Planning the year ahead – How do we plan for success?

Planning, Videos,

Getting a head start on planning the new year can be a really smart thing to do. It can bring your family and team on board in a more positive way than ever before, and keep you focussed too.

In this episode I’m sharing the process that we use and the benefits we’ve found from the process.

Watch this episode to find out how to deploy this in your business…


Hi, and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax and to help your business grow.

I had something come through the post this week which I thought I would share with you, and it is our planner for next year.

I know it’s quite early still to be looking at next year, but we really put a lot of store and put a lot of time into planning next year nice and early because there is quite a process behind it.

And it’s that process that I wanted to share with you this week because I think that it could be really beneficial.

Certainly it’s a process that we learnt from somebody else, and we’ve been using it for the last few years and it’s worked really nicely for us. This, as an example, is this year’s planner. So you can see there’s lots of different colors, lots of different marks on there, and it’s all got quite busy over the year. But what we’re going to be doing over the next few weeks is working on planning 2020. And there’s some really good reasons as to why that makes good sense for us and why we think that could be really useful for some of our clients and colleagues too.

The first step in our process is to work out what we want out of 2020.

So for us with our slightly unusual business model, including our travelling and lots of holidays and that sort of stuff, we’ll sit down and we’ll actually go away in the motorhome for a weekend, take ourselves out of the day-to-day and just sit and brainstorm and work out what we want from 2020.

And that will include things that we want to do in terms of travelling, holidays, savings, and some family events we’ve got coming up.

So there’s lots of things like that that will take time, and we want to make sure that we can fit those into our diary. That is our priority.

After that, we will work out when those are. We’ll put them on the planner. We’ll work out the associated costs. And we then need to look to the business to make sure that the business is able to finance those personal costs.

We’ll also work out what we want to do from a business perspective.

So there are some things that we want to do in terms of development.

There may be:

  • increasing costs.
  • recruitment you want to consider.
  • investment you need if equipment is coming towards the end of its lifetime.

So all of those things you want to start to think about and to make a list and make a map of. What you need to do is make sure that the business can actually support all of those decisions as well as your personal goals too.

There may be some business commitments that you need to take into account when you’re putting your personal plan on the calendar, and for us it’s very much things like deadlines.

  • We have a lot of clients who have a 31st of March year end, so their accounts need to be filed by the 31st of December. So realistically that means they need to be done by Christmas, so we will make sure that we’re around definitely November and into December because there’s always a lot going on.
  • Similarly, the end of January is a big landmark for tax return filing deadlines, and there are others throughout the year. So we’ll make sure that we take those into account so that we’re around to take care of those.

From there, we’ll work out how our business looks and look at our capacity and our clients and what’s coming up with clients and make sure that we’re able to react and support those needs and those requirements.

Involve your team…

We obviously don’t have a team, but once you’ve got to this point, it can be really helpful to sit down and explain the process to your team members and ask them to do a similar exercise.

What you want them to be able to do is look at what their goals are for next year and potentially to sit down and work those through with your business.

So if you’ve got a sales team, it may be that actually if they’ve got a personal goal to get to Disneyland for a holiday, what do they need to do in terms of sales to get them to that level of commission to be able to take their family to Disneyland? If they work out what their personal goals are, that can be a really good motivator for them in terms of sales.

But also if you can explain your business goals to your team, then that helps them buy in and understand what you’re going to be driving towards for the next 12 months.

So those are all sorts of additional costs that you may end up having to find and to support.

Having mapped out your year, it shows you where your gaps are.

It also conversely shows you that you’ve got an awful lot already planned in!

So it leaves you with small windows of opportunity to do the business development. So if you’ve got a plan that you want to have a new product launched by August of next year, you can then say, ‘Well, everything else is in the diary. I’ve only got two or three small windows to actually do the work that’s required’.

And actually having it all mapped out can really help focus your efforts in those windows, rather than have the human nature response, which can be ‘I’m fine, I can chill for a bit’.

So having it all mapped out really removes the doubt about everything.

You don’t get to the end of August and realise that actually you haven’t achieved anything.

That time is already on the planner, and you know that you just have to turn up each day and do what’s on there. You’ll make a good amount of progress towards achieving your goals for the year.

It can also drastically reduce any family pressure.

You may go home at the end of your business day to a partner gives you a bit of a hard time. If you can sit down with them and involve them in your personal planning, and then explain how that feeds into your business planning and the time that you need to put into the business to be able to achieve those personal goals, then you might find that it actually makes life a little bit easier at home too.

So have a think about that.

See whether planning 2020 would work for you. If you do decide to implement it for the first time, then we’d love to hear how you get on. If you have any questions, please get in touch!

If you have an alternate process, similarly, I’d love to hear about it. We’re always looking to tweak things that we do and how we do them.

Otherwise, I’ll see you all very soon.

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