The new year is just around the corner, so we expect you’ve begun planning your business’ strategy for 2019. Our business goals are always changing so it’s worth jotting them down throughout the year and as the year pulls to close dig them out and decide if and how they can fit into next years plan.
Setting goals and planning for the upcoming year for your business involves you considering where you are as a company and reviewing the current state and future of the market your business sits in. You’ll need to make decisions about how and where you’ll apply your time and resources and decide if your goals are achievable. Writing business plans and strategies can seem daunting so we’ve put together a list of essential things you should consider when creating your strategy.
It’s worth creating a timeline of how the previous year mapped out. You should include everything that your business came up against and make notes on issues the business tackled and how they were overcome. Go over the completed timeline and look for any patterns, positive or negative, review the grey areas and see how these can impact your business success.
A competitor analysis is a crucial part of any business planning phase for companies who wish to improve their business, and we recommend you research your top 3 competitors. What you include will depend on your business goals, but you should make sure your competitive analysis identifies the following;
- How your competitors market their products/services
- How your target audience rate your competition
- What your competitor’s strengths and weakness are
- How your prices differ
- Why your product/service is unique or better value
- Which social networks (if any) your competitors are active on – You should also look at how often they post and what type of content they post
Marketing is forever evolving, and new trends come into play all the time. If you don’t have a marketing expert on hand to help you identify these, we recommend you invest some time into researching current marketing trends and decide how you will incorporate these into you 2019 strategy.
If you want your business to be successful, you’ll need a purpose, something to drive your business into a success. If your business is already up and running, you should already have a mission statement, and It’s worth revisiting these values to check if your business is still aligned with them. Ask yourself what is the purpose of my business? Why do I want this business to be a success? How do I want to achieve this success? Remember your business values at all times and be sure to reflect on them whenever your business makes a move.
Now that you’ve looked over last year’s timeline and analysed the competition you’ll want to decide what your business goals are for the upcoming year. Writing down your companies goals will help you to visualise the future and keep you focused on the bigger picture. Once you have decided what your primary goals are you should break them down into smaller tasks, for example, if your first goal is to sell 10,000 products in 2019 you’ll need to identify what steps will you take to achieve this goal and how you will accomplish them. Example; You have set a target of achieving 10,000 sales in 2019. You have decided that you will use social media to help you achieve these sales by promoting your products online. You have decided you will Facebook and Twitter and that you will post four times a week using a mix of promo videos and text statuses. You should be as specific as necessary.
All things considered above you should be on your way to creating your business strategy for 2019. If you want to make your plan look more official or you need a layout guide then head over to smartsheet and check out their strategic planning templates.