Planning: Complete the Past

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

Beginning a new plan for a new year? Before you look ahead, take time to look back. Complete the past year by giving it a thorough review. Here’s one process to set you up for success in the future.

Choose five to 10 areas of accomplishment that are meaningful for you and your business. Some to consider include:

  • Sales
  • Product line
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Personnel
  • Accounting
  • Legal

Note two to five accomplishments for the past year in each area of your business.

You may feel at first that you don’t have any accomplishments in some areas. Think again. Did you –

  • Increase sales by 15 percent?
  • Create a new product, or license one?
  • Purchase a new printer that will allow you to produce large-format work?
  • Hire a new accountant?
  • Create a newsletter, blog, or other marketing piece?
  • Meet with 20 prospects face-to-face each week?
  • Take a training class to improve your skills?
  • Present a paper or an address at an industry conference?

Write as much as you can remember, then come back a day or two later and write some more. Scan your calendar from the past year to help recall events and achievements. Your past year review will form the first page of your coming year’s plan, suggesting where your strengths lie and giving the past its due.

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