by Maryann Baldwin
Let’s take some time to ease into 2024 with a 10 day countdown of reflections to pull together your plan for the new year. No need to pull an all-nighter because the clock is ticking and you’re running out of time!
Here’s a list of 10 things you can consider as part of your plan to grow personally, professionally and/or with your small business efforts in the new year:
Reflect on the Past Year: Evaluate what worked well and areas that need improvement in your business. And when you are done evaluating, take some time to celebrate every little win you had!
Set Some Intentions: Go for some good old fashioned SMART goals - specific, measurable, and achievable goals - for the upcoming year. But we’re also going in big on INTENTIONS for 2024, so think about HOW you want your year to go, and some affirmations that will keep you on track to follow a plan and aim for those goals.
Financial Review: Conduct a thorough financial review, including budgets, expenses, and revenue projections for better financial planning. Remember the good old stretch goal. Think about a revenue number you’d like to hit, but think about the number that would really knock your socks off if you could hit it out of the park!
Update Your Business Plan: Look at your ‘23 and ‘24 numbers and reflect on what that means per quarter, per month and per week. Keeping an eye on your pacing throughout the year means you’re less likely to fall behind and feel the need to scramble later in the year.
Technology Check: Assess your technology and software tools. What can you upgrade or invest in to make your daily, weekly and monthly tasks more efficient and less time consuming. These tools might look expensive, but consider the time and effort savings they’ll deliver.
That’s the first 5 days of reflection. Let’s take a break - take a couple of days to enjoy the holidays and return to your reflection on the 26th!
Personnel Evaluations: Review employee performance, provide feedback, and discuss development opportunities for the upcoming year. And if you’re a solopreneur, give yourself an honest review. What did you do well and where can you improve in 2024? And where can you turn to uplevel your skills in the year ahead?
Marketing Strategy: Consider your marketing plan - how do you find prospective customers? How do you engage more deeply with your existing customers? What are all the different channels available to you to reach prospective and existing customers? Take some time to think about how you are using them and make sure you’re optimizing each.
Customer Feedback: Do you have a system for collecting and gathering customer feedback? Are your current customers completely satisfied with their experiences? What other goods or services might they see as compatible with the value you deliver to them? Put a feedback card on your check out counter, invite reviews and feedback through social media, create a Google form and have consumers click a link to fill it out. You never know where your next big idea might come from!
Education: What did you do in 2023 to grow your mindset, develop new skills, try something new? Take some time today to explore some of those online learning opportunities you saw in 2023 and sign up for one! And check out your certification renewals if you have any that might expire in 2024. Get out in front of those and be prepared to renew!
Health and Wellness Programs: And make sure you are taking care of you! Your life and business won’t thrive if you aren’t taking care of yourself. What is a new fitness or wellness routine you can integrate into your everyday life? Talk to some friends, poke around on social media, see what appeals to you and find a daily or routine place on your calendar to commit to a new healthy habit so you truly can Be More in ‘24!!!
Did you make it through all 10 steps? Congratulations - you are ready to take on the New Year. Head into your celebration knowing that you've set yourself up for success!