Where To Begin

It’s a new year and many people are asking about plans and projections for what lies ahead. It’s difficult to know where to begin since making predictions is a challenge. Here are 4 tips you can use for creating projections and planning ahead if you’re not sure what to do next.

Look at the past

Are you collecting data or tracking both failures and successes throughout the year? If you are, dig that information up and start evaluating what actually happened. Identify any consistencies or trends. Obviously, you don’t want to repeat past mistakes, but make note of them so you don’t forget. If something worked well for you, use that as a foundation to build upon in the coming year. Looking at the past won’t fill all the gaps, but it’ll give you a good place to reference when planning ahead.

Competitors & Industry Trends

Who is your biggest competitor and what are they doing? Do they have any new products or services that are being released in the future? What’s happening in your industry? Looking around and paying attention to what others are doing will help predict what you might want to do next. Evaluate if it’s worth the investment and time and if you’re comfortable, take calculated risks that will help improve your business.

Talk to your team

Your team has their boots on the ground and probably has a better idea of what is or isn’t working based on their area of expertise than you do. Solicit feedback and ideas and if you incorporate a team members idea into future plans, acknowledge it. Not only will this help you grow your business in the future, but it’ll also help with team buy-in and loyalty.

What are your clients saying?

Send out a survey or pick up the phone and have a conversation with your clients. What do they like or dislike about your product or service? What is it that keeps them loyal to your brand? Find out what they want and consider incorporating in future plans. Your clients will love you for it.

If the inclusion of projections isn’t part of your strategy, consult a business coach. Learn how to use the data you have to help predict and plan for the future.

Let us know what you’re doing to plan ahead by leaving a comment below.