Do You Need a Yearly Plan?
By Annette Sonnenburg
Many people don’t believe they need a yearly plan. They believe they know enough about themselves or their businesses to bypass any planning process. Some people can get away with that, but for most, having a plan and updating one on a yearly basis is essential to reaching your goals and desires.
A yearly plan helps you to focus on what is important.
There are too many events and things that happen during the year that distracts us from our goals. The plan lets you see what needs allocation of funding, or how your expenses will affect your bottom line.
If you have employees working for you, a yearly plan can help manage them. You can find out what vacations they are planning and ensure that they are scheduled for training that may be required. You can’t account for everything that they may encounter over the course of the year, but as long as you have the major events on your plan, you can account for those and make alternative arrangements.
Use it as a roadmap
When you implement your yearly plan, you solidify the necessary objectives to advance your organization. You and your employees can use it as a roadmap to make sure everyone is on the same page. There are going to be changes, and as the year goes on, you may find some initiatives are no longer relevant. However, overall, a plan will keep you moving toward your goals.
Without a plan, you may be planning to fail
Without a plan, people and companies tend to flounder. They spend more money than they should, and they start projects that they often don’t complete. They haven’t evaluated how those projects will benefit the company or whether the timing of completion will affect those benefits. It’s difficult to work as a cohesive unit when everyone is not aware of and working on the same plan. Without a plan, management and employees will waste resources that may not move you toward your company goals.
A plan doesn’t have to be elaborate nor does it need to be exceptionally long. It can be as simple as identifying goals, dates, and tasks and assigning those tasks with expected completion dates.
Get everyone involved
It is important to get everyone to participate, and once they are in agreement, they need to be held accountable. Running a business is difficult enough without having a plan or map to guide you in the right direction. If you don’t know where you’re going or how you plan get there, you never know where you will end up!
A couple of years ago, a successful business owner came to me and didn’t know how to maintain the fast growth she was experiencing. She had a lot of revenue and had no idea where the money was going. With tax time around the corner, she didn’t have a retirement plan in place, estimated taxes set aside, or a plan to maximize her deductions…and there wasn’t any money left to take care of all of it.
We set up a plan for her to outsource certain tasks, set up a budget, and make the necessary monthly transfers to fund her retirement plans, purchase a new home, gift money to her kids, and budget her personal spending.
When tax time came this year, she felt so relieved that she was organized, had fully funded her retirements plans and other accounts, and had all of her estimated taxes ready to go. Although she owed a lot in taxes, she felt confident that she had taken advantage of all of the potential deductions that she could have because of her planning.
Having a yearly plan is important
When business owners start a business, they usually put together a business plan. After they start, they put it in a drawer and forget about it. A yearly plan will help you look at those goals and ideas and get ready to implement more of those things.
Are you ready to do your yearly planning? You don’t have to do it just at the first of the year. Do it when you can spend some time with the key people in your business and build something great together.