image of a group of business colleagues conducting a business planning meeting

As December winds down the last weeks of 2016, now is the time to look ahead toward the future; what’s in store for your business in 2017? Follow these four business planning steps to achieve success in the new year.

1. Take an Honest Appraisal of Your Business

To determine your business’ trajectory for the foreseeable future, you must first understand where your business has been. Take a moment to assess your organization from an honest, unbiased angle; ask yourself questions like: Where did we succeed in the last 1-5 years? Where did we fail? What can be done to ensure we don’t repeat our mistakes from 2016?

2. Hold Frequent Planning Meetings

Planning for the future doesn’t take place at any one particular time of the year; you can’t expect to have the entirety of 2017 mapped out before January 1. No, laying out your business’ future is a reoccurring process. Make a point to conduct business planning meetings no less than once a month but no more often than once a week. This way, your teams will stay apprised of any unexpected changes within your business, as well as maintain a working knowledge of current events, strategies, etc.

3. Consider New Ways to Promote

Depending on the size of your business, you may have a marketing team that handles your organization’s promotion strategy from start to finish. There is only so much this team can do for you, however; as a founder, investor or otherwise prominent figure within your company, your presence at conferences, speaking events and on social media is sometimes the most valuable marketing tool your business has. As a result, consider joining online and in-person networking groups that can better expose your organization’s authority to industry influencers and potential customers.

4. Have Courage

Sometimes, the hardest thing the leader of an organization can do is have the courage to make difficult decisions. As a prominent figure, it is your responsibility to see which people and projects are assets to your company and which ones are liabilities. The continued existence of your business relies on knowing when to cut resources that are no longer viable.

Your Company’s Best Year

Business success is rarely instant. It takes time and perseverance to pursue your goals year after year. Through the help of effective business planning, however, the path to growth should become clearer as time goes on. You will understand your industry better, as well as the needs of your clients and/or customers; these, in turn, can only lead to bigger and better results for your company.

Get started today by implementing your own business planning strategy, and make 2017 your company’s best year to date.