“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
The world was a very different place when Soren Kierkegaard made this statement in the early 19th century. Beyond the obvious absence of computers, cellphones, and internet; it was a time before women had the right to start businesses, hold political positions, and build corporate careers.
Yet his famous statement is just as true in our world as it was in his. It is certainly applicable to business planning.
If you are in business, now is the time to start thinking about next year. You have enough data for the current year to recognize trends, evaluate what worked, and measure successes. Understand the year that is ending so you can plan the year to come.
5 questions to get started:
1. Are you on track to meet your revenue targets for the current year? If not, why?
2. Are your expenses on budget for the current year? If not, why?
3. Was the launch of a new product or service a success or a flop? How can you use this information to improve your business next year?
4. What do you have to do more of to meet your goals next year?
5. What do you have to do less of to meet your goals next year?
If you are not sure how to answer some of these questions, seek help for your business planning. It is always valuable to get outside perspective. If you are in a franchise system, talk to your franchisor about what support is available for you. If you are on your own, connect with an experienced advisor like Angela Sutcliffe, Pat Mussieux, or Lara Galloway. There are many options available to help you learn from the past and prepare for the future of your business.