The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your business growth since January, and this year is no exception. As you factor in the impact of COVID-19, you may be asking yourself, did we still generate leads and hit sales targets? Did we hire new staff or make redundancies? Did our team start working from home, and how did that affect their performance?

After a challenging year, and the excitement of the summer holidays ahead, it is tempting to end the reflection here and simply meander through December in the hope that 2021 will be a better and calmer year. However, just because the calendar flips over to a new year doesn’t mean that existing challenges (and new ones) will disappear.

If you want to roll successfully into 2021, it is crucial to actively review 2020 and start planning for the year ahead now.

Here are our tips for creating an effective business plan and ensuring it doesn’t become just another forgotten resolution:

Start with systematic business planning

Proper, systematic business planning is a dying art. In many cases, the process is so detached from reality that it’s become a time-wasting exercise. Planning never feels like action. Too often, we fear that we’re not achieving much if we’re not in a constant state of motion. However, being busy won’t help us achieve our goals unless we have a clear roadmap with milestones to help us stay on track.

Considersetting aside a day before the Christmas break to deep dive into your business outcomes from 2020. Identify what you achieved, what actions were successful, and where you missed the mark. Then, outline what you want to improve on in 2021. Identify goals and strategies to achieve them. Your plan should be succinct yet effective.

Keep your plan alive

Your plan should be a work in progress that lives throughout the year, not just in December and January. Avoid rigid, lengthy, and overcomplicated documents you’ll never read again. Keep your planning document active and updated, especially as circumstances change or when you reach key milestones.

Capture your vision

Now that we have a better idea of what Australia’s working environment will look like in 2021, take a moment to capture your vision for the year. List the actions that’ll make it happen, ranking them in order of priority. Keep this to three or four core focus areas with no more than a page on each.

Prioritise

Sometimes, knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. To combat this, select an action that will deliver a quick win and build support from the wider business.

Couple that with an action you’re more likely to do.

Break down complex actions into discrete, simple steps you can process daily or weekly. These can be as simple as making that phone call or drafting that summary email, for example.

Communicate with your team

Turning goals into reality usually means taking others on a journey. Once you’ve identified your plan for 2021, announce your vision and its milestones with your team. Hold a meeting when everyone has returned from their summer holiday and focus on communicating the ways your staff can contribute.

Seek feedback and ideas

Hold regular updates throughout the year to ensure everyone is aware of the progress. Ask if they’re willing to help then give them defined tasks. And, ask them for input. The more they feel a part of the process, the more they’ll become invested in a successful outcome.

It’s not too late to craft a vision for what you want to achieve in 2021. You just need to start getting that plan in place.

If you need help developing a marketing or public relations plan for your business, or would like to learn how we help organisations meet their business targets, contact us today.