As we approach the end of the year, it’s always a good practice to take a look back at the last 12 months and to take stock of what happened in your business. Were you thrilled by all your successes or perhaps disappointed in how it turned out in the end?

No matter where you are in your business and what the results looked like over the previous 12 months, NOW is the right time to assess everything and create the success you deserve.

Setting aside some time for a little planning is a best practice ALL successful entrepreneurs apply and it will work for you too, even if you’re not the “planning” sort.

So why not take some time RIGHT NOW and use the 4 steps below to outline what you are going to accomplish to ensure you have an even better year in 2012.

Step 1: Reflect on the past year.

The big question is: What happened in your business over the past 12 months. On face value it might feel as if you had an excellent year, but to get clarity on what exactly happened it’s important to evaluate specific points such as:

  • Income: Did you reach your expected income?
  • Expenses: Did you overspend or under spend on your budget?
  • Marketing: Did you reach your marketing objectives and did you do everything that you’ve planned for this year?
  • Clients: How many clients did you have, how many new clients did you get and could you retain your clients?
  • Business Weaknesses: Were there any areas of your business that you struggled with?
  • Business Strengths: Were there any areas that you had successes in?
  • Operations: Could you easily perform all the work you received – are there room for improvement?
  • Is there anything new that you want to do or want to learn for the New Year?
  • Do you need any new or different equipment and resources?

 

Step 2: Evaluate Performance

Answering the above questions, will give a pretty clear picture about your performance over the past year and will also give some pointers on things to do the same (or differently) for the year to come.

You can even dig a little bit deeper and answer the following questions

  • Why did you do well or why didn’t you do well?
  • Where can you improve?
  • What can you do differently?
  • Who can help to make a positive impact?
  • When do you need to implement changes?
  • How will changes impact on the rest of your business?

 

Step 3: Set new Goals

Knowing how your business performed as well as the reasons for performing good or not so good in each area, will definitely help to determine what to keep the same and what to change for  the new year. Now is the time to set new goals and make those new plans.

Setting clear and specific goals for the next year is the first step to filling the gaps in your business. If you perhaps didn’t reach your goals from the previous year, that can be a good place to start for next year. Whether you’re looking for more clients, more visibility or more income in your business, you can reach all of those goals by creating and following through with you plan.

 

Step 4: Write it down

It won’t help much just having the information in your head and not do something about it. That will only raise the statistics bar of forgetting about all these wonderful plans early in the New Year.

So, map out your goals and give it specific deadlines. Write it down and put it up in a place where you can see it on a daily basis. This will help keep you accountable to not forget about the important details of the plans.

A wise man once said:

Planning will not guarantee success, but it certainly

increases the probability of succeeding”.

Why not put it to the test this year. Start by sharing your thoughts about what you want to accomplish in 2012 in the comment box below. Inspire others by your aspirations!

 

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