With the new year here, it’s time to reevaluate your business plan and business planning resources in 2023.
While the new year is only a symbolic shift in time, many find the prospect of “new beginnings” to be refreshing. The start of the new year in many ways is a “clean slate” for new and exciting ideas, projects, and goals.
For Latina entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your plans and make necessary changes and set new objectives and goals to work toward in the following months.
As industries change and businesses evolve or grow, revisiting your original business plan and making changes is necessary.
Below, we share a few key business planning resources to help you kick off the new year right!
Key business planning resources in 2023
1. Review last year’s accomplishments – When planning for the new year, it’s important to look back on the previous year to see what strategies worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved. Reviewing your past accomplishments—and failures—will help you plan for the future and set the right goals for your business.
Make a list cataloging what worked and what didn’t, what strategies drew in the most revenue, which expenses could be avoided this year, and so on. Then use this list to help guide you in creating your new year business goals.
2. Set SMART goals and objectives for the new year – SMART goals are: strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound with deadlines. Setting goals with these parameters helps to focus goals and ensure they are achievable. Many times when we set goals, they can feel far-fetched and too big. Especially when looking at a whole year, it can be overwhelming to think of how you will get from point A to point B.
When you set your business goals for this year, make sure you’re hitting each letter in the SMART acronym. This exercise from Vistage—the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize business leaders— will help you break down your larger “big picture” goals into actionable strategies.
For each goal, ask yourself: WHAT will you do? HOW will you do it? WHEN will you do it? Be crystal clear in separating strategies—the hows and the whys—from tactics (the whats and whens) and use “Verb-noun-date” format to create specific action steps and put them on your calendar.
3. Create your yearly budget – Planning your goals for the year will also help give you an idea of what your finances and budget may look like. To plan your budget, determine your operating expenses and then see what you can dedicate toward your new year goals and objectives. Read on for a more in-depth look at starting a basic business budget.
4. Update your business plan – As every entrepreneur and business owner knows, your business plan is your roadmap. You probably made a business plan when you first got started, but maybe it’s been a while since you revisited it. If you don’t yet have a formal business plan written up, then this is the time to do it! Get started here.
Over the years, as your business grows and industries change, your business plan should be adjusted to reflect those changes. To start updating your old business plan, reevaluate your original goals with where you are today. Revisit each component of your business plan, from Executive Summary and Company Description to Market Analysis and Financial Projections. See SBA.gov for more business planning resources.
5. Reevaluate your marketing plan – The new year is the perfect time to reevaluate your marketing plan. Look at your previous year’s marketing strategies and figure out what worked and what can be done differently this year. Now more than ever, marketing has a big impact in our social media and digitally driven age. A good starting point for planning your new year marketing goals is to figure out which channels best reach your customers. If possible, consider conducting market research. Ask your customers about their lifestyles, needs, wants, and expectations through surveys or social media polls and use that information to target your marketing strategies toward your customers.
6. Expand your network – One great goal to have every year is to expand your network. Your network is what will ultimately help you grow. The more help and resources you have the better your business will thrive. Instead of trying to go it alone and do everything yourself, utilize your network and accept help from your peers and mentors. Tackling obstacles and challenges will be easier with help and you can pay it forward by being there for other entrepreneurs too.
Spend time this year connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs, attending some events or workshops, joining support groups or membership programs, and putting yourself out there. You got this!
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