The One Thing You Absolutely Must Do Before The New Year

This week’s post is Part 6, and the final post, of a multi part series on the 2017 Holiday Season.  Over the next few weeks, we will feature a range of topics focused on driving sales, strategies, and trends. For Part 1 in the series, click HERE , for Part 2 in the series, click HERE, for Part 3 in the series, click HERE, for Part 4 in the series, click HERE, and for Part 5 in the series, click HERE.

The whirlwind of the holidays is in full blast as both December and 2017, are quickly coming to an end. It may seem like you barely have time to check your email after all the last minute meetings, year-end wrap-ups, and holiday shenanigans that get squeezed into these last few weeks of the year. With everything else you have going on, this is most likely the LAST thing on your mind, but now is the critical time for you to reflect on 2017 and look ahead to all the possibilities in 2018 for you and your business.

Making time for reflection on 2017 may seem like a luxury that you can’t afford right now - but if you’re serious about growing your business in 2018, taking this time while it’s still “fresh in your mind” is a must. Evaluate, assess, and learn from your 2017 hits, and your misses, and use this as foresight for your 2018 strategic planning and goal setting – making the process much more effective and successful, saving yourself time down the road (work smart, not hard, right?). During this holiday season, give yourself the gift of time to look back on this year, start considering what you want from next year, and how you can make big impacts on your business.     

Why Now?

The beginning of the year conveys the idea of a fresh start and new beginnings. It may seem easier to wait until 2018 arrives to figure out how you will make it your best year yet, but why postpone what you can do now? It’s much more beneficial to start reviewing this year while you are still in it.  By the time we get to 2018, 2017 will be out of sight and out of mind.  So over the next few weeks, find a little quiet time, and start thinking about how you can get yourself and your business ready to move into 2018 and embrace all it’s potential.

Reflection Points

If you aren’t sure where to start, try reflecting on a few of these considerations to get you thinking about how to evolve your business in the upcoming year.  Give yourself one hour (and maybe a glass of wine) for this exercise. Put thought into each individual question and write down all your observations. Don’t favor any one question and allow yourself to think about the good, bad, and ugly of the past year.  Now is the time to be really honest with your answers and yourself. 

  • What worked in 2017?  What successes did you have and why?
  • What were your priorities this year and did these priorities lead to you achieving your goals?
  • What is your proudest accomplishment of the past year and why is it special?
  • What didn’t work? Did these challenging initiatives present you with a different opportunity that you can take advantage of?
  • How can you take what you learned in 2017 and build upon it for 2018?
  • How can you make your business better/stronger/more profitable next year?
  • What type of strategies will you plan to make next year your biggest and best yet?
  • Are you thinking about goals that align back to your strategies and are they actionable, SMART goals?
  • Are you ready to make positive changes to your business? Do you have the tools that you need to be successful?

After going through this exercise, you may find that you don’t have it all figured out just yet. And that’s okay – you don’t need to have all the answers right now.  The goal is for you to begin stewing on all of this to make sure you’re asking yourself the right questions going into 2018. Take the time NOW to examine the past year and organize your thoughts, ideas, and takeaways before you begin digging into the HOW’s behind your 2018 success plan. Remember there is much to be learned and many great opportunities, even from your scariest challenges of the past year.

Now What?

After a deep introspective dive, it can be easy to think, “ok---done, CHECK!” and move on to the next “to-do” but that would be a huge misstep.  You’ve gathered some critical information and now it’s time to start planning what you should do next. Review your notes and move onto brainstorming what specific strategies and actions you can implement for 2018!

If you are unsure how to start building your strategy, or if you’d simply like a sounding board to run some ideas off of, feel free to reach out to me through email, my web site, or commenting on LinkedIn and Facebook posts.  I’d be more than happy to collaborate and help.

Also, stay tuned for my NEW video blog series beginning this January!  I’ve partnered with Lauren Allen from Right Hand Business Coach, and we’ve created a series that  will include proven techniques for creating game-changing strategies for your business, guidance and direction for implementing and executing your strategies, “tips & tools” for overcoming the challenges that business WILL encounter, AND MUCH MORE!

Insights 

At this time of year, any investment of time is a big investment to make. But giving yourself the opportunity to reflect on this past year is a worthy investment to make because it is giving you, and ultimately your business, the vision it needs to grow and evolve, preparing for next year to be your best year yet!

Feeling like you might need a little extra support to get your business ready for next year?  Contact Mod. Merchant for a consultation on strategic planning and goal setting to make sure you ready to take 2018 on! Through the end of January, we are offering a one-hour strategy consultation where we can explore and identify key sales driving initiatives for your business at a special rate of $100.  Contact us today to set up your appointment!

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