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Start the new year right with business planning

By John E. Anderson

For Coast River Business Journal

Published on January 17, 2018 11:00AM

Last changed on January 17, 2018 11:17AM


Nothing’s better than starting the new year right! As a business owner or executive, you strive to make every minute and resource count toward the success of your business. Now is the perfect time to review your strategy for 2018. Consider the following questions as you develop or review the goals and projects that will move your company forward in the new year.

Is your strategy clear? When we start the year right with clear objectives, we immediately have momentum. We’re moving. We’re rolling. And it feels good. We gain confidence as we make corrections and adjustments.

Is your strategy reflected in your goals? When we have a clear goal, a firm direction, it’s easier to stay on course. When surprises occur or we notice we’re going the wrong way, we can stop and make a quick correction.

Are your goals realistic and relevant? Know what you are willing to do to make it happen. Provide the resources necessary to complete the goal, then build your team’s enthusiasm. It will take all of you if it’s a project that can make a real difference.

Have you done your research? Look at industry news. Talk to your colleagues, industry leaders and competitors. All projects begin as an inkling, a glimmer that takes shape. Your hunch becomes an insight which can grow into a distinct idea. We surf, follow social media, read and research, gaining new perspectives as we flesh out client needs, new markets, and possibilities.

Have you scheduled ways to get feedback? Brainstorming and discussion will generate new ideas and elicit answers. To accomplish your project, gather input from a variety of sources. Team-build as you carefully envision your project: the needs, resources, schedules, structures, and sequences.

Alternate between the strategic and the tactical. We move back and forth from dreamscape to action. Lists move us towards initial project management and cash flow projections. Of course, there will be creative improvements. That’s what development is all about, building on a strong foundation.

Do forecasts and regularly check their accuracy. A goal becomes a scenario, and a written outline gets things started. A schedule of specifics with realistic dates matched to cash flow projections makes the idea more real. Increasing forecast accuracy instills a sense of credibility and reliability to the plans.

A clear strategy with goals, projects, and funding all designed to strengthen and grow your business will ultimately improve customer service, operations, and the bottom-line.

Get ready, get set….

The past year was great. Let’s move forward. Nothing’s better than starting the new year right! See you at the next finish line!

John Anderson is an author and management consultant working between homes in Longview and North Bend. He has taught management operations at Washington State University-Vancouver and a mentor for graduating business majors doing community consulting projects. He is president of the Institute of Management Consultants chapter in Oregon and Washington and president of Be Cause Business Resources, Inc.



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