No! In fact, now is the best time to start working on the plan. You have two months until 2015. This is plenty of time to gather relevant examples of what worked and what did not work. It is also ample time to see and anticipate the implications of taxes for 2014 and structure your business for growth in the New Year.
1. Develop Your Goals For Growth
Where will your small business be at the end of 2014? Where do you want it to go from there? The entrepreneurial mind thinks in increments of years. Start asking yourself what ways can be applied to get to your desired result. Growth is certainly a good thing and with that you want to consider and practice what would bring this result.
Perhaps your small business has one great customer. Figure out why this customer is so great. Is it because the clients are treated well, do they have a greater need than other clients? Once you have isolated the success factor of the relationship, apply it to your other clients. This in itself will take smaller goals and a plan but once you figured out what makes your client come back for business, figure out how to apply that constant to other clients in your plan for 2015.
3. Remember What Worked
It would be silly to try to re-invent the wheel in 2015. Part of moving forward is taking a step back and assessing what worked previously. Go back even further to when you were at this stage last year and see what goals you had for 2014. Granted what once worked last year may not again but there may be isolated items that remained unchanged and could be helpful in the New Year.
4. Organize For Quick Action
Address those pesky pet projects that keep you distracted from an immediate opportunity. Take care of them now. Also start getting your tax files ready. Small businesses face the challenge of response. It is a key factor for growth and survival. If your small business needs quick turnaround time, then make sure you have a pitch perfect organization. It would be unfortunate to lose an opportunity just because you couldn’t find a file or didn’t have proposal done in time. Implement proper policies, procedures and sound organizational techniques before 2015 so it does not have to be in your plan.
5. Command and Conquer
A good business owner knows how to delegate tasks. A very good one knows the strengths of the people they have working for them. See how your plan applies to each member of your workforce. The goals of your plan may correspond with the goals of your team. Giving team member’s responsibility creates trust and also will free up time for the owner to focus on higher end business engagements.
I would like to thank Patrick Coughlin for his help on preparing this article with me. Patrick is a Marketing Analyst at Consultants 2 Go. Don’t forget, you can email me at Peggy@Consultants2Go.com with any questions you might have and I’ll be glad to answer them. You can also follow my business and me on Twitter @peggymchale and @consultants2go.
Peggy is the co-founder of Consultants 2 Go® (C2G), a consulting firm that provides marketing solutions to Fortune 500 companies in the Financial Services, Telecom, Life Sciences and other industries. Consultants 2 Go was just named to the Inc. 500/5000 List as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Prior to starting C2G, Peggy was a Vice President at American Express. She holds an MBA from St. John’s University and a BA from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She recently served as a member of the Advisory Board for The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, New Providence, NJ.
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