending your time wisely, so it’s better to do important tasks before nonessential ones. 

Consider changes in the market

The only thing you can ever guarantee about a new year is that it’ll be different from the last one. One of the big differences that a business may want to investigate is the changes within the market they sell their products to

Changes in the market are important because of how customers influence a business. If your target market seems to be changing the way they shop, or wants different things from the products they buy, you’ll need to be able to adapt to these changes. If you think your consumers are likely to change their behaviour in the new year, put measures in place to make the most of these changes. 

Another part of your market is your competitors. A big part of your business plan in the new year might be adjusting your marketing or sales strategy to account for a greater number of competitors. 

Using Countingup in the new year

Whatever next year might hold for your company, it’s a good idea to move forward with a clear understanding of your finances. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to use the Countingup app. 

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

Find out more here.