start planning

Unlike New Year’s Resolutions, which most people don’t start until January, businesses don’t have the luxury of waiting until January to planning business goals for the year.

Businesses always need to be planning ahead, and if you wait until January to determine your business goals for 2016 you’re already behind the eight ball. Instead, you should focus on planning business goals for 2016 in the next couple of months. That way you can hit the ground running come the new year.

Here are just a few of the things you’ll want to asses in the coming weeks in order to determine your 2016 business goals.

Financial Goals

While running a business isn’t all about the money, the truth of the matter is that finances can serve as a pretty good indicator as to whether or not your business is doing well. Money is something that can be measured and therefore makes a good vehicle for setting business goals.

Bust out your statements or use accounting software to take a look at how your business did financially in 2015. Did you meet your goals? What offering brought in the most money? Offering a financial bust? What revenue goals would you like to hit in 2016? What do you need to do to make that happen (i.e. increase prices)?

Alternatively, you may also want to start planning some business goals for costs. For example, late last year I knew that one of my goals for 2015 would be a complete re-brand of my business. Before January even came around I had to set up meetings with my web designer and email marketing company to get quotes, crunch some numbers and figure out what all of this was going to cost so I could budget accordingly. You may also want to consider a goal for reducing costs.

Team Goals

Another common way to start planning business goals for next year is is to set up some team goals. If you’re doing everything by yourself then perhaps one of your goals would be to bring on team members like an accountant or a virtual assistant.

If you already have team members, then perhaps then you can review the goals you had for this year and whether or not they were met. Did you complete the big project you had planned in the beginning of the year? Do you need to update the plan? Did everyone meet or exceed expectations?

Additionally, this would be a good time to brainstorm with your team about 2016 business goals. Would you like to roll out a new offering? Do you need to upgrade back-end systems? Do you want to focus on a big project like a re-brand?

By bringing your team into the process, you can get everyone’s input. This also helps get everyone on the same page about what needs to get done in the next year.

Customer Experience Goals

An important part of reviewing the current year in preparation for the year ahead is to take a look at how your company performed in delivering products, services and results to clients.

If your customers are having a bad experience (i.e. products are not being delivered or bad customer service) you could potentially lose them. This equates to losing money and it could be detrimental in the long run. On the flip side, a great experience could lead to having your clients pay you more money.

Review your customer experience and see if any improvements need to be made. You’ll also want to take a look at what worked really well for your customers

Final Thoughts

Planning ahead is what helps businesses meet revenue goals, handle any obstacles and give their customers the best experience possible. Make sure to use the next few weeks to set your business goals for 2016.

Amanda Abella is a full-time writer who specializes in online business and finance. She's also an online business coach and the Amazon best-selling author of Make Money Your Honey.

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