How to Plan for 2012
It’s time to plan for 2012. The slow time between Christmas and New Years often gives me an opportunity to reflect on the past year and figure out where I want to be one year from now. This goes well beyond making New Years resolutions.
- List accomplishments and shortcomings of the past year. This provides a good baseline as we develop our 2012 plan.
- Review our core values. What is important to us colors how we look at new opportunities and decide which goals to pursue. The problem never lies in having too few opportunities. It is in narrowing down the best ones. This often overlooked step causes people to pursue activities that are scattered.
- Create specific goals. We break this down by category like new products and features, infrastructure, marketing, sales.
- Prioritize goals. The outcome of this dialog is in an ordered “to do” list for next year. It is a key element of our 2012 plan.
- Identify who will do what and by when. You can have the best plan in the world. It only works if have accountability. Take the time to create milestones and identify everyone involved. The more detailed your 2012 plan, the better your chances of success.
No plan goes without course corrections along the way. We build in quarterly reviews into our process so we can see what is on track and what needs to be adjusted. Sometimes, we abandon activities that we were initially very excited about because we find out that they will not get us to where we want to be financially. The review process helps keep us from drifting.
Try to apply this simple 5-step process at work or in your personal life to create your plan for 2012. The result will be a more satisfying year full of accomplishments.
For further reading, check out this free ebook: The Naked Business Plan: How to Strip Your Idea Down to the Bare Essentials