Proper planning is an essential part of making sure your business goals are on track.
Businesses often set weekly, monthly, and quarterly targets. However, many neglect the importance of planning out their entire year in advance.
According to Info Entrepreneurs, “the main aim of your annual business plan is to set out the strategy and action plan for your business… [and it] should include:
- an outline of change you want to make to your business
- potential changes to your market, customers, and competition
- your objectives and goals for the year
- your key performance indicators
- any issues or problems
- any operational changes
- information about your management and people
- your financial performance and forecasts
- details of investment in the business” – Info Entrepreneurs
Here are some of the benefits of annual planning:
Planning One Year Ahead Costs You Less
Proper budgeting is an important part of keeping projects running smoothly.
“Leaving things for the last minute can cost you! It can cost you time, money and most importantly your sanity! By planning ahead you’ll be able to take advantage of that time to get things cheaper or prepare properly for a change in your business, spending less time course correcting – Huffington Post
Planning a budget for at least one year in advance will ensure you are prepared if you hit any snags or unexpected costs along the way.
Planning One Year Ahead Is Less Stressful
Planning ahead makes you feel more in control and more control means less stress.
“Stress affects your ability to remember things you already know, to process new information you are learning and to apply both to analytical situations and physical tasks that require concentration.” – Small Business
Time spent on R&D is some of the most important time you will spend on project development. Planning ahead and taking your time in the preliminary stages will alleviate a lot of your worries. You will be less likely to feel the anxiety of not having taken everything into account.
Stress can be a leading cause of your team’s productivity loss. So spend proper time planning for what matters and you’re less likely to feel the crunch.
Planning One Year Ahead Let’s You Plan Downtime
Good project managers find ways to let employees blow off steam and recharge between project stages or after important milestones.
Breaks can even be enjoyed during business travel. If a particular project or meeting takes place in a different city than the one your team is usually in, plan some downtime – your team will return to the project more revived!
“Many hotels today have in-house spas. Even if your trip is very hectic, carve out some time to get a treatment or a relaxing massage – your body and mind will thank you.” – Travel & Transport
But of course, downtime isn’t just important between projects and project stages. A proper, no-work-allowed vacation can be essential at least once a year.
“Culturally, we’re beginning to see a shift in how we view vacations. Major companies like Virgin Group, Netflix, LinkedIn, Grubhub and even General Electric are giving their employees “unlimited” or semi-unlimited vacation time… even if that means delaying growth and success for another day.” – Entrepreneur Magazine
So whether it’s over the holidays or designated mid-season, make time for your team to unwind!
Planning ahead is important. The anticipation of what’s to come will make projects run more smoothly, give you lots of wiggle room and set you and your team up for long term success. Having your entire year at a glance will make all the difference!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!