Start Planning Now!

by | Dec 1, 2008 | Planning Your Business

Have you started your plan for 2009? I don’t know about you, but I plan to make 2009 mine! And, I believe, you should, too.

So how do you go about doing that? Well, I’ve pulled together some checklists and cheat sheets to help you do just that, and I’ll be posting them throughout this month.

Today, let’s start with basic, overall planning. What helps me, I find, is to break up the year into more manageable chunks … quarters and then months. I’ve created an annual planning sheet just for you and you can download it in PDF format here:

pdf Annual Planning Guide

(Note: I made it generic so you can print it out and use it year after year.)

Here’s how to use it:

1. Decide on your “big picture” projects for each quarter.
Will you have any product launches, special events, or other promotions to, well, promote? Jot those down in the “Quarter Theme” section.

2. Break these projects down into monthly beats.
What mini-projects will you need to do to make those larger projects happen? Jot those down in the “Monthly Focus” section.

3. Step back and take a look at the picture you’ve just created.
Have you been too ambitious? Go back and scale it down. Maybe you only want to tackle two big projects this year, rather than four.

Have you not been ambitious enough? Are there too many empty spaces? Maybe you can pencil in another project.

Remember, this is just a loose, big-picture look at what you want to accomplish in your business next year. You don’t need to be too specific. This is just a starting point.

Mull over your plan for the next week. Then, each Monday, come back to this blog for the next post and further suggestions for next year’s plan.

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