It's that time again as we plunge headlong at what seems to be super-sonic speed into the end of the year. We kick ourselves for not having organised Christmas earlier, but then feel some relief that we still have some time, after all there's still two weeks left isn't there? But then we realise that we also need to start thinking about a business plan for next year.
For most businesses the number one New Year's business resolution will be to grow the business.
At the moment, as it probably was last year, a dream, a thought, a desire, a want or a need.
Depending where you sit on that scale, will most likely determine what business growth you will actually achieve in 2017. Not saying that you can't move up the scale from a dream or a thought to a want or a need but only you can do it by putting your mind to it.
A survey of 11 successful young entrepreneurs were asked what were their best tips for sticking to your New Year's plans for business growth.
Interestingly the common themes were form good habits, setting realistic goals that align with your business's vision and mission, setting timetables for achievement, keeping those goals visible, holding yourself accountable, using a support forum or coach to keep you on your toes and not making excuses instead taking on the responsibility.
I said interestingly not because any of this is fresh new thinking from young entrepreneurs, because it's not, it is the same formula that has been used by successful businesses over the ages.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery said "A goal without a plan is just a wish" in his 1939 memoirs.
All those tips shared by our young entrepreneurs had a platform to guide them and that was a Business Plan for Success and a Strategic Plan. Those plans form the road map to success and keep the business focused and on track for growth and success.
To stay focused there is no point in dropping the road map into the glove box of the car, closing it firmly shut and hoping that your sense of direction will get you to the next town before the car runs out of petrol.
The road map is designed to get you where you want to go, get you there at the right time, you know the distance so you will have enough fuel in the car to get there, you will use your co driver to assist you on the journey and the passengers in the car will be confident in your ability and more engaged in the journey.
Instead of being in the glovebox the road map needs to be up there on the dashboard, checked in on regularly by both the driver and the co-driver. Why else do cars now come with a GPS system fitted into the dashboard? If the driver makes a wrong turn the co-driver is there to help re-route, push a few buttons while the driver remains focused on the road, help keep an eye out for sharp corners and speed bumps, check on progress and give advice about obstacles encountered along the journey such as driving through a mob of sheep or cattle herded down a busy road.
Planning for Christmas is certainly something I should do, that's my thought, but planning for business growth and success for the New Year is certainly something I do. It keeps me focused throughout the year, helps me work though those pesky speed bumps, it's a great habit to have, the co-driver keeps me on my toes and the passengers know where we are going, how we are getting there and when we will arrive.